'How I saved $1 million'

Five 401(k) millionaires share their secrets to reaching their first million in retirement savings.

Start young

401k millionaires donohue
The Donahues both started saving for retirement when they were in their 20s.
  • Name: Chis and Laurie Donahue
  • Age: 55
  • City: Naperville, Ill.
  • Saved: More than $2 million (together)

After decades of saving, Chris and Laurie Donahue have both accumulated million-dollar nest eggs.

Each started saving as soon as they began collecting a regular paycheck in their 20s."We've been at this for 33 years and have never stopped investing, even when the markets go crazy," he said.

Donahue, who works in the tech industry, said he was putting away more than 10% of his earnings when he was earning around $22,500 a year in 1981. Now, he earns six-figures, making it much easier to set aside that kind of money.

Related: Will you have enough to retire?

This year, both will make the maximum allowed 401(k) contribution (for their age) of $23,000, which represents between 11% and 15% of their salaries.

"It's hidden money," he said. "It may not show up in your check every month. But you'll need it eventually."

  @melhicken - Last updated November 11 2013 10:29 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Retirement
401k millionaires

You don't have to make millions to become a 401(k) millionaire. Here's what successful savers have done to make it to the million-dollar mark.

Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.