Reaching critical mass gives you the financial freedom to retire or work at a job for the love of the work rather than the money!
For example, if you need $50,000 a year to live on, then using the "4% safe withdrawal rate" rule-of-thumb, you need $1,250,000 to retire. ($50,000 divided by 0.04)
- See article: Safe Withdrawal Rate in Retirement?
Rule of Thumb:
A good rule of thumb is, with regular rebalancing, a 65 year old can take 4% a year out of a "balanced portfolio" that has 50% of assets in the total stock market and 50% in the total bond fund at Vanguard or Fidelity. Both fund families offer very low cost index funds. If you go elsewhere, then the amount you can "safely" take out of your portfolio will be reduced by the higher expenses for the index funds.
What is meant by "safely?"
A "safe withdrawal rate" means there is a 90% or greater chance you will not out live your money by removing that amount at the start of each year.
"The Retirement Advisor newsletter" (only $99 a year!) gives three fairly conservative portfolios that range in equity exposure from zero to fifty percent.
- 2007 Results:
The Retirement Advisor Aggressive Growth and Income Model Portfolio 1, designed for someone approaching retirement who is interested in a portfolio allocation designed to provide income and capital appreciation while avoiding excessive risk, gained 9.52% in 2007, its first year of existence. This portfolio was 50% in stock index funds and 50% in fixed income index funds (or ETF equivalents.) It benefited greatly from TIPS for inflation protection which we feel allows a lower allocation to equities and a 4% withdrawal rate.
The Retirement Advisor Moderate Growth and Income Model Portfolio 2, designed for someone who has retired and seeks to maintain their current standard of living, even with inflation, gained 8.48% in 2007, its first year of existence. This portfolio was 30% in stock index funds and 70% in fixed income index funds (or ETF equivalents.) It benefited greatly from TIPS for inflation protection
The Retirement Advisor Conservative Capital Preservation Model Portfolio 3, designed for someone in the later stages of retirement who wants to avoid any losses in their portfolio and who does not need a lot of inflation protection, gained 8.32% in 2007, its first year of existence. This portfolio was 100% in fixed income index funds (or ETF equivalents.) It benefited greatly from TIPS for inflation protection.
CLICK HERE to download the free, inaugural issue of "The Retirement Advisor" that has the portfolios that gave the above returns. You will need to SUBSCRIBE to get the latest portfolios since we made some changes to the model portfolios for 2008.
Other Definitions of Critical Mass:
"Critical mass" in physics refers to the amount of fissile material needed to sustain a nuclear chain reaction which will generate power or, under the proper conditions, explode (such as an Atomic Bomb). Wiki says for a bare sphere of fissile material, that the critical mass is about 50 kg for uranium-235 and 10 kg for plutonium 239. One needs to take what you read at Wiki with a "grain of Plutonium" as it is not always accurate.
"Critical mass" is also enough bike riders on the Streets of San Francisco to shut the city down. The group that does this calls themselves "Critical Mass."
Core and Explore Portfolios
For those who want to dabble in individual stocks via "Kirk's Explore portfolio" to use my "core and explore" approach to investing, "Kirk's Investment Newsletter" contains aggressive and conservative core portfolios made from seven Vanguard Index funds along with a portfolio of individual stocks and EFTs. Start making great retuns and subscribe NOW !