Pi in the Sky? How You Can Get to $3.14 Million in Retirement Savings

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March 14 is affectionately known as “Pi Day,” as the date 3/14 calls to mind the irrational number Pi that is often shortened to simply 3.14. In honor of Pi Day, what if instead of calculating Pi by dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter, you instead calculated how it would be possible to get to $3.14 million in retirement savings? While it might take some doing, you may be surprised to learn that hitting that lofty goal is not out of the realm of possibility. Here are some of the ways you may be able to reach it.

Find Out: The 5 Fastest Ways To Become Rich, According To Experts
Tips: 6 Ways To Start Building Generational Wealth for Your Family

The Stock Market

When used as a long-term investment rather than a short-term trading opportunity, the stock market has proven to be a great creator of wealth. With long-term returns of about 10% annually, investors who have stayed the course over time have seen their money double just about every seven years. If you were to start investing at age 20, this would mean your money could have doubled six times by the time you reach 62. If you were fortunate enough to start investing at age 20 with $50,000 — perhaps from an inheritance, insurance payout or other windfall — six doubles would amount to $3.2 million after 42 years, just eclipsing the $3.14 million goal. 

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But there are many other ways to get there by investing in the stock market. Let’s say you start at age 20 with a more modest $5,000, perhaps your savings from working summer jobs. If you earn 10% annually and add just $365 per month to your investments, you’ll end up with $3.15 million by age 62, just over the goal of $3.14 million.

Read More: Here’s How Much You Need To Earn To Be ‘Rich’ in Every State

Real Estate

Although the stock market is a great generator of wealth, so too is real estate. In fact, for most Americans, real estate is their largest single investment, typically in the form of a principal residence. But there are more ways to create wealth in the real estate markets beyond simply buying a home. One popular method is generating passive income through owning rental properties. 

Looking at your investments through an income lens rather than a growth lens can yield some surprising results. Let’s imagine you want to save $3.14 million by retirement in order to live off that income. Investing relatively conservatively and generating a 3% income stream will result in annual payments of $94,200, which is more than generous by many Americans’ standards. But if you want to reach that level of income, you don’t need the growth of the stock market to get there. If you start to invest in rental properties at a young age, your renters will pay off your mortgage over time, possibly in 30 years. That would mean by age 52 you’d own a portfolio of rental properties free and clear, with the monthly cash flow going right to your bottom line. 

Retire Comfortably

To earn $94,200 per year, you’d need to clear $7,850 per month in rental income. Once your properties are paid off, that’s not a hard number to attain, as even modest lodgings can generate $1,000 to $2,000 per month in income, and premier properties can garner double or even triple that amount. The bottom line is that if you start early and choose the right properties, your rental portfolio can sustain you throughout your retirement — with likely capital appreciation to boot.


While real estate and the stock market are time-proven ways of accumulating wealth, a number of millionaires have been minted in record time by investing in cryptocurrency. With coins like Shiba Inu up an unfathomable 49 million percent in 2021 alone, speculators have flocked to crypto in an effort to get rich quick, and some have succeeded. If you had been fortunate enough to sink just $10 into Shiba Inu at the start of 2021, you could have ended up with a whopping $4.9 million fortune just by the end of the year. 

While those are certainly mouth-watering returns, bear in mind that cryptocurrency in general remains a complete speculation. Although crypto offers the potential for large short-term gains, it’s not much of a long-term investment plan. The stock market represents ownership in real, physical companies that generate revenues and earnings, and real estate is tangible property that will always be in demand, as people will always need places to live and work. But cryptocurrency is currently backed only by hopes, dreams and promises. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to generate sizable returns, but it does mean that it should remain in the speculative portion of your portion of your portfolio, rather than in the core.

Retire Comfortably

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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