Imagine this, you have no debt, but have no money either and you were handed one million dollars. Not a bad situation huh? Would this be enough to quit your job and live comfortably on for the rest of your life? This is a question that a lot of people tend to have. Here’s my take on it.
Personally, I think I could retire with less than one million. Typically, when people have this conversation it is based around the “4% rule”, where you only draw 4% of the one million every year and hope that it lasts until the day you die.
Why wouldn’t you let your principal build as well as the amount of money your drawing each year? Why doesn’t anyone ever consider this as a possibility? I think it’s because of a lack of frugality in our country.
Though a riskier option, in case of cuts, if someone handed me one million dollars this is exactly what I would do with it.
I would spend months designing my dream dividend portfolio. I would have everything planned as far as entry points, average total yield needed, tax burdens, etc. If it took me 2 years to invest the full one million at prices I was comfortable with then so be it. Sacrificing some time before I could retire would be worth the extra income I would receive by being able to purchase more shares at a lower price.
Historically, in down markets dividend stocks tend to drop less than non-dividend paying companies as well. There are plenty of dividend companies out there that are extremely resilient to market down turns.
With my current Dividend Portfolio I’m trying to maintain a 3.5-4% yield. Even if for some reason I had to be way below that at 3%, that’s still $30,000 per year. Assuming that’s all the money I have coming in that would be tax-free.
That $30,000 will hopefully grow slightly every year to match or beat inflation. My $1,000,000 will hopefully grow at around 10% as well.
Is $30,000 enough?
$30,000 tax-free would be plenty for me to live on. There are ludicrous arguments out there stating that $70,000 per year wouldn’t be enough to live on! I don’t know what kinds of things people waste money on but I certainly wouldn’t have an issue with living on $70,000 per year!
I obviously wouldn’t be living an extravagant life. But I would have the basics covered and without any debt to pay I would have plenty of money to do the things that make me happy, like travel. But, I would also have a growing one million dollars that I could pull money from in case of some catastrophic emergency. This would obviously never become a habit or a go to.
Personally, I think I would be very capable of retiring with one million dollars. For others, maybe not. It largely depends what you plan to do with that one million dollars. If you’re going to buy a house and car and try to live off the remaining $700,000, with those habits it’ll probably be tough.
Ultimately, it will depend on your lifestyle and what you’re willing to accept. If you know how to cut expenses, live frugally and be happy while doing it one million dollars is plenty. Though, one million dollars isn’t what is “used to be” it’ still one million dollars.
Could you make one million dollars last the rest of your life?