New Book & Giveaway: “How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?” 2nd Ed by Todd Tresidder


My man Todd Tresidder, aka The Financial Mentor, just released the 2nd edition of his popular book, “How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?“, and his publicist was kind enough to pass me a few copies to give out today…

If you’ve ever wondered this before (of course you have!), or want to see how it compares to *your* calculations and see if anything needs to be tweaked, answer the question down below and you’ll be automatically entered to win.

HINT: The answer is not a flat $3,000,000 which seems to be the latest “number” circulating around from “experts”!! If it was that simple (or attainable) we wouldn’t have a need for any of these books or blogs helping people out in our community! There’s a lot more than just a random number thrown out that determines the fate of your future, haha… And maybe Todd’s book can help you nail it down more?

More on the book, and Mr. Tresidder, here:

“How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?
Uncommon Financial Planning Wisdom for a Stress-Free Retirement”

how much need to retire book

From the press release:

Most so-called “experts” plug your numbers into a retirement formula to tell you how much money you need to retire. Unfortunately, the conventional approach is fundamentally flawed. If you fail to learn how retirement savings truly works, then you’ll either underspend and be miserable or overspend and run out of money.

How Much Money Do I Need to Retire takes you beyond the scientific facade of modern retirement planning. Author and former hedge fund manager Todd R. Tresidder has helped thousands of people find financial freedom through his website and podcast. Now you too can use his advice to take the guesswork out of your retirement planning.

In this book, you’ll learn:

  • Why the best way to describe most retirement estimates is garbage-in/garbage-out
  • The five critical assumptions that can destroy your financial security
  • How to reduce the amount you need to retire by as much as $600,000
  • Three strategies to maximize spending today while protecting for the future
  • How to calculate the amount of money you really need to retire on the first try without software, online calculators, or being a math genius

Tresidder’s book contains refreshingly straightforward, easy-to-understand, and concise advice on how to retire wealthy.

More from Amazon here: How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?: Uncommon Financial Planning Wisdom for a Stress-Free Retirement

And then more about Todd here: Todd R. Tresidder’s financial writing has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, Yahoo Finance,, and more. He is a former hedge fund manager who “retired” at age 35 to become a financial consumer advocate and money coach. In his spare time he’s an outdoor recreational enthusiast with varied interests from backpacking and adventure travel to endurance running and cycling. He writes 9 months out of the year from his home in Reno, Nevada while his kids are in school and plays the rest of the year. You can learn more about Todd at

[His site btw is pretty killer too… Especially if you’re analytical and enjoy longer, more in-depth reads. He almost died a couple of years ago in a bad biking accident and came back even stronger and more passionate about this stuff than before! Haha… Super smart and nice guy :) Even though he’s still pretty pissed he paid off his house instead of investing the $$$… (a fun little guest post he did here years ago)]

Sound like a book you want?

Answer this question down below in the comments or via email, and you’ll be automatically entered to win… We have THREE copies to give out so don’t be shy!

What’s your best guess at YOUR “number” so far? If you haven’t calculated it yet, what’s holding you back?

We’ll keep the giveaway open until the end of the weekend (midnight @ Sunday, 2/16/20), and you have to have a U.S. address to win. Good luck!

Here’s my “number” at the moment, based on the 4% rule and adjusted a little to include some padding. Also assumes my mortgage will be paid off by then and we won’t be having a million more kids (or dogs).


Over half way there so far! Not that I’ll truly “retire” at all, but it would be nice to work on stuff without thinking about money :) That’s true freedom to me.

Your turn!

*** UPDATE *** Giveaway now over! Congrats to Scott M, Becca, and Mitch M for winning!

PS: Here’s a spreadsheet I use if you want to run some quick and dirty numbers on this stuff: Early Retirement Spreadsheet. Feel free to steal it, and then use Todd’s book to refine it!

*Links to book above are Amazon affiliate links

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  1. Gary Harris February 11, 2020 at 5:55 AM


  2. [HCF] February 11, 2020 at 5:57 AM

    I usually scratch up three scenarios based on the 4% rule:
    – bare minimum – pay for the basics -> $250k
    – current spending – a comfy frugal spending level -> $400k
    – king of the hill – mindful luxury lifestyle -> $655k
    +1 – rockstar – anything above that :)
    Living a lower-cost area not always sucks ;)

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:18 PM

      wow – no kidding!! some spend $250k a YEAR :)

  3. The Crusher February 11, 2020 at 6:00 AM

    I would LOVE a copy of this book!

    We have calculated, are-calculated and re-re-calculated our “number”. It is currently $2.2M. If you do include my pension and Social Security at age 67, we actually were FI last year. However, plan to chug through another 2+ years to pad our numbers and get the youngest into college.

    I do not think I have seen this written but carrying onward after you know you are FI might be the hardest months and years of the whole journey! :)

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:20 PM

      Haha yeah – it’s called the “One More Year” Syndrome :) I have yet to experience it but it’s actually quite common amongst FIRE enthusiasts, lol…

  4. Sara February 11, 2020 at 6:06 AM

    Thanks for a chance to win, I need this book because i dont know for sure yet what I need to retire. However, my back of the napkin number is about $2.5M. I have a long way to go and maybe this read could help me figure it out!

  5. anon February 11, 2020 at 6:09 AM

    I retired last summer and don’t want to give out my net worth numbers, but I used a similar style as HCF above, setting up a few goalposts for poverty line, poverty line with a little breathing room, just okay, okay, etc. Then I retired when it was obvious I was far enough past “okay” that I reeeeeeeally didn’t care about pleasing my boss anymore.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:21 PM

      Nice!! Congratulations! :)

  6. Barbara February 11, 2020 at 6:45 AM

    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!
    My situation is a little diff because I only want to semi-retire. I work remotely so I want to hit 1.1M, buy an RV and work from the road, always living somewhere new, but I won’t make a ton of $$ so feel like I need a solid cushion before I make this happen.
    My situation has been a challenge for the retirement calculators…or maybe I just don’t understand how to input the numbers, because I’ve gotten wildly differing amounts! Am hoping the amount I’ve come to is accurate because that would mean I’m about a year away!

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:22 PM

      Sounds like a fun adventure!! I want an email from you next year when you make it happen :)

  7. Millie February 11, 2020 at 7:17 AM

    Best guess is $750k, attempting to properly account for a pension. Will be getting this book (one way or another ;) to solidify that figure before pulling the trigger officially. Sounds like information everyone needs to FIRE. Thanks for sharing, J$!!

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:23 PM

      No prob – I hope you do pick it up either way!

  8. A. Money February 11, 2020 at 7:46 AM

    With some built-in cushion and not counting social security and retiree benefits (pensions and health insurance), our conservative number is $2,375,000. We’re getting close to it (our net worth just crossed $2M last month), though I’m sure we’ll work well beyond it so that we qualify for those pensions and health insurance, which will be nice cushions to have. For us in retirement, we’d prefer the security of being well beyond FI to the stress of being even just a bit short of it.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:23 PM

      $2 Mil – congrats!! Not many people have accomplished that!

  9. Paul February 11, 2020 at 7:58 AM

    I’m not sure what my number is. I have 2.1m in our 401k but have to work 8 more years to lock in our pensions. I’m going to say my number is around 2.7m with the hopes that the savings plus pension plus social security is enough.

  10. Chris February 11, 2020 at 7:58 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway! Approximately $800,000. Debt free, mortgage free, good health Thank the Lord. We live in a low cost state.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:24 PM

      Sounds like a good life :)

  11. C Cof February 11, 2020 at 8:01 AM

    Our goal is 2.5 million as a couple. I’m not sure if we need this amount or when we might get that amount. I need to read this book to find out!

    1. Unk February 11, 2020 at 9:51 PM

      I struggle with trying to estimate what we need with so many unknowns (insurance, college, unexpected health issues, taxes, etc). Given all that, my best guess is 3.5M.

  12. Suz February 11, 2020 at 8:03 AM

    Our number is 2.5M, based on our current lifestyle, which I don’t expect to change much in retirement. Buuuuuuuut, there is a worry wart side of me, so I want more of a cushion…thus, $3M makes me sleep better at night.

  13. Susan February 11, 2020 at 8:20 AM

    1,350,337 – This assumes some travel but not a lot of extravagant travel.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:25 PM

      Down to the last dollar – I love it ;)

  14. Shane February 11, 2020 at 8:25 AM

    $3,000,001 and a chance at the “showcase showdown” Just kidding! I figure for a very great lifestyle without having to watch every purchase like a hawk and being able to sleep at night with ease, I would use Big Ern’s never fail withdraw number of 3.2% with spending in the 80k-90k a year range. Not saying I would need that much but would sleep well. So drumroll please! I say somewhere between $2,500,000 and $2,812,500 (for me.)

    You know what? Just round it up and let’s say $3,000,000. LOL

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:26 PM

      Rounding up does always make things feel better :)

  15. Adrienne February 11, 2020 at 8:29 AM

    Magic number is 2.5M although 3.3M would make me sleep better. But I would like a paid off house… Going back to read that blog post!

  16. Michelle Marcus February 11, 2020 at 8:32 AM

    My number is $1,560,000. That seems huge! I hope I can get close in another 25 more years.

  17. Scott February 11, 2020 at 8:43 AM

    Our financial guy says that we will be fine, but my wife’s glass is perpetually 1/4 full. We’re well on our way to 2.5 million, but would be much more comfortable with 3+. Will pay off our mortgage in a month or so and I can probably take a salary from my company after I “retire,” which would be a big help.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:27 PM

      Ooooh early congrats on the mortgage pay off!! Super sexy!!

  18. Rachel N Rich February 11, 2020 at 8:49 AM

    So I haven’t calculated mine in a while, but back when I did, it was around $2.5M to retire at 45. I really need to do it again, since my wife and I have built a house and likely won’t have that paid off in the next 15 years while also saving for retirement. Idk what it was for a normal retirement age, because I’m damned determined to hit FIRE by 45.

  19. Amanda February 11, 2020 at 8:49 AM

    Our combined FI is conservatively $900,000, adding on extra $1.5k per month to our current expenses for (hopefully) a lot of travel & the possibility of increases healthcare expenses later on. We plan to do semi-retirement, helped along by how incredibly easy it is to find per diem & part-time work as a nurse, with some per diem positions even allowing you to contribute to a pension.

  20. Debt Free in RVA February 11, 2020 at 8:56 AM

    ohhhh I am SO excited for a chance to win!!!!! :-)

    early retirement NUMBER for wife and me:

    based on retiring at 60 years old, and having expenses of $ 3,000 per month:

    $900,000 on low end, and so I round this up to $ 1,000,000

    So, $ 1,000,000 is OUR NUMBER.

    I say this assuming a few critical things:

    – our nation has solved healthcare crisis by then (i.e., affordable healthcare)

    – college is saved for and paid for our 4 kids


    – my contingency factor is using our $ 300,000 home for a reverse mortgage, OR selling home and renting to cover housing costs for me and wife

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:29 PM

      I put social security in the same bucket – will just be a nice bonus to have but not counting on it!

  21. Tracy February 11, 2020 at 8:58 AM

    I love the huge diversity of your readers, at least I’m guessing there is a huge diversity due to the wide range of answers when it comes to our numbers. For my family of three, we believe that $1.25M would be “enough” but I continue to read and tweak.

  22. Collin February 11, 2020 at 9:11 AM

    My number is 1,700,000. My goal is to get there will my current job, side hustle and real estate investments. Thanks for all the motivation you give here.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:31 PM

      glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  23. Dylan Corriveau February 11, 2020 at 9:12 AM

    My number is currently about 900,000 but I would feel safer just over 1 million!

  24. BP February 11, 2020 at 9:14 AM

    $4.5M – Yep, way higher than every where else but I’m going conservative and using closer to 3%. Plus, given that we are on the younger side and don’t know what will happen to health insurance and having been on the exchange, between premiums and max OOP, that takes up $1M right there…Rather be comfortable and weather the flows, not be scared to see a doctor, and assume tax situation is going to get worse from where we stand – this is are number.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:30 PM

      Will be that much more impressive when you hit it ;)

  25. Susan February 11, 2020 at 9:16 AM

    I think $950,000. I sure hope Social Security will still be there.

  26. Erin February 11, 2020 at 9:17 AM

    This is horrible – I don’t know my number. Maybe $1.5M. I need to recalculate my expenses and income to see where I’m at.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:32 PM

      Looks like you have a good project to do this week :)

  27. Elsa February 11, 2020 at 9:20 AM

    It’s encouraging to see the variety of numbers in the comments. You mentioned $3 million in the article and that scared me off because I was thinking closer to $1 million. But comments beginning even lower make me feel a little more comfortable with my $1 million estimate for my part of the country.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:33 PM

      Good, yes!! It all depends on YOUR expenses and YOUR lifestyle so don’t ever just go with what other people are saying. We all live different lives! :)

  28. Eric February 11, 2020 at 9:36 AM

    It’s scary to think of all that needs to go into such a number, and I will admit that I have not done enough research to feel confident yet. I think this book could help in that refining process. We live in a low cost area so the number we have been working from is $1 million. That is a strong goal for us based on the salaries we have at this point.

  29. Morgan February 11, 2020 at 9:47 AM

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    My partner and I are fortunate to own our house,be debt-free , and live in a low-cost area. We need 1.3 million.

  30. J February 11, 2020 at 9:48 AM

    I would like to enter for a copy of the book. I calculated a variety of scenarios a while ago (Lean, Regular, “Fat” FIRE, 4%, 3.25%). I am using a regular FI 4% assumption to get $1M as my starting point, but I believe Big ERNs 3.25% withdraw rate makes a bit more sense going forward. That would put us at about 1.3M if I remember correctly. However, some of these numbers could probably use a refresher.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:34 PM

      Big Ern is awesome.. need to pop back over there again and see what he’s up to.

  31. Kim February 11, 2020 at 9:55 AM

    Around 2.4 million, based on (very) comfortably padded annual expenses times 30, but there’s a lot I worry I don’t know that I don’t know — future expenses, inflation, etc.

  32. Katie February 11, 2020 at 9:57 AM

    As a couple who doesn’t want to retire until at least 70 or 72 (fingers crossed our health remains good), thinking about $1.4M for the two of us.

  33. Eric February 11, 2020 at 9:57 AM


  34. Gene Roberts February 11, 2020 at 10:15 AM

    I believe that I could make 1.25M in liquid assets (likely 1.65M net worth) last me until I turn 100 (retiring @ 55 on a 40k/yr budget not counting medical).
    I seem to be on-track to achieve that at about 54, but will wait to retire until I am 55 to be able to make withdrawals from my 401k without penalties. This will give me an even more comfortable margin as I should have more like 1.45M liquid (1.85M NW).
    It would be interesting to see how my numbers match with the book’s.

  35. Syed February 11, 2020 at 10:15 AM

    Awesome I love Todd’s website. I’ve used various calculators and have had a couple of meeting with financial advisers over the years. I’ve gotten a range from about $1.7million-$2.3 million depending on how spendthrift we want to be. It’s so hard to get a halfway accurate number when you’re under 40 but you gotta start somewhere!

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:36 PM


  36. Jen February 11, 2020 at 10:45 AM

    For my husband and I, we feel 2.0 million should be enough. Would love to read this book and see if our thoughts/calculations are correct.

  37. Colleen Kelly February 11, 2020 at 10:46 AM

    We used the Ultimate Retirement Calculator to determine we need $1million to be FI. We are on track, but want a buffer so we aren’t cutting it too close.

  38. Jose February 11, 2020 at 10:47 AM

    My number is 3M. I want to feel comfortable and enjoy a good lifestyle in retirement without having to worry about finances.

  39. Kyris February 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM

    We’ve run the numbers with a myriad of scenarios and calculators and websites and even a financial planner. The number is right around the $3M mark and we are beyond that. Now to figure out and execute an exit strategy for our business and get my husband to walk away from the money making stage and into the living life as we want stage!

    I read your post last week about this book and the excerpt – it definitely added to the thought process. I’d love to have a copy to learn even more!

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:36 PM

      Rock on!! You’re almost to the exciting part – I hope y’all pull the trigger this year! :)

  40. Tina February 11, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    I have 3 numbers. The first is $528K and is my foundation FU money. I could quit working full time and live a comfortable, simple life without concern but I wouldn’t have extra for random entertainment purchased like traveling or season theater tickets. My 2nd number is $814,500 which allows for the extras I currently enjoy; this is my number to continue living the lifestyle I currently have. My third number has a little extra cushion built in because if I’m really loving my job and time availability when I hit my 2nd number, why not give it a little bit longer to have some cushion for those “just in case” things that may pop up. This number is there if a medical issue came up or I wanted extended travel to care for a loved one or a kid got in trouble and I wanted to help out, etc and with some estimating, that number is $1,108,200. I don’t expect to work until I hit my third number, but hopefully some post FI passive income will push me to that point :)

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:37 PM

      Love how much thought you’ve put into this!! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  41. Kelly February 11, 2020 at 11:37 AM

    I took the spreadsheet and modified it for my own values and came up with an early retirement age of 51. This would give me my magic number of $2.5 million. Current age is 38 and I plan on working until 60, which would leave me with a very healthy pile of cash to ride off into the sunset. Regardless, I would still very much love to have this book to further educate myself, and perhaps convince my wife and I that we should retire before 60.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:38 PM

      Oh good! Glad the spreadsheet helped you!

  42. Samantha Chapman February 11, 2020 at 12:16 PM

    We are looking at a quick and dirty FI number of $2.5M. That’s a pretty fat FI number too, really considering no reduction in spending. It’s tricky for us to calculate years until FI because my husband has a pension coming his way once he retires. I remember way back, you sharing someone’s net worth calculator when considering a pension and I used that with your spreadsheet to figure out our years until FI. That calc alone almost gets us to FI, but those funds aren’t available for another 10 years. As of right now, years to FI is 12, but I’m thinking it will be more like 10, right when he retires. We’ll still have kids in school! Very exciting stuff. I love this FI community!

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:39 PM

      Yayyy!!! We love having you in it too! :)

  43. Heather February 11, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    I’m terrified to say, but my number is probably $1.6 million. I’m not sure I can get there and am completely terrified of the future. I’m 40, but falling down the rabbit hole of financial blogs has made me so scared of where I am and where I hope to be by 65. Currently, it looks like I can’t retire until 69 and it requires social security. I doubt social security will be around in 20 years… *sigh*.

    1. Gene Roberts February 11, 2020 at 1:14 PM

      A little bit of fear is a good thing. It means that you are taking it seriously. :)

      Just use it to motivate yourself to generate and stick to a plan.

      Don’t dis-count SS completely. If nothing is done to make the system solvent, they estimate that workers will be able to support approximately 80% of projected payments to retirees once the “reserves” run out.

      I use a figure of 80% of what SS estimates I will get in my planning.

      1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:42 PM

        I second Gene’s sentiment!! It’s just SO GOOD you’re thinking and working towards all this NOW vs later when you’re 60 or 70 and finally sitting down to pay attention! You’d be amazed at the emails I get from people in their 50s and up who are just starting the process :( And remember too that most bloggers/people who comment are doing *far better* than the average person so it’s never a fair comparison. What matters most is that you stick to it and keep refining as you go… You might surprise yourself! :)

  44. Scott February 11, 2020 at 12:53 PM

    The 4% rule has me looking for 1.5 million, but I’d be curious how my pension and social security affect that number. I’d be interested to read the book. There’s a lot of information regarding the accumulation phase, but not a lot about draw down if you’re trying to retire early (and don’t have blog income.)

  45. Scott February 11, 2020 at 1:05 PM

    I’m estimating $2-3M as our number based on a rough 3% withdrawal rate estimate. It’s hard to estimate since reigning in the spending doesn’t rest solely on me.

  46. Lefty February 11, 2020 at 1:40 PM

    I calculate $1.8 million based on 3%. I appreciate Todd’s deep dives, much like Darrow Kirkpatrick.

  47. GJ February 11, 2020 at 2:03 PM

    Embarrassingly, I haven’t calculated it. It just seems like all of the factors are so abstract that it’s a meaningless result (what rate of return will you get over the next 30 years, what will health insurance costs be in the future, etc). We have been saving since 22 and are currently putting away 10 (with a 12% match)! most calculators seem to say we are on track, but not knowing The Number keeps me awake at night.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:44 PM

      Good time to start then ;) And that 12% will def. help speed things up for y’all – well done capturing that!

  48. Small Budget Retirement February 11, 2020 at 2:08 PM

    50k in pension @ 55. So, 9 years ahead.
    Two rentals bringing in 18k each. We already have one.
    This will allow me to cover expenses and continue contributing to my 403B that will turn into IRA from 55-60, and then Roth IRA.

  49. Terri T. February 11, 2020 at 2:24 PM

    We’re not using a single number which seems kind of weird to me but based on our current spending and income my financial advisor says I should be fine to retire at age 54 when my retirement health benefits kick in. That’s just over 5 years from now.

  50. Mel February 11, 2020 at 3:03 PM

    My number is 1,938,000. Weird I know. I did some reverse engineering on when i want to retire (60) and how many “good” years i’ll have for travel and stuff and that’s what i came up with. More is always better! But that’s my minimum number to stop working full time.

  51. SD February 11, 2020 at 3:32 PM

    $1 million should do it! Debt and mortgage free, living a low income lifestyle. About $200k to go….

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:45 PM


  52. Adam February 11, 2020 at 3:56 PM

    I tallied up everything we earned from Jan 1 2011 to Dec 31 2019, less tax and retirement/HSA contributions (so, expenditures and after-tax savings) . Then divided by nine. Then removed the mortgage principal/interest, because that thing gets wiped out in October 2030 and we won’t be retiring before then. I’m handwaving tax and healthcare, but by then we’ll have $120k+ in an HSA and can figure something out.

    Comes to $44,329 annually. Multiply by 25 and here we are at $1,108,218. If we contribute until the house is paid off and average 5% returns, we’ll beat it by six figures easily… but that’s a good number. Let’s go with that.

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:46 PM

      Thanks for the chicken scratch behind the Number! Haha… Hadn’t heard of averaging it all out like that (my life is drastically different 9 years ago, or even 5 years ago!) but I see the rationalization behind it…

      1. Adam February 12, 2020 at 8:34 AM

        Ahh, the life of a FIRE-blogging rockstar, always bringing it harder than years past! ;)

        We’ve settled into our lifestyle; it hasn’t changed much since we bought the house in 2010 and got married in 2011. Still rehearsing and performing with the same amateur musician groups, hanging with the same neighbors, working the same jobs — just stashing more money as raises allow and taking slightly longer vacations now and then. I could do this the rest of my life, especially if work becomes optional or extraneous. It’s oddly comfortable.

        1. Adam February 12, 2020 at 9:57 AM

          Incidentally, some additions to your OG Money-Snapshot spreadsheet (that I’ve been using since 2016, thank you!) made it easy to tally up. We’ve got a separate page in that document with Social Security earnings going back our entire lives, retirement/HSA contributions since we started making them, and tax info since we got married in 2011. Since it’s all there I threw in a calculation for our combined lifetime wealth ratio. Figured I’d check it just now…

          Net worth: $733,590
          Lifetime earnings: $1,467,109
          Lifetime wealth ratio: 50.00%

          HECK YEAH!

          1. Marty February 14, 2020 at 10:52 AM

            Can you point me to the spreadsheet? I couldn’t find anything that sounded like what you described and there are too many to open them all and hope to pick the one you find useful.

              1. Marty February 14, 2020 at 11:58 AM

                Thanks. Even if that’s not it, it will certainly be useful.

          2. J. Money February 14, 2020 at 11:07 AM

            NICE Adam!!! That’s some solid years tracking so far! :)

  53. Donna February 11, 2020 at 4:00 PM

    My number is $1,000,000!

  54. Bijay February 11, 2020 at 4:12 PM

    Love to have this book J$. I have this in my reading list and right time. Thanks

    1. J. Money February 11, 2020 at 5:47 PM

      Cool! Make sure to tell us your “number” then if you want to be entered for it! :)

  55. Liz Philips February 11, 2020 at 4:21 PM

    I’m overwhelmed reading everyone else’s responses! I know the number is north of $1M (maybe $2M?) but I also know I am frugal and don’t need much to feel fulfilled. I would like to have a small place and travel but not extravagantly. Would love to read the book and would be happy to pass it along! (I love sharing)

  56. Becca February 11, 2020 at 5:07 PM

    Right now it’s 1.2M including some padding for healthcare and extra travel.

  57. Kelli February 11, 2020 at 5:38 PM

    I’m estimating that $2 million would be a good amount for retirement for me. I am not close to that right now, but I’ve become much more serious about saving and investing, so I’m working on it! Would love to win a copy of this book for some guidance!

  58. Lauren February 11, 2020 at 5:38 PM

    Ran the numbers based on expected bills then ran them again based on the 4%rule plus padding. $2.5 mil
    If social security tanks I’ll be working til I’m 70+ :(

  59. Mat Luoma February 11, 2020 at 5:51 PM

    Let’s see….

    What’s your best guess at YOUR “number” so far? Back of Envelope amount 2.5 million

    If you haven’t calculated it yet, what’s holding you back?

    This is based on some large factors that are in flux politically – as potentially being changed every 4 years or so – [the 2 running neck and neck are – healthcare and social security, with a 3rd horse of ‘tax changes’ being a few lengths behind] so I have to expect the ‘worst case scenario’. worst case scenario – I need to buy Health Coverage until 80’s and no social security benefit until 75

    Amount Assumes 2300 +/- days from there is a retirement to age 100 <- no part time income and no social security – pay for my own healthcare until 'medicare eligible' (80 or whenever that will be)

    The magic of 2300 days – minimum requirement to have " years of service + age requirement" -in order for me to purchase (at full price) health coverage via corporate insurance to 'bridge' to medicare eligibility –

    Now if we end up with a universal healthcare system – that changes the #s and timeline..
    If social security doesn't change a lot – it's an added bonus
    Taxes are certain – regardless of the 1st 2… just to make them less painful.

    Plan for the worst….

    1. J. Money February 12, 2020 at 7:02 AM

      Even as an optimist I’ll agree with you there :)

    2. Adam February 12, 2020 at 8:39 AM

      Man, this nails it. I’d love to be covered medically at 50 without a job and without bleeding too much of our budget. If ACA subsidies aren’t around anymore, that’d hurt a lot. But if we get single-payer or M4A get implemented, planning becomes SO much easier and more straightforward. Either way the oligarchs will probably get what they want, so best we can do is keep plowing money into the market and try to catch a ride on their backs. What a system.

  60. Avicado February 11, 2020 at 9:36 PM

    $3,000,000 – That’s a minimum, and 3 million is the new 1 million.

  61. Andrea Kincannon February 11, 2020 at 9:59 PM

    Half a million.

    1. J. Money February 12, 2020 at 7:02 AM

      Nice!! way to keep your expenses low!

  62. Sarah February 11, 2020 at 10:40 PM

    A cool half mill for us! We have pensions and will have a paid off house that can be sold if needed. Add in some side gigs teaching (me), some contract jobs (him), plus living half the year in Mexico … and life will be good on that amount.

    1. J. Money February 12, 2020 at 7:03 AM

      Oooooh how do you guys pull off the 1/2 time in Mexico part?? That sounds fun!

  63. Kelly February 11, 2020 at 11:46 PM

    Based on my guesstimate based on current expenditures puts me around 1 million. Luckily an econ prof in college showed us that the math/charts behind how we shouldn’t/can’t rely on Social Security past like x number of years down the road, so I’m planning on being self sufficient.

    1. J. Money February 12, 2020 at 7:03 AM

      Love it. Smart.

  64. Scott February 12, 2020 at 1:56 AM

    My number is $1.5 million, plus a pension. That being said, I continually doubt myself about whether or not this is enough,

    1. J. Money February 12, 2020 at 7:04 AM

      Only one way to find out ;)

  65. CR February 12, 2020 at 5:14 AM

    I’m hoping to get to $2M, maybe a little “fat” because we are also planning a move from hcol to lcol.

  66. Kellie February 12, 2020 at 8:06 AM

    Based on the 4% rule, I figured I need about $500K to live the life I have now. Combined with SS, I’ll be very comfortable and plan to have my house paid off before retiring. Working on having a year of expenses liquid so for the first year (if I work some during that year), I don’t have to worry about taking a lot out for taxes. Then the next year when not working, refill the pot from the 401K and go from there. Even if I take $30K a year out, I should be in a very low bracket. At this point (I’m 50 but restarted at 42 with $25K after a divorce), 2/3 of my 401K/IRA is in pretax but everything going forward it Roth. Just upped my contributions to 27% and am maxing out my HSA money as well.

    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:38 PM

      Nice comeback from that divorce!! And even better expenses if you can live off $30k/year!

  67. Becky February 12, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    I think that when I try running numbers, it always estimates that I need more than I think I need, but my estimate is $1,000,000 or above. That is just going by the 25x estimate that I could live for 25 years on that amount because that would give 40,000 per year not counting interest……Also, it could be possible to only live on the interest from that amount, because if it only gained 4% interest in a year, that’s still 40,000. If it gained more, I’d be okay and if it gained less, I could pull a little from the original million.

    Since I am assuming that I will be mortgage free in retirement, and I live in an area where the cost of living is pretty low, I think that I would be able to live comfortably with that amount. I’m not sure how any future health issues could impact my retirement needs, especially since the older you get, the more medicines you end up needing to take, or so it seems.

    I’m only 33 and I have almost $100,000 in my 401k through work, so I’m hoping to hit a million at some point in the future and re-estimate at that time if I will need to put more in there before retirement or not.

    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:39 PM

      You’ll def. get there at this rate! And can then dub yourself a “401k Millionaire” too ;)

  68. Gilly February 12, 2020 at 1:18 PM

    $1.2million is our number. We are nearing 525k but a large chunk is home equity.

  69. David Straka February 12, 2020 at 6:02 PM

    I agree with the $3m guidance. $100k per year for 30 years. Hope to have $ left over to give to children.

  70. Rose February 12, 2020 at 10:55 PM

    My number is 2 million.

  71. M L February 12, 2020 at 11:12 PM

    My back of the napkin cal is 1.25 M but living in a high cost of living area I would feel better if I had 1.5 as a little cushion.

  72. catseye February 13, 2020 at 3:43 AM

    I haven’t calculated yet or even ventured a guess – it’s too depressing. I would like to win the book to help me figure it out.

    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:40 PM

      I hope it gets you to start :) Once you know it it only goes up from there! :)

  73. Jon February 13, 2020 at 9:58 AM


    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:41 PM

      Is that for Fat FIRE or normal FIRE?

  74. Chris ODonnell February 13, 2020 at 10:16 AM

    If you can figure out how to live off of other people’s money forever you can retire with zero in the bank. Just sayin… ;)

    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:41 PM

      Do you know a secret I don’t??! :)

  75. Mike S February 13, 2020 at 11:45 AM

    I’m retired, but would still like to read the book.
    My number is $800K, which we’ve exceeded. Right now we are living on my small pension and cash accounts. Next small pension kicks in when I’m 65 (2.5yrs from now) and then we will decide if the wife should start taking SS or if we wait. I’ll wait to get as close to 70 as possible.

    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:42 PM

      Nicely done!!

      How does it feel so far? As good as you had hoped or over-hyped? :)

      1. Mike S February 14, 2020 at 2:42 PM

        So far so good; definitely not over-hyped.
        Just hanging out, not really doing anything special, just enjoying the me time for now. Catching up on my reading, have a back log of books that I would pick up for 50 cents or a dollar that I never got around to reading. Making a lot of headway. Watching a bunch of movies and series from all those channels that I was always too cheap to pay for (love my local library for having them for free!).
        Doing some things around the house that need doing, getting stuff ready for a garage sale, trying to get rid of stuff so we can downsize in the next year or two.
        That’s all for now.

        1. J. Money February 14, 2020 at 2:49 PM

          Sounds blissful :)

          And love that you’re downsizing!

  76. Judy February 13, 2020 at 1:49 PM

    Using last year’s expenses, $1.3M. Thanks for the chance to win!

    1. J. Money February 13, 2020 at 1:52 PM

      you’re welcome! :)

  77. Edward F. Draiss Jr February 13, 2020 at 4:50 PM

    My favorite answer is the passive cash flow meets or exceeds your monthly expenses.

    This is somewhat independent of Net Worth


  78. Mitch M February 13, 2020 at 7:23 PM

    I’m a lucky duck with a reasonable pension, so I figure I’ll be sitting pretty at $900k. Even with mortgage – which I don’t plan on paying off.
    Tho I’m shooting for a bigger nut than that!

  79. LeeAnne February 14, 2020 at 6:31 AM

    Like others who have commented, I’m basing my number on the assumption of no social security or pension (that money would be bonus travel money!). Assumption is also no mortgage- which should be paid off at least 10 years before I retire. Bare minimum number I think would be $1 million. However, I want to travel in retirement and not be overly concerned about having enough money so going for $2 million. If things go as planned (ha, ha), I should have at least $2 million around age 60 which is what I’m targeting also for retirement age. I’m interested in reading this book to see what I’m not taking into account when determining my number!

    1. J. Money February 14, 2020 at 6:58 AM

      Very cool – love the planning and thought process so far! :)

  80. Marty February 14, 2020 at 10:22 AM

    My best guess is $800K – $1M but I haven’t calculated it. My TSP isn’t up to what I suspect I need it to be.

    I haven’t calculated it because I never felt I knew how to do that with a decent FERs benefit expected and have been too lazy (or scared) to learn how. I’m in my early 60’s so I better get hot!

    1. J. Money February 14, 2020 at 10:39 AM

      I bet it’s a lot less scary when you finally stare it in the face :)

      1. Marty February 14, 2020 at 11:49 AM

        It might have been less scary to stare it in the face 10 years ago. At my age it gets more scary as I get older. I’ve also noticed that learning new things is much harder than it was just a few years ago, so finding something that easily spells it out will be helpful. I hope this book I will win does that.

  81. Kate February 14, 2020 at 12:08 PM

    I’m looking at about $2.3M. I rent right now and have no real desire to buy a place, so am assuming I’ll stick with the rental lifestyle for the foreseeable future – probably makes my number a little higher than would be the case for someone with a similar lifestyle who owns a home outright.

  82. Nick B. February 14, 2020 at 1:49 PM

    I’ll bite… Last time I did the “back of the napkin” math, I came up with $2mil for both me and the Mrs. With her fancy new job at a Community College that comes with a defined benefit pension plan, that number is probably quite different. Also, we’re not yet in our “forever home”, and (hopefully) not done having kids yet.
    I’ve long believed that my personal number would be $1mil, because that’s historically been my contribution to our family’s income based on my salaries less investments etc.

    Maybe recalculating would be a good project, since I got laid off from work this week. Would be a nice break from job hunting… haha.

    1. J. Money February 14, 2020 at 2:53 PM

      Oh damn – did not see that one coming! Good for you for still keeping a sense of humor about it all :) Hope your next gig is a lot more fun – and profitable – than the last one!

  83. Nancy February 14, 2020 at 6:52 PM

    Really fun to see all the comments with peoples’ numbers! I’d love a copy of this book. I regularly try to calculate numbers, but I keep adding all kinds of “padding” to cover contingencies. I THINK I could be comfortable with 3 million.

  84. Lisa February 15, 2020 at 11:16 AM

    We were late to the FI game, so we’d like to have $1,000,000. We can live on very little if necessary. If we don’t reach our goal, we’ll be fine, just like we were as newlyweds when we lived on one income of $7 per hour.

    This book would be a helpful resource for us.

    1. J. Money February 17, 2020 at 3:37 PM

      Amazing what we can actually survive on when we need to! And when you look back at those days there’s still just as many happy memories :)

  85. Pearl February 15, 2020 at 2:20 PM

    Thanks for the giveaway! About $2.5M since healthcare costs are still tentative.

  86. Collin Harness February 15, 2020 at 11:57 PM

    My FI retirement number is 2,000,000. But I really like the idea of creating a charity foundation so I may keep working to make that dream a reality.

    1. J. Money February 17, 2020 at 3:38 PM

      LOVE that idea – I hope you make it happen!

  87. Megan February 16, 2020 at 9:34 AM

    I get a partial pension, so somehow it makes my calculations a lot more confusing. I’m estimating we’ll need around $1,500,000.

  88. J. Money February 17, 2020 at 3:48 PM


    Congrats to the following 3 winners!

    Scott M
    Mitch M