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No. of Recommendations: 5
"If someone were to ask me what amount of money connotes "wealthy" in the US, it'd be some number around 5 million (assuming no pension)."

That all really depends upon your lifestyle, current home ownership, etc, and HOW much you've been earning and SPENDING!

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"If you're so wealthy you don't have to work for many many years, you won't have built up Social Security credits (140 quarters), so there isn't that to fall back on."

Yeah, it makes some difference, but not all that critical. If you can make it to age 70 without touching SS, you get a nice kicker at that point - again, depending upon HOW MUCH you've been earning. If you maxed out SS, it's well over $30K/yr.

I only had 31 years of SS when I retired at age 52.5. I didn't cry in my beer.

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"In my own case, seeing my employer's method of dealing with economic hardship via massive layoffs, a million bucks would not be enough if you got separated at age, say, 58."

Well, IT ALL DEPENDS. If you make $60K or $80K a year, and spend most of it, probably not. Or if you make $120K or more and spend MOST OF IT.

On the other hand, if your house is PAID FOR, or very low cost per month - and you've been saving 30-40% of your paycheck each month.....

Then maybe. You'd be living on $40K a year from a million dollar port, before taxes. If your port spins off cap gains, enough to live on - then taxes are zero. Can you live on 40K? Depends on what you've been spending!

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"Two million at that stage is "can probably make it," but not wealthy. Wealthy means that many decisions aren't based around price but your calendar and if it's worth the trade-off with something else, but not so much "how much is the price tag." "

Again, it all depends! How much have you been spending before you retire? Really? If you've been saving 30-40% of your salary, paying 15 or 20% or more in taxes (SS, Medicare, fed taxes, state taxes) comes down to WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN SPENDING.

You never addressed that. And for me, no I don't have $50 steak tastes when I eat out, and a $50 alcohol bill for 'cocktails'. Never had. Never will.

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"Of course, you can be wealthy and not own a yacht, but by "many decisions" I mean things like, should we eat out and should we pay to have XYZ done on our house rather than doing the work ourselves?"

Duh....from a 2 million port, you're taking home 80K a year. A couple is likely paying zero in fed taxes. Your biggest expenses are real estate taxes and health insurance. With only 80K, you probably can get $200/month ObamaKare. You might want to move to TX or other low real estate place rather than pay $15,000 a year in MA, NJ,NY, DC area, MD, etc. A single person can live high on the hog for 80K/yr. Inflation Adjusted, too! At 66, you can kick in another 30K a year from SS.

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Heck, one of my biggest 'problems' is that due to the great stock market rise, my spending is only 2% of my port and my lifestyle is not conducive to significantly increasing spending. I've got two decent cars - I'll buy another in 2-3 years when the 2016 wears out. My house is paid for. I drive all over the country when times are good.

My house is paid for. My taxes are $4000/yr for real estate taxes. Zero state income taxes. Reasonable fed taxes. $180/yr HOA fee. I'm on Medicare and Supplement.

I've traveled overseas and am 'touristed out'. Don't need 'another bloody church, another bloody castle, another bloody city center'. No more ABC tours. Been to enough places to be satisfied overseas. Don't do 'cruises' but my parents enjoyed them through their 70s. Again, no need to 'shop duty free' and see the 'ports' where ticky tacky tourist strips are there just for the tourists. Spent time doing the 'by train' visit to tourist sites around England, Germany, Italy, Austria, and been all over other countries as well.

I don't worry about $25 dinners out. Or $80 motel bills. Or $40 gas fillups. or which bills to pay. Or $2000 vacations.

What's 'wealthy'? Usually it's probably 50-100% more than YOU GOT. Simple.

What do you need to 'retire on'? Enough to maintain your desired lifestyle. And that depends upon WHAT you've been making and WHAT you've been spending.

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