How I Amassed $1.3M For Retirement

I often wondered what this schedule would look like so I decided to build it. Just one page.

Here it is.

Please handle with care as it contains real, personal, sensitive, and confidential information.

I hope it generates some discussion and helps you on your journey towards retirement.

At this moment, I feel comfortable doing this. Hopefully that will not change. I think the educational benefit out ways the privacy invasion. If it results in one person thinking more about retirement or having a more serious discussion about it, I think it is worth it.




Really cool of you to share your personal numbers like that. I wish that more people felt comfortable talking actual figures.

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Thanks for the reply.

What do you think? A pretty sweet deal, right?

Over 32 years, my wife and I put in $300k, our employers put in $200K, the market contributes $800k, and we end up with $1.3M.

The fact that my share was 23% and someone or something put in the other 77% totally blows my mind. We were very fortunate to have employer support which a lot of people do not have.

It’s just one approach. My parents and my younger brother did it largely with real estate. To each there own.



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@Blake ,
Your chart shows at least two important lessons to everyone.

  1. Make sure you maximize your employer match, if it’s available. It’s like giving your self a raise.

  2. Invest for the long term. A growth rate that might look low on a yearly basis can become huge in the long run.



This is a really awesome analysis! Thank you for sharing your results of a lifetime of retirement planning!

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Jon, Good points.

My match was not very much, just 9%.

1999 831
2000 2,123
2001 2,270
2002 2,440
2003 2,550
2004 2,709
2005 2,703
2006 266
Total 15,891
Total ER 183,517
% 9%

Here is a simple S&P 500 growth rate calculator. It goes back to 1871.


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This is great! Thanks for sharing. Did you start tracking this at age 29, or did you backtrack? I’d love to make a sheet like this for me but it will take some digging to back track.

Yes, I started all this in 1990 at age 29 but not in its present format. I kept track of certain things as I went along. I created various schedules and spreadsheets. I kept track of the month end and quarter end amounts of all my retirement account balances. I often changed my methodology as time went on. I had about 30 spreadsheets in various formats that I used as the source data to bring together that summary. Yes, that schedule is merely a summary. Those 30 spreadsheets contain tons of backup detail for all those numbers in the summary. About 98% of the data is solid and represents what actually happened. To fill in the other 2% I made reasonable assumptions based on other information I had. Those gains/loss numbers are the actual amounts from the statements. So, there is no backtracking. I would not have done this if I had to make up most of the numbers based on assumptions and guesses. Thus, this represents what actually happened, plus or minus 2%. I always wondered what those percentages were that I calculated in the spreadsheet. The fact that the market contributed 63% is amazing. If you create a sheet like mine using your data, I would be interested in the results if you are willing to share. Good luck. Blake

Thanks again for the reply. Wow, you’ve had a lot of organization! I’m 40 and I’ve done various notes over the years but if I start now with making a spreadsheet like this like you’ve done, it’ll be nice to watch it grow over time!