How much do you need to retire? My colleagues and I recently discussed retirement, and the consensus was that  $1 million is the magic number to secure a comfortable post-work life. Intrigued, we decided to crunch the numbers and strategise how to reach this magic number. As it turns out, there are ways to achieve this financial feat, especially if you start early because the longer you wait, the harder it gets.

And let’s not sugarcoat it: a million dollars is a lot of money. So, how do you achieve this number if you don’t come from wealth or have a hedge fund-running father to gift you a high six-figure job? Well, we’ve done the maths to unravel how much you need to stash away to hit a comfortable $1 million by retirement. 

How to Save for Retirement? 

When it comes to saving for retirement, opting for investments over a traditional savings account might be the key. Historically, the stock market has boasted an average annual growth rate of 7%, while high-interest savings accounts tend to yield a modest 3%. Using our $1 million benchmark, you could get there if you consistently contribute 10-20% of your salary into a retirement account on Risevest each year.

This calculation is based on a 35-year investment horizon, as it is the timeframe for individuals in their early 30s. Additionally, based on my conversation with my colleague, I assumed an average salary of $500 monthly. The chart below reveals that by investing 20% of their salary every month, they’d retire with $1,006,917 — $6k ahead of the target.

How much do I need to retire? Here is how to hit your $1 million retirement goal with a monthly income of $500

It is worth noting that this chart accounts for inflation.

Now, what if you’re not in your 30s or you don’t earn as much as a $500 salary, can you still reach $1 million? The answer largely depends on time. If you’re 25, compounding returns work in your favour. Contributing 20% of your earnings annually over the next 40 years should catapult you to the desired $1 million by the time you hit 65. However, procrastination can turn your goal into a much more ambitious venture with each passing year.

How much do I need to retire? Here is how to hit your $1 million retirement goal with a monthly income of $400

The takeaway here is the importance of early investing. The money you invest now will accumulate more over time than later funds. If retirement savings appear daunting due to time or financial constraints, remember that the amount you need hinges on your expected expenses. To get a clearer picture of your financial investment and determine a more accurate savings goal, go to the Risevest website.

What to note 

If you live in Nigeria, there will always be a reason not to invest– from not making enough, to market downturns, currency devaluation, and even black tax. The list goes on. But the benefits of investing always outweigh your current excuses. Hence, you should treat investment like a monthly expense and focus on investing consistently for a long time. 

Ignore the short-term market fluctuations and pretend the money you invest no longer exists. Do not break it for your expenses unless it is the absolute last resort. The beauty of investments is that small amounts compound over time into huge fortunes if you don’t interrupt the process. So, stop thinking in the short term and invest for the long haul. Go to to start.