It's true that it's easier for the rich to get richer. That first million is by far the toughest to make. But once you're there, it gets much easier to make the next million.

When you already have money working for you, each percent of return adds more to your worth. Earning 10% on \$10,000 gives you \$1,000. Making 10% on \$1,000,000 gives you \$100,000.

## How To Start Towards Your First Million Dollars

Let's look at what it takes to accumulate your first million. Assume you regularly invest a monthly amount at a given return. Using the power of compounding, the table below shows you how many years it will take you to reach your first million. We'll assume you're starting from zero.

(Already have some savings? Then see our Million Dollar Savings Calculator to calculate exactly how long it will take to become a millionaire in your specific situation.)

Years to Reach Your First Million
Monthly
Contribution
6% Return8% Return10% Return
\$10065.852.944.6
\$20054.544.437.8
\$50040.133.428.9
\$1,00030.025.622.5
\$1,50024.521.318.9

You might wonder why I chose \$1,500 as the last monthly contribution. That number happens to be the maximum amount an individual can contribute to their in 2018 (post-tax reform), divided by 12 months. Putting away the maximum into your 401(k) every month while earning an annual return of 6% would make you a millionaire in less than 25 years, while investing the 401(k) max and achieving 10% annual return could get you to seven-digits in less than 19 years.

That was the hard part. As we've already mentioned, after you reach your first million it takes less time to make your second. When you start from \$1 million, you can take advantage of the effect of compounding on that first \$1 million.

Years to Reach
\$2 Million
Monthly
Contribution
6% Return8% Return10% Return
\$10011.48.76.9
\$20011.38.66.9
\$50010.88.36.8
\$1,00010.27.96.4
\$1,5009.67.56.2

If you consistently put away as much as you can afford, it is possible to have \$2 million in 25 years if you contribute the maximum to your 401(k) and achieve a 10% return. Even better, some companies will match some of your contribution, helping you reach your million-dollar goal even faster.