Can you build a $1 million nest egg from scratch at age 50?

I’m almost 50 years old and have virtually nothing saved for retirement. But I plan to start now and would like to build a seven-figure nest egg by the time I retire. Is that goal realistic and what should I do to make it happen?–Steve, Texas

Obviously, you would have a much better chance of accumulating $1 million or more in savings had you begun saving and planning for retirement 20 or more years ago. But assuming you do actually get started now — as opposed to merely planning to start — you still have plenty of time to dramatically improve your retirement prospects.

As to whether you can realistically expect to accumulate a seven-figure nest egg by the time you retire, well, that depends on a number of factors, but mostly boils down to how diligently you save and how long you’re willing to continue working. Even with very optimistic assumptions, however, I’d say you’re most likely looking at a long shot.

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