You DO need $12 million to retire …

Money Ning says that you don’t need $12 million to retire.

Except on Planet AJC, ‘Ning!

Money Ning says:

Can you imagine spending $11,250 per month every 30 days until you are 70? It would actually be fun for a while, but by the 24th month, I bet you’ll be tired of buying anything. And if you just leave some money left every month? Well, down goes the savings necessary.

These humongous retirement numbers may catch our attention, but they rarely speak the truth about reality. Plus, chasing a number is a never ending game, because there’s always a higher number to go after.

When I was still $30k in debt, and going nowhere fast, I calculated that I needed $5 million to ‘retire rich’:

– That was in 1998 dollars … in 2010 dollars, we’re up at around $7.5 million

– I under-estimated what I needed; and, so will you!

Right now, I ‘burn’ around $250k per year (land taxes, school fees, vacations; house upkeep; etc.) and don’t consider my spending anywhere near ‘Snoop Dog Lavish’, but it’s WAY over Money Ning’s “$11,250 per month” … and, I can’t EVER imagine spending that little per month. Really.

To that annual spend, I add my two houses (to be fair, I’m trying to get rid of the US one), and my two cars (and some associated expenses) … there’s $12 million, and I don’t live in New York!

Of course, that’s not what everybody needs … maybe not even what ANYBODY needs … but, it is (give – not take – a few million) what I decided that I needed.

But, when calculating YOUR ‘number’, don’t go for the money, do as Money Ning suggests:

Chasing a number is a never ending game, because there’s always a higher number to go after. If you want to feel rich, the more appropriate approach is to just make sure money is out of your way, out of your life decisions, and out of the list of things that you worry about.

That’s what I did … it’s hardly my fault if the answer pointed to $5 Million, nor is it my fault that I ended up cashing out for a whole lot more. And, it won’t even be my fault, if you do, too.  😉

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8 thoughts on “You DO need $12 million to retire …

  1. “I wrote myself a check for ten million dollars for acting services rendered and dated it Thanksgiving 1995. I put it in my wallet and it deteriorated. And then, just before Thanksgiving 1995, I found out I was going to make ten million dollars for Dumb & Dumber. I put that check in the casket with my father because it was our dream together.”
    – Jim Carrey,

  2. @AJC
    So, what is it like to be “spoiled beyond belief”? (Not MoneyNing’s word’s but someone else who replied to your comment). I think they are jealous of your success.

    I think they missed the point. I’m sure we can also retire on less than $12M (or rather $300K/year). The question is, do we really want to? I don’t want to lower my standard of living, and I want to make the choice whether I fly business class or in economy.

    Even their example is skewed. If you retired at 35, you wouldn’t get the $2500/month that social security is supposed to give.

    People with good pensions (like my parents) don’t have to save/invest as much as people my age with no pension.

  3. @ Neil – Of course I’m spoiled. My lifestyle isn’t ‘normal’ in any respect … but, it’s also not ‘rich’ either; which was my point.

    I imagine that somebody in Africa would write a similar comment about the other 99% of ‘frugal bloggers’ if they shared what they considered to be their frugal spending habits.

  4. @ Dan – That’s why I blog 3+ times a week for no return … I like to brag 😉

    Occasionally, though, there’s even a message for those unfortunate souls who have to listen to my I’m-wealthy-you’re-not-nyaa-nyaa-nyaa‘s …

    … today, it’s this:

    “I under-estimated what I needed; and, so will you!”.

  5. NOBODY needs that ridiculous amount of money to retire. Even a hyper consumerist doesn’t spend $12k/month!! I can’t imagine what kind of super hoarder you must be to be able to spend that much. I live quite comfortably on 1k a month. And I will be happily retired at 35 unlike you because I have learned bigger is not always better.

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