The Gilliganaire Next Door
By David Futrelle

(MONEY Magazine) – Seems Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III have some new neighbors: A survey by Merrill Lynch and consultancy Capgemini finds that the number of millionaires in the U.S. jumped a staggering 14% last year. That means one out of every 128 Americans can claim membership in the millionaire's club. We'd better hope that the club gets a lot less exclusive still. Why's that? Well, with pensions little more than a memory to many workers and Social Security something less than secure, a lot of Gilligans will need at least a million to retire in any kind of style. Consider: A 40-year-old currently earning $50,000 a year who hopes to retire at 65 without drastically lowering his standard of living will need more than a million bucks to pull it off. Granted, that figure includes 25 years of 3% inflation (in current dollars the figure is half that), but it's enough to make you think about downsizing that Carnival cruise you're planning to a three-hour tour. --DAVID FUTRELLE