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the $30K in income that I hear is close to median retirement income requires at cool million dollars at current rates.

Minor quibble. How many retirees have no SS or pension income at all? To get $30k in income, I bet most seniors get at least $12k in SS income (that's the median amount, IIRC) and so only need to generate $18k from their portfolio, pension, and/or part-time work.

My mother currently has $468k in her IRA, maybe $10k in taxable savings, and collects $20k in interest & dividends plus $16k in Social Security for an income of $36k--which is greater than the median. And she lives quite well--owns a 2300 sq ft home in a very nice neighborhood, goes to the movies pretty often, has lots of DirecTV channels and 2, 42" flat screen TVs--and an Apple computer, eats out whenever she likes wherever she likes, gives $100 per birthday and Christmas to each grandchild, donates to favorite charities, buys some new clothes every season, keeps up with home maintenance, and gets regular medical, dental and vision care. I don't think she'd live any better on twice the income.
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