If your current income is less than desirable, have no fear—financial advisor David Bach writes in his book Smart Couples Finish Rich: "You don't need to have money to make money. You just need to make the right decisions — and act on them." To illustrate his savings model, he built a chart showing exactly how much you'd need to save daily, weekly, or monthly (depending on age) to retire with a comfortable savings of $1 million. Not every lifestyle requires $1 million, of course, but this retirement salary would allow you an approximate yearly salary of $40,000 over 30 years.
If the idea of setting up a 401(k) plan or an IRA is making you want to bury your head in the sand, here's some tangible encouragement: if you're 20 years old, you would only need to invest $2.00 a day into your 401(k) to reach $1 million by age 65. If you're 25, you'd need to save $3.57 a day (goodbye, daily latte). However, if you're a little late to the savings game, you'll need to save $20.55 a day at 40 years old, and $156.12 a day at 55 years old to meet a savings goal of $1 million. While Bach's calculations show the impact of building wealth over time, it's important to note that they rely on a 12 percent rate of return (fairly lofty), and he isn't taking the effects of taxes into account.