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Would you retire at 30 with $1m?
Old 04-18-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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Would you retire at 30 with $1m?

Over at another FIRE message board, people were discussing this family (two adults in mid-30s and a baby) that were theoretically retiring on $1M at 4%. Another case was a mid-20s shooting to ER at 30 with $600k @ 4%.

I said these folks were crazy for using 4% and thinking these amounts could realistically last the rest of their lives. I got downvoted to oblivion for this opinion. Am I wrong?
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
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I would not say it can't be done, but I would not feel comfortable in either case mentioned.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:46 PM   #3
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I would not say it can't be done, but I would not feel comfortable in either case mentioned.
Same here. Way too many things can go wrong - serious illness, accident (think falling off a ladder) rampant inflation, and other unknowables.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:47 PM   #4
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:48 PM   #5
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I am too concerned about safety to attempt 4% for a 60+ year retirement myself. But I can also see how it could work if you get a favorable sequence of returns to start and are able to lower the withdrawal rate over time. As long as you are willing to semi-retire or even go back to work for a few years if markets move unfavorably, it could be doable.

My other concern is that at such a young age, the idea of fixing one's lifestyle to the current ideas seems dangerous. There's a lot of years to change your mind, but you are committed in a way that would be hard to correct. While living a bare bones frugal lifestyle might be appealing at the start, it's hard to know I will continue to believe that for the rest of my life.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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At that age, with that small amount, I wouldn't even consider it.
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Old 04-18-2015, 04:57 PM   #7
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Retire from what?
They haven't lived yet.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:03 PM   #8
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Maybe a single-person household could do it, but with a family of 3 I'd say "no way."
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:09 PM   #9
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Without knowing the spending rate the question can't be answered. A frugal person could retire with $1,000,000 at 30.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
Over at another FIRE message board, people were discussing this family (two adults in mid-30s and a baby) that were theoretically retiring on $1M at 4%. Another case was a mid-20s shooting to ER at 30 with $600k @ 4%.

I said these folks were crazy for using 4% and thinking these amounts could realistically last the rest of their lives. I got downvoted to oblivion for this opinion. Am I wrong?
Depends on the definition of retiring. If it's like MMM just switching to self-employment on their own terms the answer would be yes.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:43 PM   #11
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If you retire into a bull market then it's certainly possible. Equities return 9% on average. If you spend 4% and earn 9% then you should never run out of money. The risk is losing money early in retirement. It's hard to come back from that.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:48 PM   #12
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When I was by myself I could live on less than $30K.... so I could have retired with $1mill and started at 3%.....

Now with DW and two kids and expenses are over $100K.... could not even come close....
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:49 PM   #13
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Retire from what?
They haven't lived yet.
And that depends. Some people live boring lives. Others have spectacularly rich and fulfilling lives by age 30.
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:51 PM   #14
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I didn't, so I guess it follows that I wouldn't. We wanted more security and income than 1M would have provided -- especially with such a long horizon.
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:09 PM   #15
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Utterly foolish, IMHO. The cone of uncertainty, especially for a family, is just too large.
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:46 PM   #16
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I wouldn't have considered retiring in my 30's unless I could have comfortably done it with a 2% WR, or less. You'd have to be pretty sick of work to want to stop that early but I imagine some either get burned out, or never find work that they can at least tolerate.
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:48 PM   #17
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Let everyone live how they want. A lot of people misunderstand MMM's blog. I can't say I live his lifestyle but he has maintained mental and physical acuity and can return to a 40hr a week job whenever he likes and it won't take him long to make a considerable amount of money if he returns to work.
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:54 PM   #18
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Retire from what?
They haven't lived yet.
+1.

To OP - Take time off from work if you must. Leave the retirement to people who are older.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:16 PM   #19
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No
+1.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:27 PM   #20
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I wouldn't retire on that amount at 60! (I did retire on something close, but I have a nice pension and SS.) And I live in an old motor home way up in the mountains. Very close to the idea of "living in a van down by the river."

I think it can be done, but not much room for fun, travel, or toys.
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