But what if you want to speed up the process and reach that milestone in the next 10 years? It could be possible, if you're willing to work for it — and put away more each month than many Americans have in a financial account, total.
Using CNN Money's millionaire calculator, CNBC Make It found how much you'd have to save each month to become a millionaire by 2028.
Assuming that you're starting with no savings and earning a six percent annual rate of return, you'd have to invest $6,000 a month to become a millionaire by July 2028.
If you already have $10,000 saved up, it won't make much difference. You'll still need to put away $6,000 a month, but you'll reach millionaire status by May of that year.
Even a full $50,000 in savings doesn't change things too much: You'd still have to put away $5,500 per month until June 2028 to become a millionaire.
These differences speak to the power of compound interest, the process by which any interest earned accrues interest on itself, and a little money invested now can amount to a lot of money later. Letting your money compound for 10 years won't create the same returns as letting it sit for 30 or 40.
Of course, saving hundreds or thousands a month is an ambitious goal. Even $6,000 a year is more than most Americans can manage. But getting into the habit of saving any amount will be great for you in the long run.
Here are a few simple, low-stress ways to start investing:
- Sign up for your employer's 401(k) plan and take full advantage of any company match, which essentially gives you free money
- Contribute to a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, an individual retirement account that offers tax breaks
- Use micro-investing apps such as Acorns, which help you begin by investing small amounts of what it calls your "spare change." The app rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically puts your coins to work
- Try other apps that aim to make investing simple
- Consider automated investing services known as robo-advisors that can help you out no matter how much you have in the bank
- Research low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffett recommends
This is an updated version of a previously published article.
- Warren Buffett and Bill Gates agree this is one of the best books out right now
- Here's how much money you need to save each month to become a millionaire in 20 years
- Here's why Warren Buffett says that he and Charlie Munger are successful
Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!