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Is $10 Million Enough to Retire & Live Off on Passive Income

Is $10 Million Enough Net Worth to Retire? Could You Retire With $10 Million? (And How Long Will 10 Million Dollars Last Anyway?)

Ten million dollars is a lot of money. If you have that kind of net worth to retire on, you’re going to be okay. That’s pretty obvious.

Unfortunately, unless we fall out of the money tree and hit every branch on the way down, most of us won’t retire with anything near as much. That’s okay—many people retire on less. For a lucky few, though, it’s not just a dream.

This article will show you:

  • What to do with $10 million to retire early.
  • How to make $10 million last a lifetime.
  • How to make the most of retiring with $10 million.

If you have dollar-sign cufflinks, this will be practical advice. For everyone else, let’s enjoy the fantasy.

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Is $10 Million Enough to Retire?

Ten million dollars is enough to retire and put you in the top 1% for net worth. With careful management, $10 million will last throughout retirement and allow you to leave a substantial sum for your beneficiaries.

You can retire on 10 million dollars and live very comfortably off interest amounting to $500,000–$1,000,000 for the rest of your life. More conservative estimates would still place your passive income above the US median household income of $67,521.

A net worth of 10 million bucks is generational wealth for most families. It’s money that would let them do things others could only dream of. Not surprising, huh?

Let’s put things in perspective now— There are different ways to calculate how much money you need for retirement, but you can start by looking at what the average American spends.

Retirees between 50 and 75 spend around 45% of their income on their homes. That’s the highest cost, followed by transportation at 10–15%, and health care, taking up around 11% of retirement budgets. What you spend depends on where you live, too.

For retirees 65 plus in the Northeast region, insurance and pension costs amount to over $3,200 a year. Meanwhile, in the West, retirees spend around $4,100 on the same. 

Let’s be honest, though. These everyday costs won’t put much of a dent in ten million bucks. Which most people retiring don’t have, anyway.

Another angle is to look at your current living costs—if you’re spending less than $500,000, retiring on $10,000,000 would let you maintain your current lifestyle. For most, it would be an upgrade, and they’d still be able to save a large chunk of the income generated off interest.

For smaller sums, thinking about how much money you’re going to need after retirement is complicated. You can keep track of your retirement savings, and if you’re used to the $10 million net worth lifestyle, chances are you’ll need more planning than most to maintain it. 

Can You Live off the Interest on $10 Million?

Keeping your fortune in a bank won’t give you the best returns. You won’t earn much more interest than 1%. The yearly interest on 10 million dollars is going to depend on how you use it.

It can get a little complicated, so let’s do some easy math instead to give you a rough idea. If you make 2% a year on $10 million, you’ll earn $200,000. Not bad, right? You can live off $200k interest a year. Most of the US gets by on less than a third of that. But that 2% figure seems kind of low (this doesn’t sound right, I know).

If you have $10 million, you probably have:

  • An expensive accountant
  • A brilliant lawyer
  • A personal banker
  • A financial advisor and broker
  • Stocks
  • An investment portfolio
  • An offshore account

And if you want to chat about bitcoin, you call Michael Saylor. This is all to say that 2% is for commoners. Your money will make more than that. At 6% interest, you’ll earn $600,000 a year, and 8% gives you $800,000. I told you the math was easy.

Even leaving your cash alone can make a passive income from 10 million dollars. And if you’re aiming a little lower, you can still make a lot of interest on $1 million and retire if you plan right. A little practical advice for the everyman there. Or every man with a million dollars.

How many people retire with a $10 million net worth? 

Is 10 million dollars rich? According to investment firm Vanguard, yes. The median amount Americans have tucked away for retirement is just $35,345. That’s a far cry from the millions we’re talking about. But then again, there are more 401k millionaires out there than you think.

Fidelity Investments, a provider of retirement services, said last year saw an 84% jump in accounts with over $1 million in retirement savings. From the most recent 2020 data, we know that there are just under 1.5 million decamillionaire households in the US.

Those are homes with a net worth estimated at $10 million. That doesn’t mean everyone in the household is retiring with $10 million, but that still leaves many people with a high-income retirement.

Can I Retire On 10 Million Dollars?

You want FIRE; I want FIRE. We all want Financial Independence to Retire Early. And when you retire on $10 million, that should be possible. Determining when the time is right won’t come down to finances alone, but let’s start there.

Most people born after 1960 will have to wait until the sweet old age of 67 to retire since they can get a full Social Security pension. But you’re not like most people. You’re a decamillionaire. With that kind of wealth, you’ll expect an answer to the question: “Can I retire at 50 with 10 million dollars?”

Maybe you’re young enough to ask, “Can you retire at 40 with 10 million dollars?” It’s possible. Remember, the earlier you take full retirement, the less you’ll have to spend every year. Then again, that’s all relative.

You can retire at 40 with $10 million and still spend around $300,000 a year without running out. You could retire at 50 with $10 million and spend $400,000 a year for the rest of your life.

What about those lucky people who are barely out of their twenties? Can you retire at 30 with $10 million? Unfortunately for us, Average Joes, that’s pretty easy, too. At 30, you could spend $250,000 a year, and if you had a measly 2% return on your wealth, it would last for the next forty years.

How Long Will 10 Million Dollars Last in Retirement?

Depending on your needs, $10 million in retirement savings can last a lifetime and create generational wealth for most. Make a plan to manage your money, invest wisely, and don’t live beyond your means (which can be anywhere between $200,000 and $1,000,000). Limit your private jet flights, and go easy on the caviar, and you’ll be fine.

Can You Live Off $10 Million After You Retire?

It’s worth noting that American views of how much it takes to be financially comfortable have changed significantly in recent years. In 2018, most people thought you’d need $1.4 million to be comfortable, but by 2022 that number had fallen to $774k.

So, if you’re asking, “Can I retire comfortably on 10 million dollars?”, then the rest of America is going to wonder what it is you’re smoking. But—depending on your lifestyle, living off of $10 million forever and making sure your family can enjoy your wealth too, might need—a budget (shudder).

We’re not talking about following the 50/20/30 rule here. If you’re retiring on $10 million, you’re not worrying about saving. Instead, cut your expenses where you can and put aside what you need to maintain your $10 million net worth lifestyle, even as you reduce that net worth year to year.

Can you retire with $10 million, with no plan for income after you finish working? Sure. But you won’t set yourself or your family up for the future. All it takes is an unexpected illness, an accident, or even an act of God (losing your second home to a hurricane, for example), and your finances can take a severe hit.

If you want to retire with a million-dollar net worth lifestyle in security, you’re going to have to make some income with the money you already have. Otherwise, you’ll wake up one day with a champagne hangover and realize that your dream house has to go up for sale.

Will the Interest on $10 Million Beat Inflation?

If you leave your money in the bank and make no extra income from investments, how long will $10 million last? Shorter than you expect.

In 2022, inflation is sitting a shade under 8%, so your $10 million fortune would only last until you hit the not-so-old age of 71—assuming you retire at 50 and take out $200,000 a year to fund your lifestyle. Inflation is expected to fall, but even at 3%, $10 million would only last another ten years.

There are better retirement plans than running out of money in your early eighties. Making $10 million disappear in twenty or thirty years is impressive. If that sounds crazy, look at our free retirement calculator and see for yourself.

Play around with that imaginary $10 million and see how long you can make it last. Instead of depressing ourselves with low interest rates, let’s consider how much you could earn on your investments.

If you match the current inflation rate of 8% to an 8% interest rate, in ten years, you’d only earn $280,000. That’s not enough to keep you in Gucci. We’d better crank up our returns!

At 8% inflation and with a rough estimate of 12% return on your investments, you would make another $5 million in ten years if you didn’t touch a dime.

Now that sounds more like it! It looks like the best way to beat inflation is to make sure your money is earning a good interest rate on your investments.

How to Make 10 Million Dollars Last a Lifetime

So the only way to keep hold of your $10 million is to invest wisely. How do you invest 10 million dollars for income after retirement?

1. Invest in stocks

You can make money by leaving your fortune in the bank—if you decide that inflation doesn’t matter, that is. You can generate more by making your money work for you after you retire.

Investing in dividend producing stocks could give you a significant return without much effort. Obviously, there’s a risk that you could lose money if the stock market dips, so you shouldn’t use this as your sole source of income when you retire.

You can start investing without using too much of your capital and increase your yield by investing in index funds. Because these will track the trajectory of a variety of sectors and companies, you can limit your exposure to any individual poor investment.

Diversification of your investments is another way to reduce the risks. Look for a variety of places you can stash your cash and watch it grow. As well as index funds, you can invest in commodities like oil and gas, or—if you want to help Mother Earth—in renewable energy.

Alternatively, if your 401k isn’t adding up to what you’d like, you could invest after-tax earnings in a Roth IRA. With one of these Individual Retirement Accounts, you can include stock market investments.

If you’re not sure what to do with $10 million on the stock market, do your research, and speak to a broker. Taking $10 million into the stock market can give you reasonable to high returns, but don’t expect too much.

You’re not Warren Buffett. He’s ninety-two years old and still kicking ass in the trading game.

2. Invest in real estate

Real estate is a tried-and-true way for rich folks to safeguard their money for later years. If you’re retiring with $10 million, you’ve got a lot of options that can bring in a high-income retirement.

Buying, renovating, and flipping properties is popular, even for people without $10 million to retire on. Buy cheap and make a high ROI. With $10 million, you can do this multiple times and build your income exponentially.

It takes a lot of work, though, and comes with associated costs like contractors, realtors, and planning costs. There’s also the threat that a depreciating house market could strip away any of your gains if you can find a buyer at all.

Investing in rentals is another way to boost your retirement income, which can better protect your capital from fluctuations in the property market. You can buy up and rent out homes, offices, and commercial units, then sit back and enjoy the rental income. 

Well, kind of. You’ll need to factor in recurring costs, maintenance, and finding tenants. It sounds like an exhausting way to spend your retirement.

If you’re looking for a passive income from 10 million dollars, you could invest through outfits like CrowdStreet, which lets you invest in real estate projects without footing the entire bill. You’ll get returns on your investment without the work of being a landlord or flipping houses.

Retiring on $10 million can let you invest in land, too. Like Mark Twain said, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” He didn’t add that it will net you around 10% on your investment easily. As a tangible asset, its value will be relatively more stable than stocks and shares. The value of farmland in the US has risen by over $400 an acre in the past year alone.

When you retire with $10 million, you could buy a lot of acres and watch your money grow. You can even get tax benefits from owning land, too. That’s right—you can stick it to The Man! Something I imagine every rich person secretly wants to do.

3. Try alternative investments

You can also use your $10 million retirement nest egg to invest a little off the beaten track. Alternative investments are easy to find these days through platforms like YieldStreet. Stocks are great, and real estate is solid, but where’s the excitement?

Knowing how to make 10 million dollars last a lifetime is one thing, but having a little fun is also important. Last year saw a 42% jump in spending on arts and antiques as more wealthy people diversified their interests. It doesn’t have to be a stuffy portrait hanging on the wall, either.

Over the last year, investment in NFTs surpassed the $1 billion mark. You could take some of your $10 million and invest in wine with Vinovest. That’s sure to impress those fancy pants friends at the yacht club.

4. Set yourself up with annuities

Having an annuity is an okay way to secure an income in retirement. Not a lot of excitement there, but it’s still worth mentioning.

An annuity will provide you with insurance in your retirement as long as you’ve paid the premiums. It’s a low-risk but low-reward option, and if maintaining a high-income retirement is vital to you, there are ways to make $10 million go further.

The best annuities right now yield just over 5%. It’s still something, but not enough to keep you in that high-income retirement for the rest of your days.

As Derek Sall, founder of Life And My Finances, and personal finance expert, has said, “If you have $10 million, you’ve got better investment options at your fingertips.” Take it from the boss. Or my boss, anyway.

5. Take a beat before you retire

There are a couple of advantages to waiting a little longer than you planned to retire. For one, if you can make it to full retirement age before taking gardening leave, you’ll earn your maximum Social Security state pension.

If you already have $10 million to retire, Social Security might sound like peanuts, but it can be a few thousand dollars a year. You can’t start taking a state pension until you hit 62, but by delaying until full retirement age, you can stop your benefits from being reduced by up to 30%.

You’ve been paying that Social Security tax your entire working life (or you should have been anyway), and now it’s time to reap a little of it back. 

The Answer Is Yes (If You Missed It)

That was never in doubt, was it? We’ve told you how to live off the interest of 10 million dollars and how long $10 million will last after you stop working.

The key takeaway is that no matter what age you retire with $10 million, you’ll still need an income to keep up that jet-set, high-net-worth lifestyle. Luckily, there are many ways to generate passive income from 10 million dollars. Enough that you really won’t have to worry about running out.

That’s if you have $10 million. It’s safe to say, for most of us, that’s going to stay a fantasy. At least in this story, the checks will never bounce.


See all

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IRA, 401k Millionaire Retirement Accounts Jump 75% to Record at Fidelity—Bloomberg. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2023, from

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