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'How I saved $1 million'

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

Automate your savings

401k millionaires claudio barbosa
Barbosa came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1986 without any savings.
  • Name: Claudio Barbosa
  • Age: 50
  • City: New York, N.Y.
  • Saved: $1.1 million

Claudio Barbosa hit his goal of saving more than $1 million in January.

The savings success was particularly rewarding given the fact that when he moved to the United States from the Philippines in 1986, he had no savings.

His secret: automating his savings routine.

Early in his career, he contributed 10% of his salary to the company 401(k) plan. When he started making around $60,000 a year in the mid 90s, he upped his contribution to the maximum.

Now, earning about $175,000 a year through one full-time and three part-time accounting jobs, Barbosa will contribute the federal maximum to his 401(k) this year. On top of that, he has around $2,500 automatically deducted from his bank account each month to go into an Individual Retirement Account and other investment accounts.

"The trick is that you condition yourself: I'm only getting paid (X dollars) a month, and you have to live with this," he said.

  @melhicken - Last updated November 11 2013 10:29 PM ET

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