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How One Couple Saved $1 Million For Retirement

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 6:14 PM
A number of smart saving moves over the years allowed Donna and Dave Miller to retire with more than $1 million in the bank.

Success Story: Saving $1 million for retirement |
ShorebreakShorebreak2,683 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,546
1. Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 9:20 AM
Shorebreak:  Talk about dopplegangers!  They must have read my book even before I wrote it! :)  However, #5 isn't always a possibility if your company throws you out at 57 and you can't find other jobs.  I also disagree with #6.  I believe in taking SS as early as possible (personal reasons) and #7 have never met a professional who would research products as much as I do so why bother with them.  (Do it yourself!)  Otherwise, the article gives great advice as to how to become a millionaire.  The only problem is that with these low interest rates and with family emergencies, one million may not be enough to keep one worry free from finances during the "should be golden years".  However, it is a help!
paoli2paoli21,401 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,135
2. Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 1:23 PM
SM #3: We do enjoy large houses at good location (We have two of those).  That is what life is all about; living in it just makes us healthier and happier; not to mention the capital preservation benefit over the long term. 

SM #5: It is out of one's control from the job perspective, mental perspective, and health perspective.

SM #6: There is a trade-off, don't blindly apply the general rule of taking it at 66.  I would rather take it early while it lasts.

SM #7: I believe in myself.  I am the only cause I know.  The rest doesn't mean much to me (Hey, I am Rhett:D). 

$1M is hardly anything to celebrate and/or write home about, start with $10M for that purpose:-) 
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
3. Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 10:31 AM
We saved the maximum for an IRA since 1979 for myself and since the early 80's as laws changed for my husband. My husband was a plumber and put on disability at 55, I worked 2 jobs for 23 years and had no 401K or pension until my last 10 years of working in one of my jobs. Had to retire to care for my husband  24 hours a day for his last 6 years. We had 1.7 million in our IRA's and savings living frugally but never wanted for anything. Have gifted for a few years to our children. Still live on SS only. Put our children thru college, invested only in CD's or the savings account that our 401K's had. Always bought new cars and trucks because we did not want to buy another person's problems and demanded dependability,  built and contracted some things out on our 2nd home on weekends and in the evenings and lived in the basement until it was finished. Grew our own food etc. Every person has their own way to reach their goals. Took SS before full retirement. We paid cash again for our last home and had it built and still gifting. Don't use our pension, or 401K. Thanksgiving dinner totaled $95.96 last year for 30 people  and with coupons and rebates it cost $15.16 out of pocket. Husband passed away a few months ago and I have fruit and salad and meat everyday but only spend between $10 and $15 a week on groceries. I take the paper and shop sales only and use a  freezer and coupons and rebates. Having 16 for dinner on Sunday. Use several of Ken's reward checking accounts, shop for his CD rates and use cash back credit cards for everything. I never have carry cash. If a store doesn't take my credit card or debit card I don't shop there. Thanks to my mom, a high school teacher (who even taught us how to do our own taxes, buy a home, a car, shop for everything on sale and to read about a products reliabilty before buying) , and of course Ken we have done well and so have our children and grandchildren. My car is 14 years old and I am shopping for a new car again and paying cash.
Ally6770Ally6770937 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,727
4. Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 11:48 AM

"Thanksgiving dinner totaled $95.96 last year for 30 people  and with coupons and rebates it cost $15.16 out of pocket."

That is a little extreme for us; but if you can do it, more power to you:-)

I think that the most important lesson for everyone is how to live our lives to the fullest (defined for each differently).  My original thought for you was whether you are able to ever enjoy your financial success as fruit of all these years of frugality.  I believe that you are enjoying life to the utmost (as some religion states "the less desire, the happier.").  And you are leaving your riches and style of frugality to your next generations as an inheritance and more importantly, as a family heritage.

My high respect for you, Rosie.

BR, 76 
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
5. Friday, October 26, 2012 - 6:58 AM
#3 - wow, I've lost my words!
ninissniniss60 posts since
Sep 22, 2010
Rep Points: 154