The sum of $10 million might sound like a lot – and to the average person, it is. But what if you want to retire at just 30 years old and potentially live another 40, 50 or even 60 years without working? That changes the calculation somewhat. If you’re retiring at age 30 with $10 million, you’ll need to consider longevity, lifestyle, health, inflation and other factors. Here are different scenarios. If you’re looking to understand if you have enough to retire by a certain time, consider speaking to a financial advisor who can also help you make a retirement plan.
Factors to Consider
Simply put, most people should have no problem retiring at 30 with $10 million. If you invest your money and earn a modest return, $10 million should be enough to retire and never have to work again. Of course, that doesn’t mean that running out of money would be impossible. It’s still important to consider key factors that will help inform your decision. You can also use a retirement calculator to help estimate how much you will need.
Lifestyle is one of the biggest factors to consider when deciding if $10 million is enough to retire at 30. This includes not only how you will live your life, but also other important factors, like where you will live.
The average American spends $66,921 per year, but your expenses could be much higher or lower than this figure. For instance, there is a huge difference in the cost of living between San Francisco and a city like Mobile, Alabama. You might have good reason to live in a high-cost-of-living area like San Francisco – maybe that is where your family and friends live.
But housing costs are about four times higher in San Francisco when compared to Mobile. If you pay the median home price of over $1.4 million in San Francisco, that could make a dent in your $10 million, even if you pay with a mortgage.
How you will spend your time in retirement also makes a difference. If you spend a lot of money on fancy cars, eating out at high-end restaurants and traveling every month, your $10 million could run out quickly. But if your idea of fun is curled up with a good book or going for a hike, $10 million is likely more than enough to retire.
It’s also important to account for inflation. Of course, it’s impossible to know exactly how much inflation will be each year, but the average inflation rate between 1960 and 2021 is 3.8%, according to WorldData.info. The typical inflation rate is between 2% to 4% and the Federal Reserve targets a 2% inflation rate. You can use an inflation calculator to estimate the impact of inflation.
Healthcare costs in retirement can be significant. The good news is that if you are retiring at 30, you may not have significant healthcare costs. However, it’s likely that your healthcare costs will eventually increase as you age. For instance, Fidelity estimates that the average couple aged 65 in 2022 may need $315,000 saved to cover healthcare costs in retirement. And if you are younger than 30 today, chances are that number will be much higher by the time you reach age 65 due to inflation.
While the stock market has averaged about 10% per year for the past 50 years, returns can vary significantly from year to year. For example, since 1972, there have been nine years where the market had a negative return. In 2000, 2001 and 2002, returns were -9.03%, -11.85% and -21.97%, respectively. And in 2008, the return was -36.55% amid the Great Recession. Thus, while most years have been positive, the stock market could erase much of your wealth in a short period if you are unlucky.
How to Save $10 Million by Age 30
If you start from scratch, you will not likely have $10 million saved by age 30. For most people, the highest earning years are between 35 and 54. In other words, if you retire at 30, you likely won’t have reached your years with the highest earning potential. You’re unlikely to have $10 million by age 30 unless you receive a large inheritance or you start a wildly successful company before you turn 30.
Still, you can build wealth or boost the wealth you’ve inherited by making the right moves. This could include some combination of a high-paying job, a frugal lifestyle or smart investing. For instance, there is a popular expression shared by personal finance gurus: “Spend less than you make; invest the difference.”
A high-paying job plus a frugal lifestyle will likely leave you with money left over that you can invest. If you want to build significant wealth, you shouldn’t invest too conservatively or aggressively. Both are dangerous strategies that could lead to undesirable results. This is why if you want to retire at 30 with $10 million, you should meet with a financial advisor who can help you build a custom retirement plan.
The Bottom Line
If your portfolio were to earn a modest 6% return, you’d have $600,000 in interest per year. And given that the average American spends $66,921 per year (as of 2021), $10 million is more than enough to retire at 30 in most cases.
However, that may not be true if you have an expensive lifestyle when you retire. Factors like inflation, healthcare costs and a volatile stock market can derail your retirement. Make sure to account for these and keep your spending under control to ensure you will always have enough.
Tips for Retirement
- A financial advisor can guide you through major financial decisions, like determining your investing strategy. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Deciding how to invest can be a challenge, especially when you don’t know how much your money will grow over time. SmartAsset’s investment calculator can help you estimate how much your money will grow to help you decide which type of investment is right for you.
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