Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings

Having a job? You can make it to the top 5%

There are 100 people at 65 years old:
One will be rich.
Four will be financially independent.
Five will be working.
Thirty six will be dead.
Fifty four will be dependent.


Let’s suppose that most men and women start working at 25 and retire by 65.
How much money do you suppose an average man earn in 40 years?
According to CNBC( ), this figure would be over $1.6 million. This is a substantial amount. This is a fortune.

Earl Nightingale in his popular audio program “Top 5%” talks about a research. There are 100 men and women at 25 starting out equally in America, the richest country on earth. Each has as much opportunity as the rest. By the time they are 65 years old:

  1. One will be rich.
  2. Four will be financially independent.
  3. Five will be working.
  4. Thirty six will be dead.
  5. Fifty four will be dependent.

Earl’s tape was in 1960s. However, the stats holds even in this present time. Only 5% are financially independent. This is the top 5% that we all want to belong to.

So according to CNBC above, most people will earn at least $1.6 million ($40K per year * 40 years) by the time they are 65 if they started working at 25. Only 5% makes the grade. 95% are either dead or don’t become financially independent. As I wrote in the article “Making 6 figure? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank“, the survey by GoBankRates year after year still points out that many Americans who make 6 figures have less than $1000 in the bank. So where does the money all go? What’s the problem?

If you practice karate 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 40 years, you will agree that you will be an accomplished martial artist. I use Karate in this example as I practiced Musokai Karate for over 10 years. I realized the difference between an accomplished karate master and the rest is how much time they put into practicing persistently. My Shihan Arakaki is a living example of an accomplished Karate master through hard work and persistence.

If you practice anything (piano, acting, investing, programming, …anything) 8 hour a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks ago, for 40 years, you can become an expert. 

In the above research, the fifty four men and women out of 100 who arrive at age 65 without having become financially independent in the richest land in the world have worked in the economy for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks ago, for 40 years and have not figured out how to be financially independent for the remaining years of their life. 

The experts say that only 5% make the grade because that is the group that does not conform. They do not follow the crowd. 

Conformity is to act like everybody else. And by acting like everyone else, the odd is that 95 to 5 that we will miss the boat of becoming financially independent.

Why do people conform?

The reason to conform is simply because it is an easy thing to do. We have been taught to conform. From the time we were born through school, we were told what to do. We don’t want to be different as being different is ridiculed by others. We want to be liked and to belong to the group. We spent at least 18 years learning to conform.

Out of school, suddenly we find ourselves to be on our own for the first time. We get a job. The most natural thing for us to do as we have been trained to conform is to look around and see how other fellows are doing their jobs. Since we have always been told what to do, why should we start thinking for ourselves? Thinking for ourselves is much hard than to conform.

By starting at 25 and retiring at 65, you know that people have 40 years to become great at their craft. However, 95 percent won’t do it. The reason is because they do like everyone else, they follow the crowd.

Everyone has a choice. You can choose to follow the crowd to be like everyone else or to join the top 5%. The choice is yours.

If you don’t want to conform, you must think now before it’s too late.

If you decide to join the top 5%, let’s continue. If not, reading more will waste your time.

There are only two steps when it comes to financial independence. And anyone can do these two steps:

  1. One’s attitude toward their work.
  2. The money one can save.

First, no matter what your present job is, it contains many hidden opportunities. Take a moment in quietness, ask yourself those questions, and silently write down the answers:

  1. How can you become an expert in your present industry?
  2. Do you know your job and your industry like a doctor knows about medicine?
  3. What will your job be like in 5 years? Can you do it the same now?
  4. What are some ways that have not been done before to improve your job?

No matter what your job is, it contains the key to greatness. Look for it until you find it.

Second, your financial success has nothing to do with the money you earn but only with the money you save. Unless you save 10% or more of what you earn, you are doing yourself a disservice. Following those steps consistently and you will know the power of saving as well as enjoy your life, especially the later part when you need it most.

  1. First, save one-tenth of what you earn and dont touch it.
  2. Second, for every dollar you save, make it work for you. Make your savings your slaves. Make their children your slaves also.
  3. Third, control your expenditure so that you never have to tap into your saving. Better yet, slash your expense so that you may have some extra dollars to put into your saving. Remember #2, your saving will work for you along with its children, grandchildren,
  4. Fourth, guard your capital. Remember that getting rich is not a quick venture. You must be patient and not jump into any venture that causes you to lose your saving.
  5. Fifth, be disciplined and remember step #4. Warren Buffett follows this principle by saying “the first rule of investing is to not lose money. The second rule is to never forget rule #1”.

For detailed explanation, you can read more at: Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.

Don’t follow the crowd. Start thinking for yourself now. Look for the key to greatness in your job. Start saving and put your saving to work.

Remember that 95% won’t do it. You want to be financially independent. You want to join the top 5%. And you can.

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About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.
If you are curious about the above method and how you can apply it to your life successfully, open your email and send me an inquiry at



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