Retire with $2 million: a complete guide

1 min readLast updated June 4, 2024by Rachel Carey

How much is enough to retire? Could 2 million dollars cover your needs? This article explores the prospect of retiring with $2 million.

Summary

  • $2 million is far above the average retirement savings in the US.

  • $2 million should afford you to enjoy a comfortable and happy retirement.

  • If you choose to retire at 50, a retirement savings fund of $2 million would provide you with $50,000 annually.

  • If you want to manage your finances and get ready for retirement, a trusted financial advisor can help.

What percentage of retirees have $2 million dollars?

​​​Federal Reserve data puts the average retirement savings amount in the US at $65,000. Before concluding anything from this figure, we must take note of some vital context surrounding it: 

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  • According to a recent Federal Reserve report, around 28% of American adults have no retirement savings at all. 

  • In that same report, 69% of working adults admitted feeling underprepared for retirement. 

  • Many Americans are now retiring later than they had been previously, with Gallup data revealing that the average retirement age, which was 57 in 1991, is ​​now 61. 

Whichever way you slice it, $2 million sits far above the average and puts you in a very fortunate position. 

Is $2 million enough to retire? 

Yes, $2 million should be enough to allow you to enjoy a comfortable, happy retirement that suits your needs and preferences.  

Here are three different scenarios for comparison: 

  1. You retire at 61 – With an estimated life expectancy of 90, you need 29 years of income. Across those years, $2 million could equate to approximately $68,966 annually or $5,747 monthly. This should serve you incredibly well and make you feel comfortable and cushioned, especially if you have relatively low expenses as a retiree and a normal lifestyle. 

  2. You retire at 55 – With an estimated life expectancy of 90, you need 35 years of income. Across those years, $2 million could equate to approximately $57,143 annually or $4,762 monthly. This should be more than enough, though healthcare expenses and other expenditures could eat away at it more quickly than you expect, and it may not be enough for a lavish retirement if this is what you have in mind.  

  3. You retire at 40 – With an estimated life expectancy of 90, you need 50 years of income. Across those years, $2 million could equate to approximately $40,000 annually or $3,333 monthly. This should be enough to cover you, but things may be tight if your outgoings are high as a retiree. You may want to purchase an annuity that provides a guaranteed regular income. 

Consulting with an experienced financial advisor can provide tailored advice to assess your retirement needs based on your situation. Match with a financial advisor below.

How long will $2 million last in retirement?  

$2 million can take you very far as a retiree. However, individual circumstances dictate just how far. Though it’s a massive​​ 684% more, according to The Ascent, than most Americans have access to at retirement age, it may not be enough if: 

  • You have a costly retirement lifestyle far beyond the norm. 

  • You have large financial commitments that will remain in place when you retire. 

  • You want to retire significantly early without making any lifestyle sacrifices. 

  • You face expensive healthcare and long-term care costs that eat into your income. 

The best way to determine how long your money will last is to calculate how much you’ll likely spend each month once you retire and budget from there. Be honest with yourself when completing this calculation, or you’ll risk setting expectations you can’t meet when your retirement date arrives.  

What are the retirement income taxes for retirees with $2 million? 

As a retiree, you’ll still be taxed on income from most sources following the federal tax brackets and corresponding rates. With high earnings like those you might pull from a retirement pot of $2 million, you’ll likely be taxed at one of the higher rates.  

Here’s how you’ll be taxed on some of the most common forms of retirement income: 

What is the type of retirement income?How is it taxed?
Roth IRA and Roth 401(k) distributions Distributions are tax-free because Roth accounts are after tax (tax is paid at the point of deposit rather than the point of withdrawal)
Traditional IRAs and traditional 401(k) distributions, pension and annuity distributions, short-term capital gains, bond income and non-qualified dividends Distributions are taxed as ordinary income at the relevant federal rate
Social Security payments Up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxed as ordinary income at the relevant federal rate, while the remaining 15 percent is tax-free
Long-term capital gains and qualified dividends You’ll be taxed according to the relevant long-term capital gains rate, usually owing less than you would in traditional tax

Can I retire at 50 with 2 million dollars? 

For most retirement lifestyles, this would be a viable option, and that’s easy to see if you walk through a scenario similar to those we discussed above. 

If you retire at 50 and expect to live to the age of 90, 40 years of retirement income will be required. Looking at the $2 million figure in isolation, not considering any money it will earn through interest during your retirement, you can expect a minimum accessible income of $50,000 yearly.  

This isn’t bad, considering the average working person’s salary in the US is just under $60,000. It’s especially generous when you remember that retired folk tend to have lower outgoings and expenses in most areas than people at any other age (barring healthcare). This is because: 

  • They have usually paid off any significant loans or debts, like mortgages 

  • They don’t usually have any child-age dependents 

  • They may have relatively sedentary, low-cost lifestyles 

Can I retire at 40 with $2 million?

If you want to retire even earlier, you might wonder if $2 million will be enough if you decide to retire at 40.

Using the same formula as above, if you retire at 40 and expect to live to the age of 90, 50 years of retirement income will be required. Not factoring in any additional income or money you need to set aside for taxes, this $2 million would provide you with an annual income of $40,000. This equates to a monthly income of $3,333.

With the reduced expenses as detailed above, this amount could afford you a comfortable retirement lifestyle.

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How to increase your retirement savings 

Having already accumulated $2 million, you’ll likely be set up well for retirement. But, if any of the above factors have you concerned about how far your wealth will stretch and you’re wondering how to increase your savings, here are three methods you can follow: 

  1. Seek thorough, detailed advice from a finance professional – If you’ve not already done this by the time you’ve accumulated $2 million, make finding a financial advisor your next task. With the right savings strategies and a robust investment portfolio to your name, your wealth is very likely to blossom.  

  2. Cut back in certain areas or redirect other savings into your retirement fund – Can your finances be pruned in certain areas to redirect funds? For most, the golden years become more of a priority as time goes on, so it’s possible that you need to reassess how you’ve set up your savings. 

  3. Continue to invest long past your retirement date – Retired investors still have many options, so there’s no need to close that door if you have the money to keep it open as a retiree. Even among lower-risk possibilities, there’s plenty of choice, from bonds and Certificates of Deposit (CDs) to high-yield savings accounts.  

The bottom line  

There are many ways to make your millions work for you, especially when you account for your money’s ability to make money. 

If you want further financial advice about retirement, you can connect with an SEC-regulated ​​advisor via Unbiased. Simply answer our five-minute survey, and an advisor perfectly suited to meet your needs will be in touch. Get started here.

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.

Looking to retire on $2 million?

A financial advisor can build a retirement plan tailored to you