$10 million sounds like an incredible amount of money. It’s likely more than most of us will see at once at any time in our lives! So, what can the $10 million lifestyle get you?
It all depends on what level of expenses your incur, the returns you generate from your investment portfolio, and whether you’re generating any supplemental income! Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
How do I make $10 million?
There’s no fast track to a $10 million lifestyle. Many people make this kind of bank by carefully investing, buying and selling companies, or building on an inheritance. In fact, some of the richest people in the world are only so wealthy because of asset valuations.
You probably won’t make $10 million from the regular paycheck, but providing you save and invest wisely, there’s no ceiling on how much you could earn over a lifetime. If you’ve come into some serious money lately, why not look at the best ways to invest those millions and grow that income further?
Is $10 million considered rich?
Statistically speaking, yes, having a total net worth of $10 million is considered rich. According to the latest survey from the US Federal Reserve, a net worth of $10 million puts you in the top 2.5% of the households in the US by net worth. I’d say that’s rich!
Liquid Assets vs Total Net Worth
When talking about net worth, it’s important to consider whether we’re talking about liquid net worth or total net worth. If it’s total net worth, it includes the value of your home minus any mortgage. The obvious issue is that if most of your wealth is tied up in your primary home, it likely does not generate any cashflow for you. The true question then becomes how much liquid capital do you have that can generate returns for you.
If you have $10 million in liquid net worth, then it’s a different story, as it means the value of your investment portfolio, savings, and even rental properties is worth $10 million. These assets generate returns for you which can be used to fund your lifestyle on an on-going basis. Alternatively, you can sell them down and generate big chunks of cash of which you can use to buy vacation homes or nice cars!
How Far will $10M Go?
If you’re wondering whether you can retire on $10 million or wondering how much passive income you can generate from $10 million, let’s take a detailed look.
Let’s assume that your liquid net worth is $10 million and let’s look at some ranges for how far that money will go. If you put the money in relatively secure savings account or money market funds, you can expect to generate an interest return of anywhere from 3-5%. This of course varies over time. If you invest the money in the market in a 100% equity fund, you could generate up to 8% on average, but with some volatility.
This puts the your expected annual pre-tax return in the $300,000 to $800,000 range. This is equivalent to $25,000 to $66,666 per month of pre-tax income. Any income that you expect to generate (if you are still employed or are running your own business), will of course be on top of this.
Now let’s look at the same figures assuming your total net worth is $10M. If your home is worth between $1 to 2M, then your liquid net worth is between $8 million to $9 million. These liquid assets are what will generate income for you and what should be used to calculate the passive income generation.
The table below shows the passive income you can generate from a portfolio ranging in size from $8 million to $10 million.
As you can see, the range of income is quite wide, so what you can do really depends on both how you have invested the money and how you spend the money.
An average family of four (two adults and two kids) has an annual expenses of around $100,000. This figure includes housing costs. If your home is fully paid off, you can knock-off $30,000 from that figure, so the annual expenses will be in the range of $70,000.
Of course the expenses of a family with $10 million in net worth will likely be much higher than the $100k for an average family. Nevertheless, this is a a good reference point. Even if you double the annual expenses (and this would be after-tax expenses), you’re well below even the lowest end of the range shown above.
So if you are wondering can a person (or family) live off $10 million dollars? The answer is a resounding Yes! I don’t think there should ever be any doubt about whether you could live comfortably with this level of cash, but hopefully it’s good to see the numbers and get a sense based on that.
It’s worth mentioning that at $240,000 of annual income, you’re already in the top 8% range of household income. Not bad at all for a very secure income stream coming from interest on a savings account!
It’s worth investing your cash
As is hopefully clear from the examples above, it’s vitally important to invest the cash so you can generate returns from it over the long run. If you simply spend the $10M without having invested it, it will likely run out fairly quickly! An asset-heavy portfolio is ideal for people who want to keep hold of the cash – which is pretty much everyone.
If you are a retiree with a moderate risk tolerance, you can plan for a long-term average return of roughly 5% if you are invested in a balanced portfolio. So your annual pre-tax income can be – on average over time – anywhere from $400k (with an $8M portfolio) to $500k (with a $10M portfolio). That’s enough money to live a very comfortable life for an indefinite period of time!
Of course market and economic conditions will cause the year-to-year values to differ, so please remember to plan accordingly.
What are some perks of the $10 million lifestyle?
$10 million puts you in the very-rich camp, and I’m sure it’s great to be there! Most importantly though, it puts you in the camp of being financially free. While money may not be everything in the world, it does have a big impact on day-to-day stress levels. And wow it would be great to not have to deal with the daily work commute or with an annoying boss!
Being Financially Free
More than anything else, being financially free is the biggest reward that one can get with having such a nice pot of cash. People define financial freedom in different ways. We choose to define it how Robert Kiyosaki did in his famous book, Rich Dad Poor Dad: when your passive income (returns from investments and assets) are more than sufficient to cover all your needs (bills, mortgages, living expenses, etc.), you are financially free!
As outlined above, even at the lowest end of the range, the income generated from your liquid wealth will be more than enough to cover your core expenses, which puts you in a very comfortable spot!
This means that you no longer have to work to simply to pay your bills or keep your family fed. You have the option of retiring, or you can choose to pursue a lifestyle hobby – like traveling the world, or you can even pursue entrepreneurship! Once you no longer have to work to pay the bills, your mind is free!
From this point forward, your life is only limited by your imagination and your expenses. As long as your expenses remain under control, not only can you live your life comfortably, but you can easily pass on the remaining money to your children or relatives as an inheritance.
It’ll keep your family housed
I think it’s fair to say that under most circumstances, with a net worth of $10M, you have the ability to pay off your mortgage (should you still have one) and eliminate a major debt overhang. An average household spends 31% of their expenditure on housing, so if you’re able to eliminate that cost, you’re annual expense requirement will drop considerably.
Of course whether you choose to pay off your mortgage or invest the cash depends on many factors. On a pure financial basis, it comes down to comparing the after-tax interest rate on your mortgage with the after-tax returns from your investments. If the two figures are relatively close, it might make sense to just pay off the mortgage and eliminate a big debt overhang over your head! Reducing and eliminating debt is one of the best ways to reduce to finance-induced stress in your life.
It’ll keep your family fed
A fortune of $10 million will, at least, give you something to be grateful for. In an age where many people struggle to feed themselves, $10 million will handily cover most basic necessities and then some. On average, US households spend between $420 per month (single person) to $1,000 a month (family of four) on food. This works to between $5,000 to $12,000 per year. You will have more than sufficient income to cover this aspect of your needs!
You will not have to worry about bills
A resounding response from millionaires on this question revolves around regular bill payments. While housing and inflation may start to sap away at your savings, it’s safe to say you can ignore some of the smaller expenses you’d otherwise budget carefully for.
For example, think about electricity, gas, phone bills – even Netflix and Amazon Prime. These costs are likely to feel very small when you have liquidity of $10 million available. It’d be nice to ignore these costs once in a while…!
It’s nice to know that, at least initially, there’s some financial comfort to be had.
The Fun Stuff – What can I do with $10 million?
Of course when we think of being rich, it comes down to the luxuries of life! How much you can splurge ultimately depends on how your portfolio is structured. Do you plan to run down your portfolio to $0 over your life? Or do you plan to live purely from the returns and pass on the portfolio to your heirs? Both scenarios are wildly different and can impact how you spend the cash. The following sections outline the latter scenario.
You can take a nice annual vacation
Who doesn’t like vacations? With a $10 million dollar investment portfolio, you can certainly generate hefty returns and use some of that to fund a nice vacation. If you’re going to a fancy location with your family and flying first class, you could potentially afford to do that once per year. You could probably afford one vacation that costs $50,000 to $100,000 per year. Or you can split that amount up in to multiple buckets and take multiple vacations!
Of course it all depends on how much income you’re generating from your portfolio and other sources and making sure all your basic needs are covered first.
You can’t take the private jet yet
When we dream of being millionaires, the first thing that comes in to people’s mind is a private jet (or a yacht). After all, it is the ultimate status symbol! Unfortunately, even having $10M in liquid assets may not be enough to help you take a private jet. Using a shared jet service like NetJets would cost you something like $6,500 per hour at a minimum and you would need to sign up for at least a 50-hour commitment. This means you’re looking at a minimum bill of $325,000 per year. Ouch!
But no need to worry. You can still comfortably fly first class for a lot less and without any minimum annual commitments. That alone is more than enough for me!
You can buy a nice car or luxury gear
One nice aspect of already having a good pot of cash is that you no longer need to save. Any excess income in the year can be spent however you see fit. It could be a vacation, or it could be a nice car, luxury watches, purses, clothing, fine wines, etc.
Enjoy this lifestyle – you’ve earned it!
Many people wish to donate to charitable causes that they believe in. If this is you, that’s fantastic! You could pursue this in two different ways – a lump sum contribution or annual donations. There are also multiple different tax-efficient ways to donate this money, such as directly through a stock portfolio (as opposed to pure cash). There are pros and cons to each method so this is best discussed with your financial advisor.
My personal preference is annual contributions, as retaining the money in your control gives you greater flexibility to deal with any contingencies. This could be a financial emergency in your family or it could turn out that you decide to donate to several different causes in varying amounts each year.
If you do wish to donate a lump sum, a good option would be donate it via your will. This gives you the best of both worlds – keeping your money over your life and then finally leaving a big chunk when you pass away.
Of course this is a deeply personal decision, so one has to decide what works for each person! Regardless, donating to charity is ultimately a good decision, and the details are just about what works best for your life situation.
Before You Go…
Hopefully you found this information useful. Our whole blog is dedicated to help you get on the path of financial freedom. Feel free to browse around and read through the articles.
In a nutshell, the fastest way to becoming financially free is to cut your debt, minimize unnecessary expenses, so you can save and invest your money!
There are plenty of investment books and podcasts that you can use as a learning resource along the way to help you reach your goal faster.
How long will $10 million last in retirement?
Depending on your asset allocation, you can expect to generate between 3% to 8% off a $10 million investment portfolio. This would generate between $300,000 to $800,000 of pre-tax income per year. As long as your spending levels are below what your portfolio generates, your $10 million portfolio can last forever!
Is $10 million enough to retire at 55?
Yes, absolutely. $10 million puts you in the top 2.5% of households in the US for net worth. You can expect to generate between 3% to 8% from your investment portfolio, which means $10 million would generate between $300,000 to $800,000 of pre-tax income per year. As long as your spending levels are below what your portfolio generates, your $10 million portfolio can last from 55 to forever!
Is $10 million enough to retire at 60?
Yes, absolutely. $10 million puts you in the top 2.5% of households in the US for net worth. You can expect to generate between 3% to 8% from your investment portfolio, which means $10 million would generate between $300,000 to $800,000 of pre-tax income per year. As long as your spending levels are below what your portfolio generates, your $10 million portfolio can last from 60 to forever!
Is $10 million enough to retire at 50?
Yes, absolutely. $10 million puts you in the top 2.5% of households in the US for net worth. You can expect to generate between 3% to 8% from your investment portfolio, which means $10 million would generate between $300,000 to $800,000 of pre-tax income per year. As long as your spending levels are below what your portfolio generates, your $10 million portfolio can last from 50 to forever!
Is $10 million enough to retire at 30?
Yes, absolutely. $10 million puts you in the top 2.5% of households in the US for net worth. You can expect to generate between 3% to 8% from your investment portfolio, which means $10 million would generate between $300,000 to $800,000 of pre-tax income per year. As long as your spending levels are below what your portfolio generates, your $10 million portfolio can last from 30 to forever!