What Price Freedom

The National Post had an interesting teaser in its weekend edition: How much money do you need to say I quit and live happily ever after. The article is an infomercial for Lee Eisenberg’s book, The Number.

I read Eisenberg’s book and posted about it here. Suffice it say, his book focuses on the needs of the very affluent and extremely rich. Consider the following Eisenberg Scale:

  • To be comfortable in retirement you will need $1 million to $2 million
  • To be comfortable plus you will need $2 million to $5 million
  • To be kind of rich you will need $7 million to $10 million
  • And, to be rich, you will need $20 million

Let’s do a bit of a reality check here courtesy of Statistics Canada. The median net worth of Canadians aged 25 to 34 is $9,100. Canadians between 35 and 44 have a median net worth of $25,500. And Canadians between the ages of 45 and 64 have a median net worth of $35,600.

According to the Eisenberg Scale, half of Canadians should just call it quits. I mean, why go on? They will starve to death in their retirement years so better to end it all now and let us comfortable folk struggle along with our paltry multi-million dollar retirement nesteggs.

For most Canadians, $1 million to $2 million in retirement capital is more than just comfortable.

Maybe it’s time to stop reading the newspaper. So much nonsense.

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