$1 Million Net Worth… Now What?

$1 Million Net Worth... Now What?Yup, you read that correctly… we now have a net worth of just over $1 million.

I logged into Quicken today, updated all my accounts, and was excited to see this:

$1 Million Net Worth... Now What?

Holy schnikes, a million dollar net worth!  It seems so surreal to think that we’ve reached such a big milestone.

I’m really proud of how far we’ve come in our journey to financial independence.

By keeping our expenses low, saving and investing as much as we can, and creating additional wealth through side hustles and real estate, we’ve really made some major strides in our financial future.

Initially, we cut back on just a few things and saved the difference.  But over time, we’ve found that as we eliminate a lot of the material crap in our lives, the happier we’ve become.

We’re far from minimalists, but we have gained a better understanding of what actually satisfies our desires in life.  And that tends to be experiences more than possessions.

So we’re still taking our cruises and other vacations.  We’re still camping and spending time doing fun things together.  But we’re generally not buying the latest and greatest cell phones, cars, or whatever it is.

And, the best part is that it seems to be a big catalyst for growing our assets.  It’s funny how wealth continues to build upon itself in a snowball effect.

With that said, it’s time to get some of this out of my system…

YES!!!  AWESOME!!  GO TEAM!!  Um, woo-hoo!  Uh, yay…

Ok, yeah, well, that was about as much fun as it looked.  Onto more important things…


So what does a $1 million net worth mean for us?

$1 Million Net Worth... Now What?
Yes, I’m in the U.S. and this picture shows a Euro in the background, but there was no way I could pass up this picture! Classic!

Really, not as much as you might think.

Don’t get me wrong – this is a very exciting number for us to see, but we’re not where we need to be yet.  This number simply tells us we’re on track and we’re definitely going in the right direction, but that’s about it.

First off, our net worth includes some things that need to be cleared up before we can call it quits.  We still have a mortgage on our residence that we’re aiming to pay off close to or around the time I quit my job.  That should be gone by 2027 at the very latest and is important to the success of our plan.

Second, if you’ve looked at our game plan before, you know that we need to build up our savings and taxable investment accounts more to be able to get us through the first five years of our Roth IRA conversion ladder.

Another part of that plan includes picking up two or three more duplexes… and banks no-likey if you don’t have a W2 income when trying to get a loan!

Finally, don’t forget, this number can change on a dime.  In fact, it’s possible that right after I finish writing this, the stock market could easily take a swing downward and knock $15,000 off our net worth.  Who knows?!

And to be honest… I hope it does.  I’m excited to have reached the $1 million net worth because it is like a big ol’ pat on the back – a milestone that a lot of people shoot for.  However, I actually am hoping for the market to tank right now.

I would much rather be buying low while we’re not drawing from it.  Yes, I’ll temporarily lose that double comma club status.  However, that would give us an opportunity to get more bang for our buck while we’re investing.

Once we’re ready to start withdrawing, then I would much prefer a resounding comeback!  If you can figure out a way to guarantee that to happen, please tell me your secret! 🙂


The numbers are now out there on the Internet!

$1 Million Net Worth... Now What?
This photo was the best I could do to represent uploading my numbers to the Internet… how pathetic.

I contemplated for quite a while if I was going to share our numbers with everyone.  There’s always the fear that some people will be displeased for one reason or another…

You only have a million dollar net worth at age 41?!

or the other end of the spectrum…

You must be getting paid too much at work to pull that off!

Then there are always the concerns that the few friends or family that read this might have some strong feelings one way or another on it.

But, the fact is, the pros seem to outweigh the cons.  I want others that might not be as far along on the path to financial independence to know that it is possible to make this happen.

Although I work full time and make a pretty good (but not fantastic!) salary, Mrs. R2R is only part-time at a non-profit, and we have a daughter in the mix as well.  In other words, the excuses about kids or needing high-salary jobs to make early retirement possible are complete crap.

If you truly focus and follow the Steps to Wealth, you’ll be well on your way to reaching financial freedom before you know it!


So now what?

$1 Million Net Worth... Now What?
I wish my boss was actually mean and really looked like this… then you’d have no choice but to feel bad for me.

We just keep going.

Most of you already know that I am so done with working the 9-5 it’s almost laughable.  So, it’s not that I’m continuing to work just to work.

As soon as we get to the point along the way where I can jump ship… I’m out!

In the meantime, there’s also room for expediting the path to freedom.  Our trip to Panama will help give us a better idea if we want to move out of the country and, in effect, speed up our path to retirement quite a bit.

If we come back from Panama and decide that it’s not our cup of tea, we then might look at other ways to get out of the rat race sooner.  One idea might be downsizing to a smaller house in our neighborhood… we’ll see!

Then, of course, there’s a big unknown – health care.  Although there will always be some unknowns after leaving a career, this one’s a doozy.  What the current administration does with health care can affect early retirees dramatically.

Regardless, for the time being, we just keep on trucking.  We’ll continue to live a semi-frugal lifestyle, save and invest a ton of dough, and try to enjoy the present without too much angst of not being retired yet.


High five with myself on the net worth milestone, but it’s time to get back to work and make the dream happen!

UPDATE: This post seems to have garnered a fair amount of attention since it was first published.  I’ve decided to start publishing our net worth on a regular basis so you can see where we’re at now and see the ups and downs as we get closer to FIRE.  You can check that out here.

Thanks for reading!!

— Jim

You know you wanna share this!!

62 thoughts on “$1 Million Net Worth… Now What?”

  1. Congrats on this milestone. Can I copy and paste your post a few months from now? 😉
    You have the right attitude because it doesn’t sound like just reaching a million was your goal. Your number goes beyond that but it’s good to celebrate the milestones.

    We’re planning to retire in 2019 and are building our cash allocation to buy a house while continuing to max out our retirement accounts.

  2. Welcome to the two comma club. Grab your top hat and monacle on the way in. In all seriousness it’s quite an accomplishment to reach a million, but for most people as you pointed out it’s not enough. Is home equity included in the number of are you now an accredited investor?

    1. Thanks, FTF – home equity of my house and rentals is included in my number, which is another reason why the million isn’t substantial enough for me to call it quits just yet.

      — Jim

  3. Congrats, Woohoo and all that jazz, Jim! We aren’t there yet so I enjoy seeing others who’ve made it! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m curious why Panama? – Sorry if you’ve explained this already…perhaps you’ve got a post to point me too? 🙂

      1. Thanks, Amy – glad you found my posts on Panama! Everything we’ve done so far is just by whittling down by what we were looking for, which brought us to Panama. Then we started digging into it more and talking to people that live (or have lived) there. So the next step is to actually go and check it out and see if everything we’ve researched is a bunch of hooey or if it turns out to be what we’re hoping for.

        That’s the easy part… I think actually taking the step to do it will be the hard part (at least for Mrs. R2R!).

        — Jim

  4. Congratulations Jim! That’s so awesome. Big milestone. I can see why you are continuing to build the pile but $1 million would go pretty far if you just leave it alone and cover your living expenses for the next 20 years.

    1. Thanks, Biglaw – it would definitely be able to cover our expenses if it was all money was in our retirement accounts. However, our number includes the equity in our house and our rental properties, so the actual amount of our net worth that we’ll be living off of is less than the full million.

      So, for the time being… I’m stuck continuing to make the donuts for the next few years. **sigh** 🙂

      — Jim

  5. That’s awesome Jim, well done!

    Celebrate the small wins (and the big ones). It might have taken 41 years to chalk up the first one, but I bet the second one takes less than 10.

    If your experience is anything like mine has been, things will snowball from here.

    Your outgoings likely won’t change all that much, however the amount of surplus cash thrown off by your portfolio will likely grow ever faster.

    As money makes money, the interval between property purchases will likely reduce with each addition. This in turn lets the magic money making machine you are constructing go even faster.

    Good luck with the second million!

    1. Thanks, Slow Dad – I do already see some of that snowball affect. I don’t need a full second million to be able to retire with, but I wouldn’t complain about it either! 🙂

      — Jim

  6. Congratulations! Now just keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂
    I felt great when our net worth crossed the million bucks mark too. It’s awesome no matter what the party poopers say.

  7. Congrats on the awesome milestone! How cool is that! I hope to one day get to that number as well. We are working hard to get there ourselves and may one day be able to write the same post! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  8. One million is a great milestone. Congrats.

    But, but, it is kind of true that a million isn’t what it used to be.

    Two million would get us to ~$55k in “income” which would come pretty close to covering expenses with some part time work.

    Getting from one to two is when things will get interesting. 2.5 would be “shangri-la”. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Wade – definitely true that a million isn’t what it used to be. However, I’ve found that in our case, we’ll only need around $3,500/month to cover our expenses and actually keep our current lifestyle (including health care). We’ve found that the more we save today, the less we’re actually living on, which is awesome. So, even though we have a mill for our net worth, we just need to get our drawable income up to around a mill and we should be good.

      Good luck to you on the $2-2.5 mill – hitting those numbers would definitely be icing on the cake! 🙂

      — Jim

      1. We have ~$1.1 at Vanguard in a 60/40 index fund portfolio. With current yields/rates it spins off about $26k. Stock index funds spin off about 2% (a bit more for international). Int-Term bond funds yield just over 2%.

        So $1 million won’t generate won’t spin off $42k + tax money. You can sell off some of your funds each year (2-3%) is pretty safe. Everything works when stocks are going up. Harder during those 3-4 bear markets.

        The good thing is you have to get to $1 million to get to $2 million. You can also work a little to bridge the gap. Spending is the key. But you also don’t want to be too thrifty. Lots to think about.

        1. Wow, those are some awesome numbers you’ve got going, Wade! What really helps to make our plan worthwhile is the rental properties. We have 3 units so far (1 house and 1 duplex) with a plan to add 4 more units (2 more duplexes) over the next 2-3 years. That should help us handle the bear markets a little better.

          You’ve got a great point about being too thrifty. We tend to be naturally frugal on material things, but we focus our money more on experiences like vacations and cruises, camping, and other fun times. The good thing is that we never feel like we’re missing anything, so I think we should be in good shape with our game plan. The bonus is that as our properties get paid off in retirement, the income will increase even more.

          — Jim

  9. $1M net worth is amazing! it’s a huge milestone. From this point on, an increase of 10% in your networth is $100K, and it gets easier and easier to earn $100K. LOL 🙂

    Cheers to many more millions to come!

    1. Thanks, Vivivanne – now I just need to keep trying to build it up a little more so I can get the heck out of my 9-5! I’m going to follow your lead on making some monumental 10% increases! 🙂

      — Jim

    1. Thanks, Ben – great question! Yes, the net worth does include my wife’s finances as well. Definitely another reason why we need to keep going and building up everything further before calling it quits.

      — Jim

  10. Congrats on your milestone man!
    We also have 2 rental properties that now cover our monthly expenses. We are $190K shy of hitting that Million mark. After Fincon 16, I started sharing our journey as well with my blog http://www.frugalsafari.com
    Can’t wait to read your Panama trip, as we will spend our early retirement slow traveling overseas…


    1. Thanks, Patrick – that’s fantastic that your rentals are bringing in enough money to cover your expenses! If our return was that good on the couple we currently have, I’d be calling it quits right now! 🙂 That’s the big reason we’re going to pick up a couple more (as soon as we can find a good deal).

      Panama’s coming up fast, so I’ll share with everyone in the next few weeks! Thanks for coming by!

      — Jim

  11. Congratulations!!! Can I just ask you how much money would it be enough for you to fully retire? Sometimes I think I am overoptimistic about my need for money in the future. My goal (for me and my family – husband + 1 son) is actually 900k. But who knows, maybe when I reach it, I double think the fully retirement.. 🙂


  12. Ack we’re at $996k as of November 1st 🙂 so close but it’s making me more depressed because it’s not enough to fire on…but I sound like an ungrateful brat if I say I wasn’t appreciative (which I am, I’m just a brat).

    Either way, terrific job!! Keep on trucking!

    1. I definitely get it, Lily. It’s a funny number that you know in your head doesn’t mean anything more than $4k over the $996, but at the same time, it’s one of those goals that will give you the “I did it” feeling. Sounds like we’re in the same boat that it would be great to call it, but we’re not quite at FIRE yet.

      Congrats to you on your fantastic number!!

      — Jim

  13. Sounds like you have a good plan in sticking it out at work for a few more years. I think thats the way to go as your networth sounds like it includes your house and rental properties. By the time you are around 50 you should be in great shape and ready for a break from the rat race im sure.

    1. Thanks, Arrgo – my net worth does include the equity in my properties. Since that post came out, we’ve made out trip to Panama and have decided that we’re going to give it a whirl. On top of the other things we liked, the cost of living is about half of what it is where I live, so hopefully we’ll be bailing from the rat race within a couple years from now.

      — Jim

  14. Hi Jim,
    I like that you reached your goal. I’m 57 and have reached that only about 5 years ago because of inheritance but throughout my life was never advised by my parents on saving or investing. I think it’s vital parents start teaching their children the wise course of saving for retirement. But in my country people only say you are a millionaire if you have that in cash in hand at the bank or invested funds. So perhaps that is another way of putting it, but whatever the case, I wish I was at your position when I was 41 ?

    1. Agree 100% that the only way to buck the trend is for parents to teach their kids. The struggle ends up being that most folks just don’t realize or understand enough about the importance of saving for their future to begin with. It’s hard for them to pass on the knowledge when they don’t have it themselves, unfortunately.

      — Jim

  15. Absolutely no debt, and have 750,000 in bank and paid off house worth 160,000 and vehicles that are worth 40,000. I am 58 and want to get out of the rat race

    1. Glad you like it, IF, and that’s the reason I share it – to show that is really is attainable. I had a good job, but wasn’t getting paid a doctor/lawyer-type of salary. My wife was working at a non-profit working at job that was barely paying anything justifiable and we have a daughter. But we just kept saving and saving while still spending on what we enjoyed and now here we are now retired. Hopefully, that provides some motivation for others. 🙂

  16. This is inspiring!

    My wife (37) and I (36) just this month hit 1 million in net worth! We have a baby girl and want to spend our time with her vs the rat race

    It sounds like you are/were in a similar boat as us (a couple rentals with a primary). We have approx 500k in invested assets and 500k in home equity across 3 properties. This summer has been a boon for equity.

    Did you still end up buying more properties or did you sell everything to invest?

    Would love to pick your mind. Appreciate your blog!

    1. Hey, Jon – congrats on crushing it out there! It absolutely has been a great year for real estate equity. In fact, that was what I needed to jump out of the game completely. I sold my last property (a duplex) in January. I then took the proceeds and moved that into REITs – it likely won’t make as much for me over the long haul, but the peace of mind is well worth it.

      Best of luck to you in the FIRE quest – owning your time is wonderful! 🙂

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