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Kevin O’Leary: This is the age when you should have at least $100,000 saved

Jade Scipioni
Published Wed, Aug 14 2019  12:26 PM EDT

Although “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary says he doesn’t like to “peg a number” to certain financial milestones, he does believe there is a point in one’s life where they should have at least six figures saved.

“By the time you hit 33 years old, you should have $100,000 saved somewhere. Make that your goal. Thirty-three [and] $100,000,” O’Leary tells CNBC Make It.

Why 33? O’Leary says it’s the “tipping point” in a person’s life when they have to focus on saving money and if they don’t, they fall “behind the eight-ball.”

While he admits that amount may sound “impossible” to most Americans — research has shown that a majority (57% of Americans, according to 2018 data) don’t even have $1,000 saved — he says anyone can do it if you start saving early enough.

“I’ll tell you how: You save 20% of your paycheck and you let the market grow at 5% to 7% a year [and] you can get to a $100,000,” O’Leary says.

For example, if you’re 22 and making a median salary of $48,400 (for new graduates), and you start saving 20% per paycheck, that amounts to $9,680 a year. Even if you keep the same salary and assume no interest, saving that amount for 11 years gets you $106,480 by the age of 33. By investing the same money, and assuming O’Leary’s 5% growth, that gives you $144,397 in the same amount of time. (The S&P 500 Index has averaged annual returns of approximately 10% since its inception in 1926.)

“You have to start in your 20s. You just have to, because you want to end up in your 60s with a boatload of cash sitting in investments, so you can kick back and relax a little bit,” O’Leary says.

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Although most people here probably have similar targets, such save 'x' by 'y' age goals are not for everyone.

It is the same kind of thing as, 'you should 2 have kids before 35.' Or you 'should upgrade to a condo by 45.' Such expectations create unnecessary pressure for yourself.

It is just one out of the numerous goals that one can choose to be engaged in.
He can try telling to those who are earning minimum wages.