4 Ways to Grow $100,000 Into $1 Million for Retirement Savings

Saving for retirement isn’t easy, especially as it becomes more expensive to retire comfortably.

The average worker expects to need around $1.7 million to retire, according to a 2022 survey from Charles Schwab, and less than half of survey participants believe it’s very likely they’ll meet their saving goal.

Fortunately, it’s simpler than you might think to supercharge your retirement savings. With these four steps, you’ll be on your way to turning $100,000 into $1 million or more.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Invest consistently

Consistency is key to building a robust retirement fund. Even if you can’t afford to save much, investing just a little each month can go a long way.

For example, say you currently have $100,000 saved. Assuming you’re earning a modest 8% average annual return on your investments, you could reach $1 million by investing around $400 per month for 25 years.

When you invest consistently, lofty goals can seem less intimidating. But if you put off saving or only invest sporadically, it will be far more difficult to reach your goal.

2. Stay invested during market downturns

When stock prices are falling, it may seem like a dangerous time to invest. After all, why would you throw more money into the market if your investments will immediately lose value?

While it may seem counterintuitive, market slumps are some of the best times to invest. Stock prices are lower, which means you can get more for your money. Then when the market eventually recovers, you could see substantial gains.

If you only invest when the market is thriving, you’re not only paying more than you need to for your investments but also missing out on the potentially lucrative upswing when the market recovers.

3. Choose the right investments

The investments you choose can potentially make or break your retirement fund. For many investors, contributing to a 401(k) or IRA is the ideal way to save for the future.

With these types of accounts, you don’t need to worry about choosing individual stocks. All you have to do is contribute regularly. You may also set up automatic transfers from your bank account or paycheck straight to your retirement fund, which can make it easier to invest consistently — and help you earn more over time.

If you do choose to invest in individual stocks, make sure you’re buying solid long-term investments. High-risk, short-term stocks can be a tempting way to make a lot of money in a short time, but when your retirement savings are on the line, you could lose more than you gain.

4. Give yourself plenty of time

There’s no safe way to “get rich quick” in the stock market, and building a million-dollar nest egg often requires decades. But if you start investing now, you’re far more likely to reach your goal.

For instance, say you’re starting with $100,000 in savings, and you’re earning an 8% average annual return. Here’s approximately how much you’d need to invest each month to accumulate $1 million, depending on how many years you have left to save:

Number of Years
Amount Invested per Month
Total Savings

$1.075 million

$1.036 million

$1.015 million

$1.034 million

Data source: Author’s calculations via Investor.gov.

It’s never too early (or too late) to begin saving for retirement. The sooner you start, the less you’ll need to save each month to reach your goal.

Saving $1 million for retirement may seem daunting, but by taking small steps, it’s more attainable than you might think. By investing in the right places and saving consistently over the long run, you’ll be on your way to a million-dollar retirement fund.

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Charles Schwab is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Katie Brockman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Charles Schwab. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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