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Everyone Is Born a Millionaire…And Then They Just Waste It Away…

I firmly believe that nearly everyone is born a millionaire. Your native language, ethnicity, heritage, the demographic you live in – I don’t care…It doesn’t matter. When you were born, you were given the mind, body, and soul to take on a job, complete it, and get paid for the work you accomplished. In today’s day and age, nearly anyone can earn $30,000 (college degree or not), which means that everyone is born a millionaire. In fact, to be even more accurate, nearly everyone is born a DECA-MILLIONAIRE…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

Everyone Is Born a Millionaire…And Then They Waste It Away

In a world filled with poverty, struggle, and continual hardships for many, how is it that I have the gall to proclaim that everyone is born a millionaire? I mean, according to The World Bank, 10.7% of the world’s population is considered to be in extreme poverty – many of whom earn less than $1.90 a day. Surely not one of these people is born a millionaire, right?


Everyone is born a millionaire…It’s just a matter of how you view the whole process.

born a millionaire

The World Has Improved Dramatically

First of all, the world today is much different (and, in fact, more improved) than the world of just 30 years ago. In 1990, 35% of the world (1.8 billion people) was living in extreme poverty. The East and Asia Pacific led the way with nearly 1 billion of those people, and today they only make up 71 million – quite a huge change from just a generation ago.

So what happened? 

How is it that our world has changed so dramatically over such a short period of time?

It’s quite simple actually. The playing field has gotten more and more level with each passing year.

The World is Flat

Early in my college years, all the students were required to read the book, “The World is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman. This book, written in 2005, was sort of a public service announcement to anyone that would listen. With plane travel, improved telecommunications, and most importantly, the internet, our world was becoming more easily traveled than ever (and therefore, more “flat” than it has ever been). 

With this flattening comes danger, but also opportunity.

  • People in India could perform work effectively for corporations in America.
  • The Chinese could produce product and, thanks to improved shipping options, can competitively sell it to customers all over the world.
  • And, kids living in their mother’s basements can provide online entertainment that captivates so many people, they become famous and inexplicably wealthy!

The main take-away for me was simply this:

We all are beginning to have access to the same opportunities.

  • Want to learn about starting a business? Go to the library and grab “The $100 Start-Up,” by Chris Guillebeau
  • Interested in starting your own website? Use my free resource, “Start Your Own Blog
  • Want to make money with social media using just your cell phone? Take your request to Google. There’s always amazing solutions there.

The point is, if you want to make money and become a success in life, it’s absolutely possible for you, no matter which corner of the world you live in.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In the beginning paragraph, I gave you a bit of a foreshadowing of where this post was going. Now is the time to give you the complete reveal. 

Everyone is born a millionaire…they just need to make the choice early in life

No matter where a person lives or how advanced (or not) they are in their education, as long as they put their mind toward their future success, they should be able to earn at minimum $30,000 a year (many earn much more).

And here’s the other kicker (don’t miss this). By earning at least $30,000 a year, you should be able to save (and invest) at least half of it toward retirement.


  • Claw your way through college (if you choose to go) without taking on any debt
  • Share an apartment with your friends to save money
  • Pay cash for a used car
  • Don’t have any kids (they’re expensive)
  • And if you’re going to take a vacation, take a tent and spend next to nothing.

If you follow the guidelines above from the age of 22 to 70, you’ll be worth over $12 million.

born a millionaire

Wealth is a Matter of Choice, Not Luck

In case you missed the point above, let me re-iterate it. Everyone was born with 12 million dollars. It’s the decisions they make from age 0 to age 70 that changes this optimal scenario and begins depleting your potential wealth. 

  • Do you want to go to college, but didn’t plan for the expenses?
  • Did you fall in love with a car and couldn’t say no to yourself?
  • Do you own a house, but you’re still in consumer debt? Now you’re buried with far more payments than you can handle?
  • And then you decided to have kids, take vacation, etc. etc.

After all these, your potential retirement fund…

  • Reduces to $7 million,
  • then to $4 million,
  • down to $2 million,
  • and then down in the $500,000 range…which after inflation is really only like $150,000 of today’s dollars. Hardly enough to retire on…

born a millionaire

Want to have a 12 million dollar retirement? Earn $30,000 and live under a rock. 

Want nearly nothing in retirement? Start by earning $30,000 and then continue to make expensive choices that will knock that $12 million down to a small pittance. 

Finally, what if you’d like MORE than $12 million? Or perhaps you’d like more than nothing, but you’d like a few kids, some vacations, and a nice car? Then earn more money!

The point is, everyone is born a millionaire. It’s just up to you to keep the money or spend it.

What About You? How Much of Your $12 Million Will You Keep?

Want to know if you’re just piddling away all the money you were born into?

Download this free Excel tool!

The whole calculation is really quite simple. The tool assumes that you can live on 50% of your income. If you choose to do anything above and beyond renting cheap and driving a used car, then those monthly amounts will come out of the 50% that you were set to invest. If you invest heavily early, you’re more likely to keep a larger portion of the “$12 million” (or whatever the most optimal amount is based on your income) later in life.

Play around with each of the cells. See how much you’ll likely have based on the life you want to live. 

  • If you’re left with millions of dollars, great!
  • If you scroll to the bottom and find that you’ll only have $8.43…Houston, we have a problem…

Leave a comment below and let me know what you discovered! I’m excited to learn how everyone is doing with that money they were born with!!

The True Takeaway

So what am I trying to say here? Am I telling all of you to stay single, never have kids, and just share an apartment with your buddies all your life (some of you might actually be hoping that’s what I’m saying!)? 

But no, absolutely not!

What I’m trying to teach you is intentional living. If you want to have $20 million when you die, fine. Figure out a way to do it and in theory, you’ll die living the life you wanted, and you’ll be satisfied.

But, if you simply want $5 million and you also want to have a family and pile up countless experiences with them, then calculate it all out and figure out how to get it done! You might have to earn a little more, spend a little less, and work your job for a few extra years, but you’re going to go into retirement with a HUGE smile on your face after you achieve it all.

You were born a millionaire. Will you also retire a millionaire?

Grow Rich Money

AUTHOR Derek Sall

Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.


  1. I have been looking for inspiration like this. Hopefully many people are interested and inspired ad I am

    • I sure hope so! Glad it reached at least one person. That makes it all worth it. Glad you liked it, Zacharia!

  2. I agree that is true for first worlder’s but it doesn’t fit in as well when you consider that the median per capita world wide income is less than one tenth of $30,000. I have a hard time believing that is because half the world is lazy or lacks grit.
    But it does support the idea that people in the developed world must be throwing away opportunity to not end up with real wealth when you consider how much they make.

    • Hi Steve. The $30,000 is relative, but honestly, with globalization someone in India could earn $100,000 USD a year, which might be the equivalent of $1M! If you’re alive and have the means to move to a place of opportunity, then you’re technically born a millionaire.

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