Tanya Taylor, a 50-year-old New York-based accountant and financial coach, said she saved $1 million for retirement by the time she was 48. Now, she’s sharing how she did it.
“At age 48, I hit $1 million in my savings for retirement, almost three decades after I’d made it a goal,” Taylor wrote in Business Insider. Taylor said she worked for more than 20 years at large banks and insurance companies.
Saving that much money on her own wasn’t fast or easy, said Taylor, a certified public accountant and auditor by training. She earned a master’s in business administration strategic management, Black Enterprise reported.
“It wasn’t an easy task, but being passionate about personal finance and wealth building and following specific habits helped me make it happen,” she pointed out.
Taylor, who left Jamaica to live in New York City at the age of 16, came to the U.S. with just $100. Initially she did not attend college as planned because she was undocumented. Instead she took a part-time job at a local restaurant making $75 per week.
But even then, she said she budgeted.
“I carefully budgeted every dollar I made and paid a weekly stipend for meals and accommodations to the family friends I lived with. I put the rest toward college savings, everyday necessities, and sending to my family in Jamaica,” she said.
At the age of 24, Taylor said set a goal to have $1 million in her retirement account by age 50. A few months before graduating college, she also bought her first home with the intention to use the equity to create a real estate portfolio to fund her retirement. She graduated college at age 25 debt-free.
Here’s how she did it:
By age 32, Taylor was pulling in more than $100,000, but even then she didn’t splurge. She lived on $50,000 per year after taxes and said she put the rest into savings.
“Whenever my income increased or circumstances changed, like when I got married or had kids, I would revisit my budget, make adjustments, and continue to save toward my retirement goal,” she explained.
She always contributed the maximum amount possible to her employer’s retirement plan.
She breaks it down: “For example, when I worked as a word processor in my early 20s, I put about 5 percent of my $40,000 salary into my 401(k). After graduating college, I got a job as an auditor at Deloitte and contributed about $7,000 a year to my 401(k) plan.”
Taylor opened a Roth IRA with a brokerage firm when she was 27. To ensure she would really contribute, she set up automatic transfers from each paycheck into this account.
“I contributed approximately $8,000 over five years until I hit the income threshold at 32. Later, I converted this account from mutual funds to stocks that did pretty well, and this account now has approximately $40,000,” she said.
There is a ROTH IRA cabot: You can’t contribute to a Roth IRA once your income exceeds a certain dollar amount. In 2022, if you’re single and make more than $144,000, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA.
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Taylor said she taught herself about investing in the stock market through books such as “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki, and by joining investment clubs.
“As my investing knowledge grew, I decided that I wanted to have more control over how my retirement funds were being invested,” she said.
To avoid the annual administration fees that her employer charged, Taylor rolled over her 401(k) to a brokerage firm where she was able to invest in a wider variety of funds and individual stocks.
“One million dollars may seem like a daunting number, but regardless of your wealth or income, it really is achievable if you have the right mindset,” Taylor wrote. “Map out a solid plan, adjust your budget as your income grows, and always prioritize savings.”
Photo: Tanya Taylor traveling in Antigua, Guatemala, September 2021 (Photo provided to Moguldom by Tanya Taylor)