Becoming a millionaire just by working 9 to 5?

savingsmillionaireCan we become a millionaire by just working 9 to 5? I smiled when a friend told me that someone showed him a new book by a famous personality Mark Chua. I told him that any book by someone who is already doing it is worth buying, reading and learning. Aside to his question of someone becoming a millionaire only by working 9 to 5, it’s possible. This can happen as long as the person saved every month without fail. He saves more as his salary goes up over the years and he does not simply indulge in anything and everything just to ‘reward’ himself all the time. Based on, it is possible to be a millionaire without trying to build our wealth further through investments. We need to just save. Assumptions: We start work at 24 and retires at 60. The interest rate on average remains at 4 percent. In the 35 years we work, as long as we are able to save an average of RM1,091 per month, we will retire a millionaire. Note, this is is JUST our savings. It does not include EPF savings.
Yes, I do note that these days the living costs are rising. Well, how about eating cheaper? Eating cheaper is still possible, depends on us actually  As a fresh graduate, it’s not possible to save RM1,091per month. We can however work hard so that by 30 we are a manager and by 40, we are already a senior manager. By 50, hopefully we are in the management category. Career is very important lah.  Well, when we really look at reality of a good career, RM1,091 as an average is definitely considered conservative because if we are earning RM20,000 per month, how can we still save just RM1,091 per month? The question most of us should answer would be, how do I climb the corporate ladder faster? This is needed, if we intend to just save, save and save to become a millionaire by the time we retire.
epf-savingsIt’s clear that we can save lesser per month and still become a millionaire because we still have EPF savings to fall back to. Have we ever wondered how much our EPF savings may be by the time we retire? Well,using the same assumptions of starting at the age of 24 and retiring at the age of 60. We also assume a dividend rate of 4 percent, similar to the rate of FD today. I assume we are able to start at RM2,500 pay. Increment of 5% per year. This is conservative because when we receive promotions, the increments tend to be higher. I also assume the bonus as just 1 month. Seriously, if our company is not able to pay even one month bonus and yet we could not find another company which can give us one month bonus or higher, the fault is with us and not the company. Remember, we can complain to everyone about our company but if it’s really not worth staying, then we should be leaving and not staying around and continue complaining. Does not help our goal to become a millionaire. Look at the calculations in the EPF’s website. (image). As long as we do not do anything stupid, we already have RM648k on the day we retire. We can save even lesser than RM1,091per month. My recommendation is still to maintain the same amount of savings so that we have both.
housepriceLast but not least, we come to what if we bought our first property after working for 6 years. First property when we reach 30. Mortgage instalments are stretched to 30 years. (Can be more but let’s just use 30). Assuming our first property is only RM400,000 (affordable category). Assuming the typical property price increments per year is just 3 percent. Let’s use Referring to the image of the calculation would show us that actually by the time we retire at the age of 60 and having fully paid for the home, the property should be worth close to RM1,000,000. With just one property and having fully paid for it, we can sell it when we retire and become a millionaire too. By then, we may live to 85. So, that’s 25 years after we retire. When we sell the home by then, the calculation is as follows: RM970,000 / 25 years / 12 months = RM3,233 per month. Actual amount is higher because we can always put RM70,000 into our savings account for our daily use and the remaining RM900,000 into Fixed Deposit. RM900,000 would still yield us RM36,000 every year based on 4 percent interest rate.
Sometimes, we just fail to reach our potential because we did not bother to try. 20 years ago, there were hardly any Malaysian writing investment books for us to read, learn and practise. No one looks at property as a form of investment. In fact, the internet has barely started and there are definitely no property related sites to help give us more guidance. Today, we have everything. The only issue is also we have so many things that we could buy for our enjoyment. Haha. So, I guess the question of whether can we become a millionaire by working 9 to 5 should be answered by this. “Are we prepared to make some sacrifices.” Happy deciding and working 9 to 5.
written on 22 Jan 2017
Next suggested article:  EPF alone is definitely not enough, BEWARE


  1. Mark Chua avatar
    Mark Chua

    Hi Charles,
    Interesting article, however I’d just like to clarify on a few aspects.
    I could be wrong, but the article seems to imply that being “rich” working a 9 to 5 job is about saving, saving, and saving.
    I humbly disagree as that point seems to come across overwhelming strong. That’s not why the book resonates well with most people. I tend to throw away conventional principles and challenge the status quo.
    Yes, savings is important. But if you have 2 individuals. One earns 3K. the other earns 30K. Both save 30% of their salary. Don’t you think the 30K individual can leverage and invest a lot more efficiently?
    The book is about how to EARN a lot more and how do you climb the corporate ladder at a faster speed. It’s about how you excel in the corporate ladder AND be a decent property investor too.
    The book states this mantra – the more you earn, the more you can leverage and invest.
    In short, the book tells about my journey on how
    1. I climbed the corporate ladder fast to be a senior vice president at the age of 33.
    2. How I then invested my higher bonuses, salaries, stock options to build a sustainable property portfolio.
    PS – I am not a famous individual. I’d just like to show an alternative view about how many corporate personalities could be successful – both in their careers & investments – and it’s not just via the hard labour of savings.
    I tend to enjoy whatever little wealth I have too. Cheers and continue your inspirational writing. Perhaps one day, I could give you a complimentary copy of my book to you too.
    Take care & God bless
    Mark Chua

    1. Mark Chua avatar
      Mark Chua

      Mark Chua
      Bestselling Author,
      WHO SAYS You Can’t be Rich Working a 9 to 5 Job
      Feel free to add me –

      1. Dear readers, this is a good book to read. Especially for majority of us working people looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Cheers.

    2. Thanks for writing in Mark. I actually agree that investing is very important. In fact I think everyone should get a copy of your book. It’s a journey of a working adult becoming successful through investment. Just saving alone is risky la. Inflation may eat up the savings faster. All the best. Thanks in advance for the book yea.

      1. So hard sell meh?
        I know you will be giving a free book.

  2. Inspiring! I just happen to read this post and the intemperance to give my two cents worth.
    First to be able to earn a high income would mean giving your all to the organisation you work for. Beside hardwork, other factors must be manifested including have a right chemistry with your bosses. With the high salary, saving and spending much less than you earn, road to be a millionaire can be achieved. Because of your extreme dedication, you may not find time to invest. Those in Govt service will be deterred from moonlighting or investing other than property. It is work hard and save hard. Probably you may make it. Unless you are talented and well ahead of most of your peers, this is quite a tough road. You actually trade your time and talent for money( salary).
    Another route,in my opinion, is save and invest route. As you save to accumulate wealth, you invest as well. When time, knowledge and resources are adequate, run your own business. Be your own boss, it is retrenchment-proof. Robert Kiyosaki advocates this route in his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. There is also a higher probability of being a multi-millionaire as against merely a millionaire.

    1. Thanks for the comments Fred. Save n invest route. I think this is the better route. Cheers.

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