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You are probably looking at this as being too black and white where you are either working in a situation you don't like or you are completely retired. There is a lot of middle ground where you could move to a less expensive area and work in a lower paying job that you like.

There are nice areas of the country where you can get a passable house for $150K which would leave you with $850K to invest. You could safely withdraw 2% of that and with no rent(since you bought a house) you should be able to make the rest of your frugal monthly expenses with relatively minor work.

If you and your spouse could each earn a thousand dollars a month ($24K per year) that would make the numbers look a lot better.

Since spending more time with your kids is important, one possibility run a small daycare and after school care business to have some income.

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