So you want to be a millionaire someday. You can use the Quicken 2012 Investment Savings Calculator to try to realize this childhood dream. Use the Calculate option buttons, which appear in the Savings Calculator dialog box. With these option buttons, you click the financial variable (Ending Savings Balance, Regular Contribution, or Starting Savings Balance) you want to calculate.

For example, to determine the annual amount you need to contribute to your investment so that your portfolio reaches $1,000,000, here’s what you do:

  1. Select the Regular Contribution option button.

  2. Select the Inflate Contributions check box.

  3. Enter all the other input variables.

    Remember to set the Ending Savings Balance text box to 1000000 (the Ending Savings Balance field becomes a text box after you select the Regular Contribution option).

    The Investment Savings Calculator computes how much you need to save annually to hit your $1,000,000 target.

Starting from scratch, it’ll take 35 years of roughly $2,800-per-year payments to reach $1,000,000.00. (All those zeros look rather nice, don’t they?) Note that this calculation assumes a 10 percent annual yield and that you adjust your contributions for inflation.


Unfortunately, the calculation is a little misleading. With 3 percent inflation, your million bucks will be worth only $355,383.59 in current-day dollars. (To confirm this present value calculation, select the Ending Savings Balance option button and then the Show In Today’s $ check box.)

It really is possible for most people to become millionaires. There are just three tricks to doing so. First, make sure that you use tax-advantaged investments like 401(k) plans and IRAs.

Second, invest this money into a very low-cost, super-diversified mutual fund like the Vanguard Target Retirement 2050 fund to make sure that, over time, your returns average out to the average.

Third, use Quicken and your computer to make smarter financial decisions — by doing this, you can rather easily free up an extra $50, $100, or even $200 per month.