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The Financial Media…

I was perusing through the usual material over at Yahoo! Finance today, checking up on my stocks, the market, and hoping that Jeremy Siegel may have written another article instead of the usual “gurus.” My hopes were dashed and I didn’t find said article, but I did notice something about “The Middle Class Millionaire, Unable To Retire?”

I almost hate to link it, but for the sake of reference: here.

I have to wonder who this article’s target audience really is. There are hundreds if not thousands of personal finance blogs out there that focus on the blogger’s quest to reach a net worth of $1 million USD. I read a lot of them, and I think the progress that some of these authors make is both admirable and interesting to read. I hope to amass such wealth in the future as well! I’m convinced that I could live comfortably on my current salary as long as it was adjusted for inflation. I only seek more so that I have the ability to save and invest more, and therefor be able to reach Financial Independence, the holy grail of personal finance, as soon as I can.

But no, says the article, you’ll need over $2 million:

“Just a generation ago, a person with $2 million or more in liquid assets would have had enough for a secure retirement. But not today.”

What kind of retirement do you expect? No wonder so many Americans give up on saving for retirement because they feel it’s a hopeless quest. Getting to a million dollars in liquid assets is a dream to the average worker bee, and you want to hold out 2$ million as the magic number?

This is why financial retirement calculators and much of what you read about retirement from the media is misleading. The only person who knows what will be considered “comfortable” in retirement is you. Anyone who needs $4 million in assets to comfortably retire has a serious lifestyle inflation problem and “cutting back” should be a relatively painless exercise.


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