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Published on: 08/16/2017

How to Plan a $1 Million Retirement on a Minimum-Wage Salary

A couple of summers ago the online news brought the wonderful story of a Brattleboro, Vt., janitor and gas-station attendant named Ronald Read, who died in 2014 at age 92, having quietly saved $8 million (here’s how). When the will was finally probated, neighbors learned that the unassuming man driving to the store in his second-hand Yaris had left $6 million to his local library and hospital.

When you’re making minimum wage, the concept of stashing away $1 million (much less way more) for retirement might seem like a pipe dream. After all, the federal minimum-wage rate has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009. Over the course of a 40-hour workweek, a minimum-wage earner is only bringing in $290 – just over $15,000 a year. (For more, see Can a Family Survive on the U.S. Minimum Wage?)

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