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Millionaire versus Billionaire

By Rick Kahler MS CFP®  http://www.KahlerFinancial.com

Rick Kahler MS CFP

Doctor – Would you like to build up a million-dollar nest egg by the time you retire?

For middle-class earners, that goal is challenging but possible if you start at age 25 and save $1750 a month. Many married couples could do this by maxing out their 401(k) contributions. Or; you could take the route that many people follow and build a small business – or medical practice – into a million-dollar asset.

FREE WHITE PAPER [Is Medical Practice a New Asset Class?] from iMBA, Inc

Billion … with a “B”

What if you want to accumulate a billion-dollar nest egg instead? Starting at the same age of 25, you would need to save $21 million a year. Good luck with getting any employer match on that.

There’s a vast difference between a million and a billion. It’s completely misleading when activists, politicians, and the media refer glibly to “millionaires and billionaires” as if the two are almost interchangeable. Someone with a net worth of one million dollars isn’t even close to being in the same category as someone worth one billion.

Here are a few more examples to clarify the difference:

  • One million seconds from now is about 11 and a half days away. One billion seconds from now is about 31 and a half years in the future.
  • A million hours ago was 114 years in the past, early in the 20th century; our ancestors were using electricity and telephones. A billion hours ago was over 114,155 years in the past; our ancestors had evolved into Homo sapiens but were still using primitive stone tools.
  • Put one million ants on one side of a scale and a female Asian elephant on the other side. The million ants, at around six pounds, would hardly register against the elephant’s three tons. Put a billion ants on the scale, however, and they would balance or even outweigh the elephant.
  • One million pennies stacked on top of each other would make a tower nearly a mile high. One billion pennies stacked on top of each other would make a tower almost 870 miles high.
  • If you earned $45,000 a year and stashed it all under your mattress, you’d have one million dollars at the end of 22 years. To accumulate one billion dollars at that same rate, you’d need the help of your many-times-great grandchildren, because it would take 22,000 years.

Security versus Wealth

In today’s world, being a millionaire represents financial security, not vast wealth. At a withdrawal rate of 3%—the amount most experts consider sustainable—an investment portfolio of one million dollars will provide an income of $30,000 a year. Combined with Social Security, that would be enough to live comfortably but not lavishly in retirement.

Three percent of one billion dollars, on the other hand, will furnish an income of $30 million a year; definitely private jet and gated estate territory.

If millions and billions aren’t challenging enough, here’s a quick look at trillions. One trillion is a million millions, or a thousand billions. It would take one thousand elephants to balance the weight of one trillion ants. Astronomers estimate the number of stars in our Milky Way galaxy between 100 billion and 400 billion; not even close to a trillion. No wonder it’s so hard for most of us to wrap our minds around information like, “The current US national debt is more than 16.7 trillion dollars.”

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how-much-is-a-trillion

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Assessment

Becoming a millionaire? It’s not only achievable, but wise if you want financial security in old age. Becoming a billionaire? You’d better plan to invent something amazing, write several dozen international best-sellers, or build an incredibly successful business. Becoming a trillionaire? Don’t waste your time thinking about it. For good reason, the word isn’t even in the dictionary.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

 Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

Personal financial success in the PP-ACA era will be more difficult to achieve than ever before. It requires the next generation of doctors to rethink frugality, delay gratification, and redefine the very definition of success and work–life balance. And, they will surely need the subject matter medical specificity and new-wave professional guidance offered in this book.

This book is a ‘must-read’ for all health care professionals, and their financial advisors, who wish to take an active role in creating a new subset of informed and pioneering professionals known as Certified Medical Planners™.

Dr. Mark D. Dollard FACFAS [Private Practice, Tyson Corner, Virginia

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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One Response

  1. Can a 5-question test predict how wealthy you will become?

    In the future, will you become wealthier or poorer? Who knows, right?

    It seems like you would need a crystal ball to really answer that question given life’s up and downs. What if the answer is right in front of you? What if you can determine it from your present financial behaviors? Two economists with the Federal Reserve Bank present a brief questionnaire – and an audacious claim that these five questions can predict your financial future.

    1. Did you save any money last year?
    2. Did you miss any loan or mortgage payments in the past year?
    3. Did you have a balance on your credit card after the last payment was due?
    4. Do liquid assets make up at least 10% of the value of your total assets?
    5. Is your total debt service (i.e., the cash you devote each month to paying principal and interest) less than 40% of your income?

    What’s your score? As part of their research, Emmons and Noeth scored the answers. A financially positive answer to a question was assigned 1 point; a financially negative answer, 0 points.

    If you are able to successively answer the above questions with “yes,” “no,” “no,” “yes” and “yes”, your household is probably in pretty good financial shape – or better.

    In simple terms, those answers would get you a score of 5.0. The average score in their study was 3.0.

    Justin D. Nabity
    [Partner-Wealth Advisor]

    If you’d like to see the precise methodology the researchers used and their definition of a “positive” and “negative” answer for each question, you can go online and download Issue 10 of the St. Louis Fed publication In the Balance (which contains the article and the scorecard) at stlouisfed.org/publications/itb/.

    Sources:
    1 – stlouisfed.org/newsroom/displayNews.cfm?article=2390 [12/15/14]
    2 – stlouisfed.org/publications/pub_assets/pdf/2014/In_the_Balance_issue_10.pdf/ [12/14]

    Like

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