Weekend Reading – Yes, you can retire with your millions

Weekend Reading – Yes, you can retire with your millions


Welcome to some new Weekend Reading…first up, a few recent posts and what folks commented on:

I updated this post, wondering if investors should still own bonds right now? 


“You’re welcome. Well done. I know I was active on the original post so thought I’d drop back in, I’m on the path I planned to be on and want to be on for the foreseeable future. Gliding equity path, GICs and cash equiv., pension(s). So far so good.”

I also recently posted some great gains by owning CNQ stock with oil & gas prices poised to move much higher still. 

Then and Now – Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ)

Weekend Reading – Yes, you can retire with millions

Weekend Reading - Yes, you can retire with your millions

Image source: Kamshotthat on Pexels.

Headlining some Weekend Reading, some articles that suggest millennials and even older generations will need millions to retire. 

BMO 1.7 million to retire


Rajat 3-5 million to retire


Suze Orman 5 million to retire

And from Suze:

“Things happen. . . If you have $20, $30, $50 or $100 million, be like me, okay? If you have that kind of money, and you want to retire, fine.” – Suze Orman.

Then you have this:

Weekend Reading - Yes, you can retire with millions

Source: https://financialpost.com/personal-finance/family-finance/woman-retirement-help-50-million-savings

I mean, these articles and headlines are getting bad and worrying folks unnecessarily in my opinion.


Marianna from our Financial Post article is worried about “outliving her money” – even though she can spend a few hundred thousand, per year, every year. She was seeking guidance in how to spend/drawdown/enjoy the following:

  • Her RRSP, which is made up of dividend-paying Canadian equities, largely in the bank and energy sector, is now worth $1.5 million and generates annual dividends of nearly $79,000. 
  • Marianna has an additional $2.5 million (including $113,000 in a tax-free savings account), also fully invested in the same dividend-paying Canadian stocks. Her portfolio generates nearly $155,000 each year, which she reinvests each year into her portfolio…

What do the experts say?

“What does she want to do with all this money? Her three main options are: spend more, give to family or friends, or donate to charities,” he said. “She seems quite happy with her current lifestyle. She can afford to spend $400,000 per year before tax, or about $270,000 per year after tax. That is more than $200,000 per year after tax more than she is spending.”


Read the article, stay for the comments on that one…

Weekend Reading – Yes, you can retire with millions

At the end of the day, you can retire on less than millions.

Sure, you do need some money – no denying that and it is my hope I will continue to save and invest wisely as I age too. And, I also believe in the path that ideally, your portfolio generates meaningful income that you can live from via dividends or self-made dividends. But the reality is, for many Canadians, Boomers and some GenXers, even with higher inflation, they should do just fine with modest savings to retire at a traditional retirement age assuming average CPP and OAS benefits kick in too and they have no debt. 

I’ve run the math many, many times in many, many different ways to support DIY investors. Happy to do so! I love doing that – helping others…

You can find out what it takes, having less than a million, more than a million, and investment portfolios in between by reading over a dozen, free, retirement case studies on this dedicated page.  


Moving on – good reminders here about just some of the low-cost, high-value work I/we do at aforementioned Cashflows & Portfolios – helping to share drawdown insights, spending insights, taxation impacts to all DIY investors. 

The savvy investors, asset accumulators, asset decumulators and more that read this site already know from that article that drawing down your RRSP/RRIF sooner than later is generally smart.

More bluntly, I believe your RRSP and RRIF is a tax liability. Something to consider. 

I have a few thousand words on that subject below with thanks to a trusted CFP for my research:

Watch out for RRSP and RRIF taxation

Unlike our friend Marianna, Dale Roberts suggests waiting (when it comes to investing) is usually the hardest part.

Incredible work over at Dividend Daddy, getting closer to Marianna month-by-month:

“My August 2023 dividend total is $2,947.75.”

Here are the investing secrets of the wealthy thanks to HonestMath:

Investing Secrets of the Wealthy - HonestMath

Funny stuff. 🙂

Congrats to Larry Bates – well done and happy to support!

You can read my interview with Larry Bates here.

The weather is going to be great in Ottawa this weekend. I will be outside to enjoy it.

Save, Invest, Prosper!

As always, there are Deals to be had on that page – always good to save, invest and earn more where you can, staying frugal or otherwise. 🙂

Need help with any retirement income drawdown order or projections for your retirement? 

Contact me here anytime to learn about our low-cost, high-value solutions for any DIY investors by DIY investors.

Enjoy your weekend,


My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

13 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Yes, you can retire with your millions"

  1. Mark, I enjoyed reading about Marianne.
    We have to remember that she is a musician and not a money management type. Mind you math skill and music skill go together.
    I have known a few music types and they don’t have a lot of money, it is a low paying profession. My second son had great musical ability but my hubby said when he was young that it was a ridiculous profession to consider (his teacher said he had the talent for it) due to the pay. After age 20 he gave it up.
    But it also sounds like she didn’t spend any money at all, still living with parents etc. Enjoys travel, but only spends $5000 a year?? Her joy must all have been from the music and I can understand that.

    1. Yes, I can see that all skills are not created equal but it is a bit shocking that someone can spend more than $200k per year, every year, and not realize that. That said, everyone is wired differently!

      I appreciate your comment.

  2. Mark, By lump sum savings I mean total $ capital, ie; “Canadians now expect to need $1.7M in order to retire”. That figure is meaningless to me. How do they come up with a $1.7M figure and how does it equate to in a monthly budget? For example, if one were to say they expect monthly payments of $1,000 in CPP and $600 in OAS in retirement how would those those amounts factor into the $1.7M and how would they even know my retirement age, the cost of living where I live, my life expectancy, etc, etc,etc? Is the $1.7M to be used to buy income streams with the proceeds?

    1. Gotcha.


      I also find such numbers meaningless for the most part since it all depends on what you spend…and then to your point, the sum of many expected income streams.

      Having $1.7M or even $1.5M invested, at any age, is a lot of money that could churn out significant income.


    2. Bernie, that number came from the people themselves. Survey says thing.
      So if you were asked and your neighbours were asked, this is the average.
      I agree pretty meaningless to me.

  3. Lloyd (63, retired at 55) · Edit

    I don’t get bent out of shape over the “You need X number of dollars to retire” drivel. The more outrageous the figure, the larger the font in the headline. Without exception, every single one of the originators, and most of the disseminators, of that kind of “information” are trying to sell something or make money off of the reporting of same. Books, newsletters, etc etc. Even all the many dozens of personal financial blogs are looking for eyeballs on pages. The good ones are honest about it.

    Having said that, there may be some entertainment value in reading it. So the best bet is to maybe chortle at them and move on to more reasonable issues.

    1. Well said, Lloyd.

      I’ve known some retirees that are doing just fine with well under $1 M invested. For sure.
      I know others that express “that’s not enough” for their needs and wants.
      Everyone is different when it comes to their magic number.

      I treat the marketing as entertainment – really nothing more. 🙂

      Have a great weekend,

  4. IMO its total BS to tell anyone that they need a lump sum of any $ amount in order to retire. Instead those planning to retire should estimate how much income they will need to retire and then put together and follow an investment plan to build their income up to that estimate. That figure should include all income streams, ie; investment accounts, company pensions, CPP, OAS, etc. I feel it is also important to put aside an emergency savings account with enough content to cover ~6 months of their monthly budget requirements should it be needed.

    Question: if one were to plan to save a $ lump sum figure before retiring what formula could they use to calculate lump sum $ amounts of their monthly paying income streams. I have yet to see any mention of such a calculator in any retirement planning articles I have read.

    1. Bernie, can you clarify what you mean by lump sum savings?

      I’m with you – figure out your expenses, first, then add up all available, current and future income streams to see the math if that reconciles.


    1. Ya, kinda incredible and extreme but my goodness that’s bonkers.

      I loved the expert reference about bond ETFs. Hahaha… That was almost as bad for me!

      Have a great weekend,

    2. Lloyd (63, retired at 55) · Edit

      “you messed up”

      Not sure being judgmental about it is the way to approach the topic. Sometimes things happen that are beyond the control of a financial plan.


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