Good retirement planning

I know people that have a Self Directed IRA that have grown their account significantly with non-traditional assets, mostly in real estate related transactions.

This is really no different than people that put their Founders shares into Family Trusts before the company goes public thus transferring significantly more wealth at the time of their death.

Would this be a story if some middle class person bought $200k of GME back under $5 and then sold it at the peak in the mid $400s thus creating enormous tax-free wealth ?

Starting early is YUGE! There are thousands of TSP (federal employee 401k) millionaires, they biggest account over 13m I think. This is impressive given the yearly contribution limits and the few options this fund has.

Yep, there probably are a lot more millionaires than people think because of a retirement plan at work or IRA. Being a millionaire isn’t what it used to be, IMO to be considered rich you need a net worth over $5 million. But having a net worth of over a million (not including your primary residence) is still pretty good.