Financials with a Reader: “I Have ‘X’ Amount of Money. Can I Retire?”

Q&A with a Reader 


I found your website from Andy’s video he did with you a month or so ago.

I liked your comment about “Take the amount of money you need to live annually and multiply that by 25… that is the amount of money you need in your retirement”

So, I’m curious what the dollar amount of your savings (investments) was when you “retired” at 38?

I understand that might be a personal question so, I’ll open my kimono (so to speak) — I ask, as I have $250,000 and am 48 however, I have a fear that if I were to “retire” now, that current “nugget” would not be enough to fund traveling like you both do. The money machine would not have enough initial fuel, kind of thing, yeh know?

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For the sake of argument, assume I would live with the same annual expenses that you both have.  Is it enough, in your opinion?

Or maybe the better question would be, When you both turned 48 (after traveling for 10 years) what was the amount you had in your investment portfolio that made you say, “We’ve done this for 10 years and are still 100% comfortable doing this for another 10, another 20… forever… because our investments have grown __X___ and our balance is __Y__”

Thank you for the help.

Keep up the great work and advice on your website.




Thanks for writing. To learn if you have enough money today you need to know how much you are spending today – then multiply that number by 25. Basically with that formula, you are taking out 4% per year for expenses and invested in roughly a 60-40% stock/bond portfolio. With this allotment, your account should grow.

When we retired 26 years ago we had about $500,000. Since then our account has grown out pacing inflation and spending.

In your case with 250K you could spend $10,000 per year or $27.00 per day.

We monitor our spending and net worth daily so that we know where we stand in real time, and offer a spreadsheet in Your Retirement Dream IS Possible for that purpose.

I hope this helps you and good luck.




Thank You!  I really appreciate it. The $10,000/year number is an interesting one as it’s also approximately the amount that a 72t distribution would give me…

Did you make use of that against your retirement account(s) so you didn’t have to pay any pre-59 1/2 penalty from 401k/b, IRAs?  Or were you smart enough to roll everything over into a ROTH?

Of all the stuff that’s on the ‘net, including YouTube channels about retiring, expats, etc., no one (at least that I have found) is sharing these simple calculations.  I would think this simple truth would be very valuable to people who think and/or say the things you mentioned in your article from Levinson Law … “I wish I could… like you…”

Thanks again Billy.  I really appreciate the feedback and your honesty about what it took for you, guy.

Live the Dream.




At 55 I used rule 72T to extract the amount equal to my future social security distribution. Then once I hit 62 and started taking SS payments I turned off the spigot and continue to let the IRA grow.

We have written about all of these topics on our site. If you search our site using the search box you can find many.



About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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