Three things you need to do to become a millionaire - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Three things you need to do to become a millionaire

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Who wants to be a millionaire? Everyone.

And the one guy who says everyone can be a millionaire is Ric Edelman.

"Millionaires are not a chosen few," he said.

Edelman is a financial planner and author. To research his best-selling books, he has interviewed thousands of millionaires and he knows their secrets.

Contrary to popular opinion, Edelman says most millionaires did not inherit their money.

"Today, most multi-millionaires have created their own wealth," he said. "It's a lifestyle choice."

Edelman says the typical millionaire makes intelligent choices. And some of the might surprise you:

-The buy used cars (They're most likely to drive a Toyota)

-The live in modest homes (usually worth less than $300,000)

-They fly coach – even if they can afford first class, or better.

"That's one of the benefits of being a millionaire, you get to choose your lifestyle," he said. "Do you want to fly private jets? Or do you want to take the bus?"

Edelman says a large number of people who've amassed seven figures in the bank make five figures on the job. Consider this: the authors of the Millionaire Next Door found just six percent of millionaires are doctors -- the group most consumers believe are inherently rich.

Edelman says ordinary people can (and do) accumulate a million dollars in wealth.

"Millionaires are just as often unassuming people. Who are living right next door to you," he said.

How do they do it? They save aggressively. How much? By some measures, 20 percent of their paycheck. And they sock away money for the entirety of their career.

A spirited cheerleader for saving, Edelman is also a fan of responsible spending. And he says that's critical to building a nest egg of $1,000,000 or more.

"Wealthy people spend less than they earn," he said.

The millionaires Edelman surveyed also avoid debt, such as credit card and car loans. The one piece of debt they nearly universally keep is a home mortgage.

"It's not hard to become a millionaire," Edelman said. "It's remarkably simple and easy. Wall Street just tries to make it look hard."

He boils the millionaire's secret recipe down to three tips:

"As long you don't go into debt; as long as you save; as long as you keep saving, that's how you'll become a millionaire," he said.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: Chris Chmura saves aggressively, lives in a home worth less than $300,000, and drives a used Toyota. But he is not a millionaire…yet.)

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