Financial Planning

Is $1 Million Enough to Retire?

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.


Do you need to save 1 million dollars or more to afford retirement? Or can you enjoy your golden years without seven figures in the bank?

The belief that workers must save a cool million to retire comfortably has been repeated so often it has become a cliché, but is that old bromide really true? Do you really need to accumulate a million-dollar nest egg to enjoy your golden years? Or can you enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without seven figures in the bank?

While some workers will indeed require a million dollars to accommodate their chosen lifestyle, others may not need that much. In the end, it all boils down to your needs and the accommodations you are willing to make. Here are survival strategies that could help you enjoy your post-work years even if you fail to hit that million-dollar target.

Cut Your Kids Loose

One of the most common mistakes retirees make is spending too much supporting their grown children. While the temptation to help out your struggling kids is certainly understandable, doing too much could put your own financial security in jeopardy.

If your kids are making an honest effort and working toward a sound financial goal, a little help here and there will not hurt – as long as you can afford it. But if you are giving your grown children a handout instead of a hand up, it may be time for a little tough love.

Downsize Your Home

Even if you end up short of that much-vaunted million-dollar savings goal, you may have more money than you realize. Now that you are done with work and the kids are on their own, you can downsize into retirement and pocket the equity you have spent a lifetime building.

Selling your current home and downsizing into a more modest property could free up hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra cash, money you can save, invest and use to get you that much closer to your original post-retirement savings goal.

Seek Out Free Entertainment Options

Retirees have a lot of free time to fill, and filling it can be an expensive proposition. A weekly movie could set you back several hundred dollars a month, and going to concerts and plays could cost even more.

Luckily, you have a wealth of low-cost and free entertainment options at your fingertips – and plenty of time to seek them out. Your local library is a great source of free books, along with movies, lectures, and other entertainment options. You can use the money you save to enjoy a nice dinner out – or squirrel it away for a rainy day.

Take Advantage of Travel Deals

Now that you are retired, you can choose when and how you travel. That means you can sign up for all those last-minute travel sites, the ones that offer deep discounts in exchange for flexibility.

Whether you love to cruise or crave adventure travel, you can find real bargains when you are not constrained by work schedules or tied down with the kids. You can save even more if you are willing to settle for less luxurious accommodations or stay with out-of-town friends and relatives.

Knowing that you can retire on less than a million dollars can give you peace of mind, but that knowledge can also jump-start your investment strategy. Some workers find themselves so intimidated by that seven-figure target that they give up on saving and investing altogether, short-circuiting their dreams of a comfortable retirement before they start. Taking a more realistic approach to your post-work years could spur you to save, so you can reach your own personal goals instead of reaching for a less attainable milestone.

Find Financial Advisors on Wealthtender

No matter how much money you have saved or the wealth you have accumulated, a financial advisor can help you grow your money. You’ll find a diverse mix of financial advisors featured on Wealthtender, including many who live near you and others who can work with you online.

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below for a preview of financial advisors who can help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. Or choose the grid view to search our directory of financial advisors with additional filtering options.

Ron Zunker Pax Financial Group Fee Based Fiduciary Advisor
Serving Clients Nationwide
San Antonio, Texas
Mark V Powell Edward Jones Financial Advisor
Serving Clients Nationwide
Huntsville, Alabama
Laura Simpson, CFP® PAX Financial Group Fee Based Fiduciary Advisor
Serving Clients Nationwide
San Antonio, Texas
Guy Davis, CFA GCI Investors We invest, we don’t speculate.
Serving Clients Nationwide
Houston, Texas
Michael Jensen, CFP® Falcon Wealth Planning Planning Made Simple.
Serving Clients Nationwide
Irvine, California
Adell, Harriman & Carpenter, Inc. Your financial home for every season of life.
Houston, Texas
Charles F. Hall Jr. Clear Rock Advisors Managing Wealth for Generations
Serving Clients Nationwide
Austin, Texas
Ty Sanders Clear Rock Advisors Managing Wealth for Generations
Serving Clients Nationwide
Austin, Texas
Corey Long, CFP® Clear Rock Advisors Managing Wealth for Generations
Serving Clients Nationwide
Austin, Texas
Corey Noyes, AAMS Balanced Capital Align Your Portfolio With The Kind Of World You Want To Create
Heber City, Utah
David T. DeWitt, CFP®, CSRIC DeWitt Capital Management Financial Planning for the Next Generation
Wayne, Pennsylvania
David DeWitt DeWitt Capital Management Podcaster 🎙️, financial planner💸, and ADHDer. 🦋
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Bob Gavlak, CFP® WealthSource Sophisticated Expertise. Approachable Advice.
Columbus, Ohio
The Goff Financial Group Fee-Only | Fully Independent | Fiduciary
Serving Clients Nationwide
Houston, Texas
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About the Author
A headshot of Brian Thorp, the founder and CEO of Wealthtender

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.