I've also been hearing a lot of 'you need a minimum of a million to retire, two if you want to be comfortable!' statements lately. I sort of inwardly cringe at these comments, I don't know what to say beyond laughing and saying 'yeah as if I'll retire any time soon!'... which isn't a lie, but it seems quite close to it.
Yes, for the last huge Powerball drawing, a dozen colleagues and I agreed to do a small pool. A few of us said we had never played the lottery before, and for others, this was like their second or third time. (Good so far.) So we did not win the jackpot. (Shocker.) But we did win a measly $4, and decided to just buy a couple entries in the next drawing, rather than distribute 31 cents to each person. Some of us were in a pretty joking conversation like, "I don't know, the next drawing is just $40 million. Once we divide that up, it's like not even worth it! Haha!" Then it turned serious, and CW1 was like, "I could retire on $2 million." And I said, "I would definitely retire if I got even $1 million." CW1 did some calculations in her head and said, "That's just $55k per year. You could live on $55k per year?" And I'm like, "Definitely! There's NO WAY that I could spend more than $55k per year!" CW1 thought about it and resignedly said, "No, I would need at least a little more than that." CW2 chimed in to agree with me that $55k per year is plenty to retire on. But then CW3 (who does have a chronic health condition) chimed in that she would need to keep working for the health insurance. And then once people realized you'd need to pay for healthcare after retirement, most everyone resigned that they couldn't retire on $1 or 2 million. (Suckers.)
Later, each of us are in the process of setting our professional goals/plan that we need to submit to our boss. CW4 comes to me, and we are struggling with what to write. We agree that our honest goals would be to just do a good job, sock away money, and retire by age 40. Of course, those are not acceptable things to write. /It goes without saying that EVERYONE's goal is to make partner and work here forever, right?/