How long does it take to save £1million across the world? UK ranked & how to increase odds

Becoming a millionaire is a dream many likely aspire to although the reality of doing so may seem like an impossible task. However, new research from Our Life Plan has calculated exactly how long it would take to become a millionaire across the world and it may be more tangible than many would expect.

Our Life Plan researched exactly how many years a person would need to work in order to retire with £1million, while “still enjoying a meal out every week and treating yourself to a holiday once a year.”

The research highlighted how many years a person would need to save their disposable income for in order to hit £1million in savings.

This factored in a number of elements and datasets including average retirement ages, life expectancies, retirement lengths, cost of living, and exact amounts needed to retire.

In producing the research, Our Life Plan stated it has been conducted solely on capital cities, as when it looked into smaller cities within countries it proved to be difficult to make distinctions based on the parameters at scale.

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Based on its research, Our Life Plan broke down the best 10 cities to live in to save £1million the quickest:

  • Bern, Switzerland: Years needed to save to make £1million – 29.98
  • Washington, United States: Years needed to save to make £1million – 30.02
  • Sydney, Australia: Years needed to save to make £1million – 34.88
  • Luxembourg City, Luxembourg: Years needed to save to make £1million – 36.09
  • London, UK: Years needed to save to make £1million – 40.35
  • Oslo, Norway: Years needed to save to make £1million – 48.11
  • Toronto, Canada: Years needed to save to make £1million – 48.56
  • Copenhagen, Denmark: Years needed to save to make £1million – 52.88
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: Years needed to save to make £1million – 54.3
  • Wellington New zealand: Years needed to save to make £1million – 54.72


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Of course, there may be a number of steps people can take to help reach (or at least, get close to) the £1million mark and Ian Wright, the founder of Our Life Plan, provided guidance on what savers can do to boost their chances.

Mr Wright said: “Becoming a millionaire is a goal for lots of people, but there are many ways this dream can be realised.

“Some individuals are turning to stocks and shares and investing their money in order to see rewards.

“This can work, but returns are not guaranteed, meaning that there is also the possibility of losing money.

Unfortunately, additional research from Yolt has recently shown UK savers may be taking a step backwards in this regard.

In analysing the latest data from the Bank of England, Yolt warned over three million UK adults have been “spending more than they can afford” since lockdown restrictions recently began to ease.

With lockdown restrictions set to be completely removed from July 19, these spending habits may ramp up but Pauline Van Brakel, the Chief Product Officer at Yolt, provided guidance on what consumers should keep an eye on going forward.

Ms Van Brakel said: “It’s natural as lockdown restrictions ease to want to celebrate and catch up on lost time with loved ones. However, it’s important that people continue to keep a close eye on their money management and don’t spend more than they can afford.

“Our research shows that people often struggle to say no when spending in social situations and can feel pressured, particularly amongst friends that have more disposable income than they do.

“Many people in the UK are still feeling financially stretched due to the economic impact of Covid-19 and we may see this group grow as we begin to see government support schemes such as furlough due to come to an end in the coming months. It’s important to be sensitive to our friends and families during this time and not place undue pressure on people to make financial commitments that might put them in the red.

“As we inch closer to normality, many people will be out of practice for how best to manage their money in social situations. At Yolt, our recently launched evolution of the app is designed to help you manage your finances and keep a close eye on both your spending behaviours and your savings habits.”

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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