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I was wondering if a good idea would be to start putting "most" of that money in a safe mutual fund and by the time I'm 40, I'd have about $1 million. Now, the question is could I live off of the returns I would get and how much (worst case) would I be getting (after taxes and all) with $1 million invested in a very safe mutual fund?

The safer you get, the lower your returns will be, and don't forget inflation. $1 million today, assuming 3% annual inflation will be worth about $595,000 in 18 years. By the time you're 65, that million will be reduced to about $278,000 in today's dollars.

With $1 million, assuming a consistent 8% rate of return (which will still require significant market exposure), a 5% withdrawal rate and 3% inflation, you could withdraw $50,000 in the first year adjust 3% annually for inflation afterwards. Remember though that in today's dollars, that's worth just under $30,000. Also consider that you wouldn't be able to collect Social Security or pensions for quite some time after your retirement at age 40. Being a millionaire just isn't what it used to be.
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