I've been crunching the numbers to see how much I would need to live financially independent and how long it would take to save enough money. Here are the numbers I am working with. For context, I live in Ottawa, Canada. The biggest cost of living driver here is real estate. Rent is $1,500 or about $350,000 to purchase outright. Also, taxes are very high here.

Annual expenses: $26,000 (this includes $18,000 in rent)

Using 4% rule, I would need to save $650,000

After taxes, deductions and DC pension plan contributions (18% of pay, or about $17,000/year in contributions), I have a net annual income of $54,000/year available for spending and investing. Subtract the $26,000 in annual expenses, that leaves me with $38,000/year to invest. Total savings are then $55,000/year.

Q1: $650,000/$55,000 = 12 years of working, ignoring investment returns. At a 6% return assumption, this reduces to 9 years. This seems very long. How can I shorten this? Is it even possible to shorten this?

Q2: Because I would be needing to live off of the $650,000 for so many years, my annual withdrawals will need to be interest only. I am questioning if this even possible at 4%. I would need to earn at least 5% on my money once we include taxes. 5% risk free doesn't exist (here anyway). Because I would need this money to sustain myself, I can't be a risky investor. I might be able to buy and hold some corporate bonds (AAA corporate does not exist in Canada, so I will be relegated to AA) at 3% to 4% yield. I would be willing to accept the risk associated with holding AA corporate bonds to maturity. But this is still short quite a bit. Not sure where to go here.... do I need to increase my $650,000 to something like $850,000 to take this into account?