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How I went to the USA and through 20 years became a millionaire

Anyone can become a millionaire in the USA. User LJ from Miami under a nickname Skysheep told in his blog how he managed to make a decent fortune in America. Next - his story in the first person.

Фото: Depositphotos

Almost 20 years ago, I landed at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. I had a half-empty suitcase with clothes and $ 300 dollars with me.

One of the first complications I encountered was telephone booths. They wanted 25 cents from me. I had to call the people who were meeting me and inform them that I flew and what time my next plane was arriving. And I had only 3 bills of one hundred dollars with me, and for some reason no one wanted to exchange $ 100 for coins of 25 cents. One airport worker who looked like a janitor just gave me 4 coins. True, the phone simply swallowed them and did not connect me. I had to ask this man for a few more coins. Later I found out that the phrase I used (“Do you have any change?”) Is a standard phrase of beggars who ask for money for a drink. When I got through, I got an answer from the answering machine. In principle, I knew that they exist in nature, but I had never left a message on an answering machine before.

Then I had to go to another La Guardia airport, from where I had a plane to another city. I had no special connections in the USA, just a friend of my aunt lived in the USA in Tennessee, and he contacted the local church, which agreed to help me at first. I successfully boarded a bus that drove me through the picturesque areas of Brooklyn and Queens, written graffiti.

The second difficulty I encountered was the size of La Guardia airport. It turns out you need to go not just to the airport, but you need to know which terminal you need. After long ordeals, I still found my terminal and got on my almost direct plane to the city of Knoxville. Later I learned that there are several Knoxville in these cities in the USA, but then it did not occur to me that Americans could call cities in different parts of the country by the same name. I was lucky that I bought a ticket in the state I needed.

At that time, those who met at the airports were allowed to go straight to the exit of the plane, and during the exit I was met by a delegation from the church with balloons and flowers. The first time I lived with the pastor of this church, then with one of the parishioners, who lived alone in a house with six bedrooms. They helped me a lot at first - they took me to interviews, helped me get a social security number, sometimes they gave me a lift to work, gave me furniture and kitchen utensils.

I found my first job two weeks later. There was a restaurant not far from the pastor's house. I stopped by and asked if they were hiring people. They asked "Do you speak English?" and I answered “of corse”. They told me to come in the evening in black trousers and a black T-shirt. I only had one black jersey with an AC / DC graphic on it. I put it on, but for some reason the restaurant manager really didn't like this shirt. She ended up giving me the restaurant's signature jersey and said she would deduct $ 30 from my first paycheck.

Фото: Depositphotos

I worked like a busboy, carrying all sorts of tables, trays, dishes, and other weights back and forth. I was making $ 6,50 an hour and even earned my first tip in the first week when one of the waiters shared a dollar tip with me and joked “don't deny yourself anything!”. The work, of course, was very hard, and after the first few days I felt completely exhausted, my legs and back ached after a 12-hour day. But I made $ 270 in my first week of work, which was about the same as I earned in a month in Moscow. Another plus was that you could order yourself one portion of any dish during your work shift. Since the portions there were huge, it was enough for me all day, and I didn't have to buy food.

Then I went to work in a bar. There were more tips and you could sell cigarettes and cigars. In general, I did not complain about life. Rented his first apartment - a studio for $ 225 a month. I didn't have a car, but I lived close to work.

Then I went to study at the community college, while continuing to work at the bar at the same time. As it turned out, in these colleges there are no entrance exams. Take there everyone who wants to learn. Since I was poor by American standards, I also received grants (Pell Grants) for training. With tuition fees of $ 500 per semester, I received about $ 2000 grants. With this money, I bought my first car for $ 800 dollars. After 3 of the month, I broke it.

I continued to study, changed jobs many times, moved, continued to study and work.

Well, about the main thing - how I became a millionaire in the USA. It turned out that becoming a millionaire in the United States is quite easy. You just have to come at a young age, get a good, demanded education, work in your specialty, receive money, spend less than you earn, save and invest your savings, and just wait 20 years. And suddenly you find yourself a millionaire!

Here is the history of my salary over the past 20 years, which I took from the Social Security website. Once a year, they send me an e-mail message so that I can check the correctness of the salary, on the basis of which they will later calculate the pension. As it turned out, making money in the US is relatively easy for those who like to learn and are not afraid of work.

Of course, I know that you can make money in other countries as well. Only in Russia, for some reason, having an education and working in a specialty is not at all a guarantee of a normal income. In Russia, it is quite easy to work as a doctor or engineer and not even have the money to rent a modest apartment, not to mention things like retirement savings. For some reason, in Russia it mostly depends on luck (and connections), but in the USA it mostly depends on your efforts, and luck and connections are much less important. For some reason, of all my classmates in Russia, only those who work in the government or law enforcement agencies live well. And the rest, in my opinion, do not live, but simply exist - they save up for TV or a trip to Turkey, constantly dream of some kind of car and save money for it, go to the dacha for 8 years in a row and build it with their own hands (maybe to pension and will be completed). Have an accident and cannot replace the car, since there is no CASCO, and the other driver does not have enough insurance coverage.

True, in addition to making money, we must also save them. To do this, keep costs below revenues. This is not possible for everyone, as there is an unlimited amount of opportunities to spend money in the USA. Almost all companies have retirement plans, where they can save a part of their salary, before taxes, and the company adds its money. This is a great way to save money, as it reduces taxes and allows you to simply get extra money from the company. Also, many companies pay for training their employees. I thus received over 50 thousands of dollars in training.

Here is a plate with assets. Some old numbers, of course, are approximate, because I can't remember exactly how much I had in my account in 1996. But the order of the numbers is as follows. In the real estate column, I have included the value of the property minus the mortgage. Real estate turned out to be the most profitable investment for me, although between 2007 and 2010 it dropped quite a lot in value. I have already bought three properties - I live in one and rent two. Retirement savings is money in retirement accounts (IRA, 401K). I try to save there as much as possible and invest in a diversified portfolio of securities. Sometimes my investments fall (-22% in 2008) and sometimes they rise (+ 24% in 2013). But in general, they have grown pretty well. Other investments are everything else that does not lie in retirement accounts. The rest includes the cost of the car and cash in the bank account. I have no debts, except for a mortgage.

So, how to become a millionaire in the United States:

1. Highly paid specialty (easier with education)

2. Low costs

3. Invest in real estate and other things.

4. Wait a bit.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Why people are returning home: four unsuccessful emigration stories

Why did I win the green card, but two months later I returned home

Personal experience: how to find first job in the USA

Ignat's third funeral: the life and death of an illegal from Uzbekistan in New York

Two Russians created a service in the USA for which developers are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars

Immigrant from Belarus - about life in Los Angeles, queues at clinics and the language barrier

Miscellaneous Our people Our in the USA

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