75 years ago, having $100,000 in net worth was much better than being a millionaire today. You could have a palatial home, a Cadillac Limo, servants, and so on. There is no way to do that with a mere million today. Back then there were books and courses on how “save & invest” to be worth $100,000 when you retired. But today as we know, in expensive cities, $100,000 may not even buy you a spot in a parking garage.
Thus, if you are twenty now, and if you follow all the advice about saving and investing to have a million by the time you are 65, guess what? My guess is that your million 50 years hence, will maybe, get you a parking spot or a tiny condo studio in a slum. And that’s if you’re lucky. Inflation was much less in the old days than it is now.
A top surgeon or Wall Street lawyer made $25,000 to $40,000 in 50s and 60s. Add 2 or 3 zeros to that to get the equivalent pay today.
Thus, your goal should certainly not be $1 million, but rather owning a business or having a profession that makes enough so that when you retire in 45 or 55 years, you will have some serious money. If the past is any guide, probably $100 million will be needed to buy what a million buys today.