First million is enough

folivier

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Kinda tongue in cheek post in response to the "first million is the hardest" thread. I somewhat felt left out with others posts on their good fortune in accumulating more millions.
But I'm here to say that we've never gotten close to the second but have comfortably stayed within the first million over our fourteen years of retirement. We've traveled a lot and now have a condo in Louisiana and a cabin in Colorado. Our 1+million should last us the rest of our lives and leave a significant inheritance to our 2 sons.
Would more $$$$ change our lifestyle? Probably not. We're enjoying life as much as we can right now. Don't care for air travel anymore whether it's economy or first class. We have everything we want, thankfully our health is pretty good. But I'd trade most of our money for longer better health.
So don't despair if you're enjoying life without your portfolio growing! I'm not gonna worry about it.
 
Kinda tongue in cheek post in response to the "first million is the hardest" thread. I somewhat felt left out with others posts on their good fortune in accumulating more millions.
But I'm here to say that we've never gotten close to the second but have comfortably stayed within the first million over our fourteen years of retirement. We've traveled a lot and now have a condo in Louisiana and a cabin in Colorado. Our 1+million should last us the rest of our lives and leave a significant inheritance to our 2 sons.
Would more $$$$ change our lifestyle? Probably not. We're enjoying life as much as we can right now. Don't care for air travel anymore whether it's economy or first class. We have everything we want, thankfully our health is pretty good. But I'd trade most of our money for longer better health.
So don't despair if you're enjoying life without your portfolio growing! I'm not gonna worry about it.

I agree with every word you wrote. So, many people in this world retire and never had a million bucks. They lived a beautiful life after retiring. I know a lot of them.

My parents retired with about 200K and had a long happy retirement years. They lived into their late 80's and early 90's and had plenty. They never traveled the globe but that wasn't their interests in life anyway.

You don't need a fortune and piles of money to retire or be happy in life.

Great Thread!!
 
Well said. If you are happy with your lifestyle, that is what really matters.

And to me, that's what it gets down to. (Lifestyle) I retired about the same time you did, and to be honest, there's no way I would have be happy on ~1m. (To many expensive hobbies) But fast forward to today and in my early 70's, and I think I'd be okay with that now.
 
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A lot of it also depends on how long ago you hit that first $, what age you retired at, and what other sources of income you might have (pension, SS, rental properties, and so on).

Almost as if on cue, I caught an old "Barnaby Jones" episode where a gold-digger threw over her lover for a man who was about to get his trust fund early. It was a whopping $1.7M, and they were throwing that number around like it was something to be in awe of. But, the episode was originally aired in late 1978. I just ran that number through an inflation calculator, and it comes out to about $8M in today's dollars.

$1.7M is still a pretty big deal today though. I certainly wouldn't look down on it! But, time and inflation does take its toll.

FWIW, when my maternal Grandmom passed away at 91, in 2015, her estate was about $300,000, plus furnishings, plus her house. She had originally retired from the federal government at the end of 1980, but then went back to work part time/on call, until 1994 when she turned 70. Towards the end, she was getting about $40K per year between her pension, Granddad's pension, and maybe some SS as well. They had both been federal gov't workers most of their careers, so I don't know how much the WEP ate into whatever SS she would have gotten.

Similarly, when my paternal Granddad died in 2016, just shy of 102, I think he had about $300K or so saved up. Plus a paid off house. He had worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1939-74, and got a pretty good pension from that, from what I heard. Grandmom had worked off and on throughout her life as well, but no doubt made less than him, as she took off to have kids and such.

So, none of my grandparents ever made it to anywhere near $1M, even adjusting for inflation. But they still managed to have enjoyable retirements.

Anyway, nothing wrong if your portfolio stops growing. Just as long as it supports you long enough so that it never zeroes out! Or, best case, the check to the undertaker bounces!
 
I agree with every word you wrote. So, many people in this world retire and never had a million bucks.
You don't need a fortune and piles of money to retire or be happy in life.
Great Thread!!

:greetings10: THATS US.... LOL.... All though the DW is still working and building our nest egg, At best guesstimates we MIGHT reach a NW of 1/2 a million by her retirement in a couple years.. We have spent many years working hard together for what we have and enjoyed the trip (well most of it) so far. Looking forward to the rest of it.
 
Absolutely.
We crossed over to one million right at retirement, as I stated in the other thread, I never thought I would be a millionaire.
So blessed and thankful.
 
Good topic - I can relate. While I’ve had good positions during my working years, I came really close but never hit a 6 figure salary. I hit a $1M Networth about five years before retirement and have been retired five years now. By maintaining a balanced portfolio between stocks and fixed income, there’s a good chance I’ll hit $2M in the next few years, though it was never a goal. Still working on figuring out how to spend more $$$ and enjoying retirement.
 
FWIW, I know people who if they could boost their retirement savings to $600,000 would sleep a lot better at night. I also know people with millions who need every penny of interest, dividends and capital gains for their lifestyle. Some are happy to live in a small rural community where going to Grandma’s Coffee Shop to chat with friends is the highlife of the week. Others want to live like Operah with huge lavish houses here and there that are hardly used.
 
Having the big house, big yard, pool, barn, boats, and all the toys was nice while still working and raising the kids. But once I retired all of these things became an impediment to what we wanted to do which was spend at least half of the year traveling in our nice motorhome. So after my DW got over the shock of me wanting to get rid of all of that we've enjoyed not having so much stuff. Now we do have some toys, RZR, Ranger, snowmobiles, at the cabin to enjoy and we do use them all frequently. At the condo we don't have or need toys. It's actually two very different lifestyles between our two places.
Life is great!
 
While we were never big spenders while we were employed, we never went without. Air travel vacation every other year, but modest. In retirement , we wanted to maintain the same income level as when we w*rked, especially if we retired early. We had to pay ~$1850/month for healthcare for 9 years, so we had to have the resources to do that and we felt having 7 figures would suffice. It has.
 
This brings to mind the tongue-in-cheek excuse my former colleagues gave for staying at work when I bailed, "You can always use another million bucks".

Even though our salaries were a fraction of that, we all know how it all snowballs once the first million is in the bank. And sure enough almost 10 years later as they are now retiring they are uniformly at least $1M (and in most cases several $M) richer than me. Maybe it was even worth it for them. Not for me, thanks.
 
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I stopped bothering with all the articles about how much one needs to retire, what do you spend in retirement, how much do you spend on food, travel, whatever.

They all became rather meaningless to me because the data was seldom relevent. And never would be based on lifestyle, COL,and healthcare differences etc.

There is a huge difference between what you need if you own your own home, have medical covered, have some sort of annuitized income stream(s) and if you do not. It is the gap between that and what your retirement financial needs are that counts.

I suspect that there are some who neglect to quantify the inherent value of those items, and others in their retirement calculations.
 
I've been retired for about 15 years, and only hit a million for the first time about 4 years ago. I think there's a very good chance I'll hit the $2M mark at some point, but I don't need to in order to continue enjoying my life of leisure. SS, when it comes along, is a big factor in my relaxed attitude towards the growth (or otherwise) of my assets. Each to his/her own.

$2M would be nice though!
 
You don't need a fortune and piles of money to retire or be happy in life.

Great Thread!!

Well said. If you are happy with your lifestyle, that is what really matters.
BRAVO!!! It's great to read so many posts by forum members who "get it". A happy retirement requires enough money to meet one's basic needs, but for many of us that's about all IMO.

We are having a ball without feeling any driving need to spend a ton of money. I think what's more important than living "the lifestyles of the rich and famous", is knowing ourselves well enough to know what makes us happy. Often these tricks to staying happy don't cost much of anything at all, for us. Our plan for today is to go for a drive in the neighborhood, in this beautiful summery weather. Cost? Almost nothing. Afterwards, we both have "free" hobbies to keep us busy; he has a house full of ham radios and loves to listen to them, I have a Nintendo Switch and a bunch of games on cartridges that cost nothing to play.

My portfolio isn't growing very fast, but I'm not spending any of it so it's definitely growing more than decreasing. I'm not worried about having enough to enjoy life. :dance::dance:
 
It is a function of your desired lifestyle. As a non-pension person not drawing SS but who likes to travel, it would not work for me.

But it can, depending.
 
If we had less, we would just spend less and be fine.
 
A lot of it also depends on ... what other sources of income you might have (pension, SS, rental properties, and so on).

+1. You need some sort of revenue stream

Who needs even a million bucks when great-grandad left you hefty quarterlies from your trust fund? :LOL:
 
This thread is about happiness, while the other thread was really about the power of compound interest. Both are right and enjoyable.
 
I stopped bothering with all the articles about how much one needs to retire, what do you spend in retirement, how much do you spend on food, travel, whatever.

They all became rather meaningless to me because the data was seldom relevent. And never would be based on lifestyle, COL,and healthcare differences etc.

There is a huge difference between what you need if you own your own home, have medical covered, have some sort of annuitized income stream(s) and if you do not. It is the gap between that and what your retirement financial needs are that counts.

I suspect that there are some who neglect to quantify the inherent value of those items, and others in their retirement calculations.

Exactly!!
 
My sister has a very nice, happy, retirement with a lot less than $1M in the bank. But she's got a paid for house and a pension and a great group health plan through her teachers union . She would have had more but her ex decided to take a hike the same time she was retiring so half her financial meet with went away. But she still has plenty for a very comfortable retirement.

Our nest egg is around $2M, but there are two of us. (Plus 2 kids in college, but their 529s cover most of their expenses.). Our house is also paid off. We don't have pensions (ok . I get approx $450/month in a non COLA pension. ). We have a very similar lifestyle to her. And are happy and enjoy retirement.

The nest egg size is only part is the retirement picture.
 
Totally agree! If you have enough to support the lifestyle you're happy with, then you have enough.

Many friends seem to have much higher retirement numbers than we do, but they didn't buy a duplex like we did or build an ADU like we added. So, they're not living expense free in their own homes. Instead, many took out auto loans for expensive pickup trucks, refinanced their homes to pay for various renovations, and continuously struggle to save anything after paying for costly yearly vacations.

It also helps that neither of us have any expensive hobbies.
 
I would not have been able to retire on $1 Million.
My medical bills alone are $22k - $30k a year. For those blessed with good health, I applaud you.
If medical issues weren’t what they are, I would probably be comfortable with less.
 
I would not have been able to retire on $1 Million.
My medical bills alone are $22k - $30k a year. For those blessed with good health, I applaud you.
If medical issues weren’t what they are, I would probably be comfortable with less.

You must be on Medicare without a supplement? On an ACA plan your Max OOP would be lower than that.
 
We have much more than we need, however it is in the form of stealth wealth (a thread I started here awhile ago). The only friends who know we have it are those that also have it. The ones that don't have it assume we don't have it, either, and my working at a high intensity job at 67 kinda reinforces that notion. We don't have much in terms of conspicuous consumption unless you look closely (there is a very fast non-EV in the garage that can be considered an exotic car and is appreciating in value). 20 years ago I used to cringe when an appliance broke trying to think how we would manage that hit to our cash. These days, it doesn't matter and I look at it as an opportunity to upgrade and BTD.

One thing we do have is financial security, peace of mind in the event of a costly health or natural disaster and never having to worry about paying any bills. That's the only change that happened once we "got there" as everything else in life just continued, living well under our means and enjoying what years we have left without financial stress. Getting old sucks and minor health challenges are starting to happen but the wonders of modern medicine and modern dentistry have helped out immensely in that regard.

We still shop for deals and never squander money for pretentiousness sake or otherwise, even though it would be easy. I still mow the lawn, mainly because I like doing that, we still do the yard work and have not hired a landscape gardener like almost all of our neighbors.

We also live in the most expensive area of the country (SF Bay Area Peninsula), our neighbors are Apple, FB, Google, NVidia, LinkedIn/MS, et. al. so housing prices and cost of living is off the charts. We also have the highest energy prices in the mainland ($5 gas today), PGE wants another rate increase and water prices are also very high.

If we didn't have it I'm not sure how much would be different other than the financial peace of mind.
 
You must be on Medicare without a supplement? On an ACA plan your Max OOP would be lower than that.

Not on Medicare yet. We have a 8k Max OOP, 13k Premiums and a few thousand in uncovered expenses.
Most people don’t truly appreciate how expensive it can get even with good insurance.

I am sure if I didn’t earn as much I would get assistance with the premiums.

That being said. I agree with the OP idea, that people can be happy without constantly trying to accumulate more and more dollars.
Frankly, that pursuit can take someone away from happiness :)
 

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