So, I finally have a story. My supervisor took a bunch of us out to lunch at a nice sushi place, and somehow money came up in the conversation. One of the fellows said something like "even if you got a million dollars you couldn't retire - the interest isn't enough to live on and with the way inflation is, it'll be worth less and less as time goes on". So I asked him how much interest he figured you'd get, and he said 'about 50k yearly'. So I asked him how much he was living on per year. He didn't answer, but here's the punchline; we're all engineering grad students (masters or PhD). NONE of us are making over 20K per year, except the prof. Take away tuition and I'd be surprised if we're clearing 12K (of course almost no taxes...). This guy doesn't own a car and lives with roommates to save money. But somehow he hasn't figured out the logic here. Hilarious. On the plus side, when I finish, I figure I can live a posh life on 20k per year...
That's a perfect teachable moment. If he's at that stage in life, he's clearly just parroting things he's heard about it not being enough to live on.. so you can tell him that, believe it or not, that 40-50k annually is enough (and in fact, is what the median household lives on).
Perfect! I was just chatting with my Dad, today, who recently turned 72, and has to now make mandatory RRSP withdrawls (on top of his pension). He mentioned that although he was making >$300k, Gross, in his final years as an airline Pilot, and bringing home 44% of that total, he and my mom now spend for their day to day lives only $40k per year as retirees (plus elective travel they can cancel at any time.) This includes the utilities, top shelf insurance, two newish vehicles including a F250, and a large expensive house to maintain.
So -- someone who used to make a TON of money, has discovered the truth -- without even trying, they have a lifestyle of $40k per year, (with a paid off house). A typical challenge is deciding what to do with their money.
And, he still works a side business as a carpenter (cabinet maker) for the enjoyment of it, and likely brings in $30k a year, net, in income.