FIRE.029 One in a Million? a Dozen? – You have millionaire neighbors

How many homes are on your street? Ten? Twenty? Are any of your neighbors rich? Probably yes.

After reading Thomas Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door years ago, It never occurred to me that some of my neighbors had crossed that massive threshold. Then I started looking for Camry’s and F150’s and wondered if those people were the rocking rich. Those people who might be living a possibly financially independent or secure life.

Wow, just thinking about those millionaires that must be around me is particularly intriguing. My wife and I live in a “normal” basic neighborhood with 25-30-year-old houses. Yet interestingly, not too many young children playing in driveways or the street. Side thought: could these childless households around us have, or be on their way to substantial wealth? Could there be millionaires around us?

I’ve read multiple articles lately that say there are now over 10 MILLION households in the US with millionaire net worths. It’s strange that these articles tend to pop up when stock market values are high and people may be more flush with higher net worth.

So I calculated, if there are say 125 million households in the US, then there may be one millionaire household in every 12-ish. One in a dozen. That seems amazingly great. Maybe that’s why some people say “a million’s not what it used to be.” But “millionaire” sure sounds great to me.

Call to action: Can we all take some of the principals from the millionaires profiled in books and articles and use these as a framework for our own finances? Absolutely. There is no doubt you can learn from others. Why not take some learning from “normal” people who managed their finances well.

Off the top of my head:

  • Spend less than you earn – BAM! Nothing more to say.
  • Pay yourself first, save/invest – Find a way to remove some income from your monthly money visibility. Each paycheck, get that money out of your checking/debit account immediately.
  • Purchase wisely – need or want?, delayed gratification skill, can you buy used and let someone else pay retail/the depreciation? To ease the used item argument, I say “everything has a ding.” It helps me rarely require a new item (notice I didn’t say “need” a new).
  • Pick the right partner – Your partner needs to compliment/support your daily activities and dreams.
  • Maybe even, start your own business – “Wealth flows to owners” of successful businesses. Even on a small scale, owning equities has worked for all US history. Being a principal owner could even lead to more opportunity.

If you don’t care to be a millionaire right now, that’s OK, because in 20 years it will twice as easy to get there. Maybe at that point, it will be your goal.

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