by Grant Cardone June 21, 2018 3 Comments

Having $1,000,000 doesn't make you wealthy 


Billionaire Peter Thiel recently suggested that the "single-digit millionaire" can't afford to access legal defense in America. Thiel was courageous enough to challenge the idea that a million dollars is not a lot of money and took a lot of flack for his comments. While the message may sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to many, it is worth paying attention to this and pay heed. 

As I graduated college from McNeese State University in the 1980's, becoming a millionaire was an almost iconic and unachievable status. By the time I was in my early 30's I had accomplished this target and quickly realized I needed to learn how to manage money, not just make it.

Millionaire Reality

Upon doing some simple math I realized a million dollars wouldn’t go very far, even back then.Fast forward to today and a million dollars isn't even enough money to allow a normal person to retire comfortably.



Now before you decide I am just another arrogant, greedy, ungrateful elitist, do some basic math and you will realize what I did. If you retire today at 65 with $1 million in cash (after taxes) and no new income from any source, you would have to live off of $40,000 a year (3,250 per month) for the next 25 years before you ran out of money.


Consider that assisted living can cost up to $76,000 a year and those twenty-five years are cut to twelve, which means you are just about broke at 77. And all this assumes no inflation or critical life events; lawsuit, divorce, college for the kids, or heaven forbid even more serious situations like cancer, a car accident, a family member in trouble, death of the breadwinner, economic downturn, or loss of a job.

UBS did a poll of millionaires of which 67% polled said the whole point of building wealth was achieving financial security, where no single setback could plunge a family destitute. While consumption items like cars and trips are nice, they are not the main driver for creating wealth—freedom from worry is.

To put everything into perspective, consider that many Americans live paycheck to paycheck and millions of Americans don't have any money set aside for an emergency. Something is clearly wrong with how people are thinking, acting and planning their money.

I know the idea that "a million dollars isn't enough to retire on" is hard to swallow, but your opinion doesn’t change the reality—a million dollars is simply not what it used to be. I know first hand how fast an emergency can devastate a household.
My dad died in the peak earning years of his life from heart disease.My mother immediately had to sell the house and manage five kids through college on the death benefits provided by insurance. I watched my mother live in fearevery day not knowing how long the money would last.

My Decision

I made a decision at that time I would get myself into a financial position where I never have to fear an economic setback like this again. When financial planners said you need three months of savings, I figured I needed thirty months.

A recent CNBC article on wealth suggested $5 million is the old $1 million. I would suggest you make it $10,000,000 because Inflation continues to eat at the value of what money can purchase and your money earns almost nothing at the bank.
Trillions of dollars are sitting in banks today earning .0012%. That means a million dollars at the bank earns $1200 a year. I was earning 10% at the bank at the age of 33 and my money doubled every seven years.It would take you hundreds and hundreds of years to double your money at today’s rates.

For those who want to create Multi-Million Dollar wealth, try these 5 simple steps:

  1. Trade your $1 million target in for a $10 million net worth target. 
  2. Avoid all showoff purchases (consummation) until you hit $10 the million target (includes homes, fancy cars, watches, etc).
  3. Get income levels to where you can save 40% of your gross income (before taxes). 
  4. Invest surplus cash in illiquid assets that produce additional flows of income. Invest for cash flow with the potential of appreciation long term and never invest where you could lose your capital.
  5. Repeat this cycle until you have investments producing passive income equal or exceeding your main flow of income.
Once you accomplish #5 and have $10,000,000 in net worth with money coming in from multiple flows of income that are not dependent upon your time and energy, you will be in a situation to weather almost all events.

Be Great,

P.S. If you're ready to commit to your future wealth, reserve your spot to the 10XGrowthCon 3. This will be over 35,000 entrepreneurs gathered for 3 days—you won't want to miss the networking, much less the great content that will be given!  


Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author, the #1 sales trainer in the world, and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, social media, and finance. His 5 privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Forbes named Mr. Cardone #1 of the "25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017". Grant’s straight-shooting viewpoints on the economy, the middle class, and business have made him a valuable resource for media seeking commentary and insights on real topics that matter. He regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, and MSNBC, and writes for Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider,, and the Huffington Post. He urges his followers and clients to make success their duty, responsibility, and obligation. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife and two daughters.

Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone

3 Responses


July 19, 2018

Thanks Uncle GC for sharing. Money is garbage and it is not king. The King is CASHFLOW 😎

Elizabeth Iblakong
Elizabeth Iblakong

June 23, 2018

Thanks Uncle G for sharing. I learn more from here and will put into practice. I know saving money in the bank does not add value, it rather depreciates. Right now I have three streams of income. I will grow it to ten in the next five years God willing.


June 21, 2018


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