First Person: My Goal Is to Become a 'New Millionaire' by Age 50

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I often read about the "secrets" to becoming a millionaire or how to have a special "millionaire mindset." But, in my opinion, becoming a millionaire is part of becoming a grown-up.

I'm not talking about inheriting money. In fact, few millionaires get there by inheriting money or winning the lottery.

Grown-ups learn how to survive and care for their children. Making money shouldn't be such a mystery for anyone who has walked on this earth for more than 40 years.

According to an article by MarketWatch, the Spectrem Group of Chicago's latest annual report of American millionaires shows there were about 200,000 new millionaires last year. That brings the grand total now to 8.6 million. At the 2006 peak of the financial markets, there were 9.5 million millionaires.

Although I do believe some of the millionaire secrets I've read about in books such as "Millionaire Next Door," I don't believe all the so-called secrets to wealth.

Making money doing what you love

Although I agree it's important to earn money in a way that makes you happy, most people don't love what they do for a living all the time. Work is sometimes work.

It's more important to have a steady flow of income and to live below one's means.

Being educated about money only helps

According to writer Paul Farrell, getting rich isn't about being immersed in your own personal finances. He says author Ric Edelman researched thousands of millionaires for "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth," and found out that millionaires only spend an average of six minutes a day on their personal finances. It seems foolish to me to let someone else handle my finances. The average person can save and invest over time without having to rely on professional stock brokers.

Finding the real you

Another gem listed by Farrell to help people realize their dream of becoming a millionaire is to find the "real you." If I'm not the real me already; then who am I? Getting together with a "career counselor" or personal coach doesn't sound much different than meeting with the high school guidance counselor. I know successful people with graduate degrees who were once told they weren't smart enough to go to college. I don't need to figure out my "type" to become a millionaire.

Seeing yourself as a millionaire

Some experts say it's all about seeing your "future self" as a millionaire. I agree. Most people have the talent, resources and intellectual capabilities to become wealthy. They just need discipline and time. But they also need to believe that it's OK to have money. I think you have to be able to picture yourself rich.

I expect to become a half millionaire by age 50. That means I'll have $500,000 in my investment accounts. That will provide me with flexibility, freedom and more choices.

When it comes down to it, most authors of "get rich" books want to inspire. They know people want to dream.

For me, though, acquiring a million dollars or my half a million by age 50, is simple. I'm not inspired every day, but I try every day. Wealth comes from daily disciplines and that occasional stroke of good luck.

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More from this contributor:

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