Can I Retire Yet?


Can I Retire Yet?

Are We There Yet?

How much longer?

When can I retire?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?  

Over time, as our nest egg grows, we might start sounding like kids in the back seat of the car on a long trip.

When I saw this license plate I was intrigued.  It was clever.  The guy who drove the car was retired.  He could now set his own schedule on his terms.  He didn’t have to meet someone else’s deadline to collect a paycheck.

The tag also reminded me that most people don’t know where they are financially.

Many people don’t know how long they really have to work until they retire.

Most people work until a predefined age.  It might be based on when Social Security kicks in or they can draw a pension.

Some people have to keep working until they can get the maximum Social Security benefit.  We sincerely hope that you are not in that position.

Some people have been saving and investing for years and have a sizeable nest egg.  But they don’t know if it is large enough to retire on.

Eric found out that he would make more money retired than continuing to work.


The good news is that there is hope.  Especially if you started investing early and often.  It really helps if you have an idea how much income you need in retirement to fund your dreams.


A basic rule of thumb for determining withdrawals from a portfolio has been popularized by financial planners. It has also been promoted by Mr. Money Moustache.  It is based on withdrawing 4-percent per year from a stock portfolio.  You may recognize Mr. Money Moustache as a proponent of the FIRE movement, Financial Independence, Retire Early.

It works like this.

Suppose your projected total expenses will be $100,000 per year.  This includes both fixed and discretionary spending.  Multiply $100,000 by 25 and you get $2,500,000.  Or you can divide $100,000 by 0.04 and get $2,500,000.  A $2.5 million dollar portfolio can produce an income of $100,000 per year without ever drawing down the principle.

Of course this is based on some assumptions.  One, the stock market continues to average 9-10 percent per year.  Two, the average inflation rate doesn’t exceed 4-percent.  That combination allows you to take a 4-percent withdrawal each year while continuing to grow the portfolio.

Depending on the current size of your portfolio and how fast it is growing, that may seem like a pipe dream. So let’s ask some more questions and challenge the 4-percent rule.


While the number is dwindling, many people are able to draw a pension.  That can reduce the size of portfolio you need to enjoy your planned lifestyle.  If, for example, you receive a pension of $25,000 per year and want a lifestyle that requires $100,000 in income, then you need a portfolio that provides $75,000 a year in withdrawals.

And then there is Social Security.  Some people don’t believe it will be around.  Or the benefits will be less in the future.  I prefer to view it as icing on the cake.  If you can achieve Financial Independence early, then Social Security can become an additional stream of income that can enhance your retirement.  You can choose to start receiving reduced benefits around age 62, or wait until later and let the monthly benefit grow.


What if you could get better average returns on your investments?  This would allow higher withdrawal rates and still maintain growth to counter inflation.  A withdrawal rate of 5-percent would only require a $2,000,000 portfolio based on the numbers above.  To get this, divide $100,000 by 0.05.  Hmmm.  That looks better.

I can’t guarantee returns, but I have seen returns in real estate consistently greater than 10-percent.  At least one financial planner that I know believes that 7 to 8-percent withdrawal rates can be conservative with a real estate portfolio.  Could that be possible?  If the total returns on real estate are at least 12-percent, including equity growth, then the higher withdrawal rate could be reasonable.

Let’s do the math and see how large a portfolio is required to obtain a $100,000 annual withdrawal.  $100,000 divided by 0.08 is $1,250,000.

Do you see how this works?  Could you be better off than you think?

If you can increase your withdrawal rate while continuing to grow the portfolio, then you have more choices.

You can increase your discretionary spending.  Or retire earlier.  Or maybe even both.

Are you thinking about what might be possible?  

Is there an IRA or old 401(k) from a previous employer that could be growing faster?

Some of my preferred investments are multi-family syndications.  You can participate as a passive investor and still get good returns.  And with a growing population there will always be a need for housing. 


Do you have a better idea of when your Financial Independence ETA is?  Or could you already be there?  Do you have a better idea as to what size portfolio you will need?  Finding passive investments with better returns can help provide a retirement earlier than expected.  You might be able to retire sooner than you think.  What would you do if you arrived at Financial Independence early?


Would you like to take advantage of the opportunities in multifamily investments?

Attune Investments provides a better return for our investors.  And we make a positive impact in people’s lives and in our world.

If you want to learn more about how others are investing with us then we invite you to join our club and request a conversation with us.  See below.

Through the power of a syndication partnership with other investors like you, working with managing partners who are experienced in managing apartment complexes, you can own multifamily assets.  

Or you can choose to loan money, get in with a clear return, and get out earlier.  

One way to learn more is at our monthly, virtual Multifamily Investor Meetup on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at noon (Eastern).  Watch for details.

If you haven’t already subscribed to our BLOG, you can increase your knowledge and comfort with this asset class by subscribing now.  It’s free.  We publish an article every week.  SUBSCRIBE HERE And take one more step. Become a member of our ATTUNE INVESTORS CLUB in which you have more personal access to us.  JOIN HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.