How To Become a Millionaire: 5 Women Share Their Plan To Make It Happen

Updated: March 24, 2021
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Are you ready to become a millionaire overnight? I mean, who isn’t? Here’s the bad news, becoming a millionaire overnight is more common in movie plots than in reality. Here’s the good news, you can become a millionaire if you give yourself a little more time and start making savvy investment decisions.

If you’re already wondering how on earth that’s possible, then you’re in the right place.

Below five women share how they plan to become millionaires.

Each of these women has shared their investment plan. While the strategies they share all have merit, it’s important that you do your own research to develop an investment plan that gets you to the millionaire mark based on your individual situation.

An Aggressive Investor And A Plan To Retire At 40

Anna Barker, a lawyer and founder of Logical Dollar, invests 70% of her income every month. An aggressive investor, she shares that she is on track to become a millionaire in 3 years and plans to retire at the age of 40.

The Investment Strategy:

Barker’s money goes straight into broad market index funds through Vanguard. “This is because I want an investment strategy that’s simple, low-cost and that has proven to be effective over the long term, all of which apply to index funds,” Barker states.

The Turning Point:

Barker credits the book The Simple Path To Wealth by JL Collins as a major turning point that led her to believe she could actually become a millionaire. “He broke down so simply the process of becoming a millionaire, including the math behind it and the process for getting there,” she shares. “Reading this was like a light bulb going off, showing how almost anyone can, by steadily building their wealth over their time, become a millionaire. It made me want to do exactly the same thing.”

Turning The Headline “Teacher Becomes Millionaire” Into Reality

Tawnya Redding is a teacher who plans to retire with $1 million invested on top of her pension. Barker set her retirement age at 56 after 30 years of teaching. As a single woman working a traditionally underpaid career, she is breaking more than one barrier and we are here for it.

The Investment Strategy:

“I am required to invest 6% of my salary yearly as a supplement to my pension, and I’ve been doing that since I began teaching,” Redding shares.

As of right now, Redding is investing about $1,400 a month on top of her pension. “I have been steadily increasing my 403(b) contributions and now invest $700 a month. Additionally, I invest $200 a month in a brokerage. I try to invest $500 a month into my IRA so I can max it out yearly. My IRA and brokerage are index funds with Vanguard and my 403(b) is actively managed through Voya,” Redding shares.

The Turning Point:

Redding did not initially think it was even possible to become a millionaire. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon the idea of financial independence and taking control of her money that she realized it was in reach.

For those of you who don’t know, financial independence (or FI) is the aim to have enough income to cover your expenses for the rest of your life. Typically this income comes from investments and savings and also means you’ve offloaded all of your debt.

For Redding, reaching FI meant upping her investments and changing her lifestyle to help make this happen. “I’m a single woman and have been doing all the things I’ve been doing on a single income. I’m very frugal and utilize side hustles to help me reach my goals.” Reaching these financial goals is a big part of her life, and Redding opens up about her money life on her blog Money Saved Is Money Earned.

Maxing Out Retirement Accounts Equals Millionaire Status

Stephanie Schill, a marketing manager, and blogger at Intentional Saver, is on track to retire at age 50, in about 11 years. Her retirement goal number is $2 million. This number is for her alone and does not include her husband’s retirement number.

The Investment Strategy:

“My investment strategy is to max out my company-sponsored 401(k) and personal IRA each year using index funds, specifically VTSAX or an equivalent when possible,” she shares. “Slow and steady savings is where I feel most comfortable. So I’m saving $19,500 in my 401(k) annually, and $6,000 in my IRA for a total of at least $25,500. In addition to the $25,500 my company matches 3% on the 401(k).”

By ‘maxing out’, Schill is referring to contributing the ‘max’ amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to these accounts each year (remember, these accounts are tax advantaged). Each year, the IRS publishes the contribution limits for your retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s.

When planning for retirement, Schill calculates her numbers separate from her husband and assumes a 7% return on investments. She says, “Starting with my total retirement account balance of $276,653 and adding $2,125 monthly ($25,500 annually) to it annually assuming a 7% return, I will hit one million dollars in 11 years or by the time I’m 50. I’m really hoping it’s before that, but 50 is my goal. I can’t predict the future so I like using 7% even if the current market is returning much higher than that right now.”

The Turning Point:

For Schill, being a millionaire was not a priority at first. “I thought about traveling and going out to eat with friends and buying whatever clothes I wanted,” she shared.

Thankfully, Schill did contribute to her 401K in her twenties and early thirties, she slowly increased her contributions each time she received a raise. Still, Schill states, “I wasn’t very forward-looking…and I can’t help but wish I had started maxing out my 401(k) sooner.” Once Schill discovered the power of maxing out, she started making this a priority, even if it required some sacrifices to get there.

Schill says that she was grateful it wasn’t too late, and she still had time to become a millionaire with slow and steady maxing out of her investment accounts.

An Entrepreneur And A Plan To Reach Millionaire Status

Ashley Patrick owns her own business offering financial coaching services. Because Patrick’s business has been growing she is on the fast track to hitting the millionaire mark in 8 years or less. That said, she doesn’t have a retirement age in mind since she enjoys her work and the freedom owning her own business provides.

The Investment Strategy:

“I already have $100,000 in 401(k) investments. I have a Roth IRA in growth mutual funds and aggressive growth funds, and a HSA account…I invest 6% into 401(k), $500 each ($1,000) into Roth IRAs, and $900 a month into 529s. My next investment will be in a SEP account for my business,” Patrick states.

In addition to these contributions, Patrick worked a job for 10 years before opening her business that included a state pension. “If I don’t invest another penny, [my husband and I] should retire at 62 with over $5 million,” Patrick says.

The Turning Point:

Patrick says she always had the confidence she would be a millionaire. This led her to invest a lot in her 20s in preparation for retirement. While this set her up to have a million dollars sooner rather than later, she says she and her husband still made mistakes, but none of them set them off course. “Since we made it a priority to save first, those mistakes won’t cost us our future,” she says.

The Power Of Harnessing Real Estate Investing And Index Funds

At 41, Holly Johnson is already a millionaire but has a bigger goal of reaching $3.5 million in invested assets within 7 to 8 years depending on market returns.

Johnson, a blogger, and writer at Club Thrifty, shares that she and her husband could retire now according to the 4% rule. However, they are choosing to wait because they have kids at home and want to reach their $3.5 million goal in order to allow a cushion for travel in retirement.

The Investment Strategy:

“We do not count rental income or Social Security in our retirement plans, mostly because we want to be over-prepared,” Johnson says. “That being said, we do have two rental properties — one is paid off and another has a mortgage of around $30,000, so it will be paid off soon.”

“We have Solo 401(k) accounts with Vanguard, and we invest the rest into a regular brokerage account with Vanguard. I don’t really try to time the market and I rarely buy individual stocks. However, I did follow my instinct and take around $100,000 out of savings to invest in the stock market at the depths of the pandemic panic in March of 2020. I am very glad I did considering the Dow hit a low of less than 19k in mid-March of 2020 (around the time I invested) and now it’s well over 30K. It took guts to make that move when a lot of people were doing the opposite, but I knew it was right.”

The Turning Point:

Johnson says she always knew she could become a millionaire. “[I knew I could] based on basic investing principles and the magic of compound interest,” she says. “We had several really good income years that got us there faster. I have a-ha moments all the time when I use a compound interest calculator to find out where I will be financially by the time we are ready to retire.”

Takeaways On How to Become a Millionaire We Could All Learn From

We could all learn from these women who have mapped out paths to becoming a millionaire. Below are a few of the main takeaways from their stories. It is never too late to start investing

  1. Invest consistently to see results
  2. Increase your contributions each time you receive a raise or income increase
  3. Contribute the max to your retirement accounts as often as possible
  4. Get your company match your 401(k) when possible
  5. Look for ways to increase your income like a side hustle
  6. Do your own research
  7. Consider other forms of investing like real estate

Tools To Help You Become A Millionaire

If you’re ready to become a millionaire and start investing then check out these articles below:

Investing 101: 8 Terms Everyone Needs To Know
How Much Money Should I Invest In Stocks?
When Should I Sell My Stocks