- Mark Fonville, CFP®

# Is $2 Million Enough To Retire At 60? [Case Study]

**Is $2 million enough to retire at 60? **It's an important question to ask.

Yes, for some people, $2 *million* should be more than *enough to retire*. For others, $2 *million* may not even scratch the surface.

The answer depends on your personal situation and there are lot of challenges you'll face.

Research shows that the fear of outliving retirement savings is one of the biggest concerns crippling pre-retirees and new retirees alike.

Even with a __free cheat sheet__, making your $2 million portfolio last through retirement is hard.

But, the significance of making sure $2 million is enough to retire becomes even more important at age 60.

Why?

With improvements in healthcare, people are living longer. That means you'll need to plan for at least 30 years or more of sustainable portfolio income.

Even worse, **social security benefits may only cover 20-40% of your income in retirement**.

And many smart retirees delay taking social security until age seventy to maximize benefits.

As a result, annual income need from your $2 million portfolio can be much higher from age 60 to 70. At least until you start taking social security.

So, while two million dollars may seem like a lot, there are many hurdles to jump over in retirement to make sure your money lasts the rest of your life.

In this article, **you'll find out if $2 million is enough to retire based upon different income needs. **

We provide the results of **five different case studies**. Each case study reviews a hypothetical couple with a different income need from their portfolio.

**What You Will Learn:**

But, keep in mind that there is a big difference between knowing "if" you can retire vs. actually knowing "how" to make your money last in the first place.

To help avoid costly investment mistakes in retirement, be sure to read our __comprehensive guide on how to invest in retirement.__

Otherwise, keep reading to find out if $2 million is enough to retire at 60. I think you'll be surprised by the results!

## How to Stress Test a $2 Million Portfolio with Monte Carlo

When it comes to projecting income in retirement, the __best financial advisors for retirement__ often use a retirement calculator called **Monte Carlo Simulation**.

If you're like many of __our clients__, the term "Monte Carlo" may take your mind to a seaside town in France as you enter one of the most famous casinos in the world.

Unfortunately, the Monte Carlo we are referencing isn’t as glamorous.

But it does a much better job at projecting retirement outcomes with a high probability of success.

At Covenant Wealth Advisors, we use Monte Carlo to help us estimate the probable outcomes of money lasting in retirement for clients.

Monte Carlo simulation works by running thousands of possible stock market return scenarios by altering variables input into the tool.

The result is one number that represents the probability of making your money last in retirement.

The probability of success below is an example of Monte Carlo results.

Based on these results, Monte Carlo can help you decide the best course of action, particularly as it relates to determining how long $2 million will last in retirement.

The chart below is a great visual of how we stress test the likelihood of $2 million lasting in retirement for a 60 year old.

The green lines indicate a single hypothetical simulation where a 60 year old accomplished all financial goals in retirement without running out of money.

Conversely, the red lines indicate scenarios where the 60 year old ran out of money.

But, to determine if $2 million is enough to retire at age 60, you must include many factors such as:

Your monthly income need

Growth rate on your money and investments

Your life expectancy in retirement (maybe 30 years or more)

Federal and state tax rates

Additional considerations outside the scope of this article include: Social security benefits, healthcare expenses, additional spending needs such as vacation and cars.

Once you have accurate financial facts gathered, we can stress test the data thousands of times to determine your likelihood of success.

Technology has come a long way, right?

Your life, finances, and of course stock markets, are subject to change, and Monte Carlo Simulation helps paint a picture of possibilities—everything that could happen to prepare you for what could happen.

So, let's find out if $2 million is enough to retire at age 60.

I think you’ll be surprised by the results!

**Case Study Results: Is $2 million enough to retire at 60?**

Joe and Mary Schmoe celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary last weekend.

Their love carried them through a few moves, a few more careers, and two lovely children.

**In 2022 they will each turn 60 years old**. Dreams of retirement in a small town by the lake and making their $2 million last become their main focus.

It is time for them to enter a new chapter of their lives, together. Both in pristine health, they will need their money to last up to 35 years or until age 95!

I know what you’re thinking.

Planning to age 95 seems like a long time. Right? As it turns out, a 60 year old married couple in 2022 has a 30% chance of at least one individual living to age 95!

The chart below illustrates the probability of living to different ages for a 60 year old in 2022.

To help us find out if $2 million is enough to retire at age 60 for Mary and Joe, we analyzed five different case studies.

Each case uses the following assumptions:

35 years of portfolio withdrawals

Tax rate after withdrawals begin is 20%

Income withdrawal increases every year at 2.25% to account for

__inflation__Average projected return is 5.45% per year

The only adjustment we made to each case study was the amount of annual withdrawal from the portfolio. This reflects differing income needs based upon lifestyle.

In the chart below, we summarize the monthly **after-tax** withdrawal amount from a $2 million portfolio and provide the probability of the money lasting 35 years in retirement.

As Mary and Joe's after-tax annual income need increases, the likelihood of their money lasting in retirement decreases!

Most investors would expect this. But, what's most shocking is that three of the four case studies have a high probability of running out of money (less than 70% success rate).

Said another way, $2 million may be enough to retire for some, but it's certainly not enough to retire for others.

That's why it's so important for individuals nearing retirement to create a personal retirement income plan and not rely on generalizations.

So many factors can change the results including tax rates, timing of social security, Roth conversion, income need, and portfolio rate of return.

Everyone is different and the results for your situation could be far worse or better.

It all depends.

Those are the results at a high level. Now, let’s dive in a bit deeper by analyzing 5 scenarios with differing income needs starting at age 60.

**Case Study 1: $2 Million Portfolio with $3,000 After-Tax Income Distribution**

The first scenario provides Mary and Joe $3,000 per month of income from their $2 million portfolio. This is income they will need above and beyond any other sources such as social security or pensions. The money must last until they each reach age 95.

Here are some additional assumptions for case study 1:

Starting portfolio value: $2 million dollars

After-tax portfolio income per month: $3,000

Retirement age: 60

Retirement start date: January 1, 2022

Retirement time horizon: 35 years

Portfolio mix: 60% stocks 40% bonds

**Using Monte Carlo Simulation, the probability that their money will last 35 years is 96%**.

With such a low withdrawal rate, their money has a very high probability of lasting throughout retirement as outlined in figure 1 below.

**Figure 1 **

__(Source and data disclosures: Case study 1)__

**Case Study 2: $2 Million Portfolio with $4,000 After-Tax Income Distribution**

In scenario two, Joe and Mary withdraw $4,000 per month from their $2 million portfolio. This is an increase of 33.33% from __case study 1__.

This is income they will need above and beyond any other sources such as social security or pensions. The money must last until they each reach age 95.

Here are some additional assumptions for case study 2:

Starting portfolio value: $2 million dollars

After-tax portfolio income per month: $4,000

Retirement age: 60

Retirement start date: January 1, 2022

Retirement time horizon: 35 years

Portfolio mix: 60% stocks 40% bonds

**Monte Carlo Simulation shows that the probability of the money lasting through retirement decreases to 87%. **

This is not a low probability. But, probability of success decreased from scenario two due to the increase in retirement income drawdown.

**Figure 2**

(Source and data disclosures: Case study 2)

*Curious about having us help you plan for retirement? **You can learn more here**. If you’d like to learn more about avoiding big money mistakes in retirement, we provide a selection of *__powerful ebooks, guides, and checklists.__

**Case Study 3: $2 million Portfolio with $5,000 After-Tax Income Distribution**

In scenario three, Joe and Mary withdraw $5,000 per month from their $2 million portfolio. This is an increase of 25% from __case study 2__.

This is income they will need above and beyond any other sources such as social security or pensions. The money must last until they each reach age 95.

Here are some additional assumptions for case study 3:

Portfolio value: $2 million dollars

After-tax portfolio income per month: $5,000

Retirement age: 60

Retirement start date: January 1, 2022

Retirement time horizon: 35

Portfolio mix: 60% stocks 40% bonds

Case study 3 depicts a higher monthly income for Mary and Joe. By taking $5,000 after-tax each month, the likelihood of that money lasting 35 years continues to decline.

**In this case, spending more money brings the probability of running out of money down to 69%! **This is a huge drop from Scenario 2 which is 87%.

The 18% difference is nothing to scoff at and can have a huge impact on their ability to make their savings last.

**Figure 3**

__(Source and data disclosures: Case study 3)__

**Case Study 4: $2 Million Portfolio with $6,000 After-Tax Income Distribution**

In scenario four, Joe and Mary withdraw $6,000 per month from their $2 million portfolio. This is a 20% increase in income need from __case study 3__.

This is income they will need above and beyond any other sources such as social security or pensions. The money must last until they each reach age 95.

Here are some additional assumptions for case study 4:

Starting portfolio value: $2 million dollars

After-tax portfolio income per month: $6,000

Retirement age: 60

Retirement start date: January 1, 2022

Retirement time horizon: 35

Portfolio mix: 60% stocks 40% bonds

**If Mary and Joe withdraw $6,000 per month for 35 years, the probability of their money lasting through retirement decreases to 50%. **

Case study 4 creates a real concern for Joe and Mary. Their higher lifestyle creates a need for greater income. As a result, their $2 million portfolio only funds their retirement income needs 50% of the time across 1,000 simulations.

**Figure 4**

(Source and data disclosures: Case study 4)

**Case Study 5: $2 Million Portfolio with $7,000 After-Tax Income Distribution**

Our final case study illustrates the most aggressive income need for Joe and Mary which is $7,000 on an after-tax basis.

Unless a miracle happens, Joe and Mary will almost certainly run out of money if they retire at age 60 with $2 million and withdraw $7,000 after-tax per month form their portfolio.

This is a 233% increase from case __study 1__.

Here are some additional assumptions for case study 5:

Portfolio value: $2 million dollars

After-tax portfolio income per month: $7,000

Retirement age: 60

Retirement start date: January 1, 2022

Retirement time horizon: 35 years

Portfolio mix: 60% stocks 40% bonds

**With an income need of $7,000 per month, the probability of $2 million lasting 35 years in retirement tumbles to 30%!**

**Figure 5**

(Source and data disclosures: Case study 5)

### How to Make $2 Million Last in Retirement

You may be thinking, *"wow, based on these assumptions, I'll be okay". *

Here's the problem: "Is $2 million enough to retire at 60?" may actually be the wrong question to ask in the first place!

You should be asking, "How can I make $2 million last in retirement?" When you rephrase the question, you may put yourself in a better position for actually making it happen!

But, where do you start?

There are a lot more questions to consider when it comes to thinking about retirement. Finding the right answers may significantly improve your odds of success.

**To help, you can access our library of powerful **__retirement checklists__** including:**

The truth is, making your $2 million last from age 60 onward isn’t easy. But, it is possible and even highly probably if coordinated the right way.

## Conclusion

In the case of Mary and Joe, the more money they withdraw from their portfolio per month, the less likely their $2 million will last throughout retirement.

While monte carlo is a great tool to help determine if your money will last, there are many factors that go into determining the amount of money you need to retire at age 55, 60, or 65.

Two million dollars might be enough for some people, but others may require $1 million, $3 million, $5 million, $10 million, or more.

It all depends on your lifestyle and the strategies you follow.

If you have $2 million and want to retire at age 60, it is important to start with your desired lifestyle and how much that lifestyle will cost you. This will help determine the amount of money you should have in your accounts.

**But the amount of money you have is just one piece of the puzzle.**

It is important to consider the age you want to retire, your life expectancy, and how your portfolio is invested. Additional variables such as your tolerance for investment risk, social security income, order in which you withdraw money from your accounts, pensions, and many other financial factors can impact whether or not $2 million will be enough to retire at 60.

One of the biggest factors that impacts your ability to make $2 million last in retirement is taxes. Proper tax planning is paramount and, if done correctly, can potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement.

The truth is that making your money last in retirement requires discipline, a well-structured portfolio, and tax-efficient retirement income strategies well beyond the scope of this article.

At Covenant Wealth Advisors, we can help you create an investment plan that creates a consistent stream of income for the rest of your life.

We are independent Certified Financial Planner™ practitioners who operate on a __fee-only__ basis; meaning we never receive commissions for product sales. Additionally, we serve as a fiduciary which means we are required by law to always put your best interests and objectives at the forefront. We can help you find the right retirement strategies to conserve your wealth and the right investments to achieve your goals.

Need help making your money last in retirement? We can meet virtually with clients throughout the United States.

**About Mark Fonville, CFP®**

Mark is a personal financial advisor and the President of Covenant Wealth Advisors.

In 2022, Mark was ranked on Forbes list of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors and is currently the #1 ranked Fee-Only NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor on the Forbes list in the state of Virginia*. He has been featured in the New York Times, Barron's, Forbes, and Kiplinger Magazine.

__Schedule a free consultation with Mark__

**Disclosures: **

Covenant Wealth Advisors is a registered investment advisor with offices in Richmond and Williamsburg, VA. We provide investment management, financial planning, and tax planning services to individuals age 50 plus with over $1 million in investments. Investments involve risk and does with possible loss of principal and does not guarantee that investments will appreciate. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

The views and opinions expressed in this content are as of the date of the posting, are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This content contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please no