What is Your Number?

in Financial Apocalypse, Stock Market

I watched Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps with Michael James last week and while I found the movie kind of sappy, contrite, smarmily written and a little too much like a morality play, it was fun to watch (although if I go to another movie that talks about financial bubbles and mentions fricking the Dutch Tulip Bubble, I am going to scream). There were a few very good catch phrases in the movie, and one of the best was, “What is your number?“.

The question (once explained) is a very good one, it is really, “How much money is enough?“. If someone wandered up to you and offered you an amount of money to last you the rest of your life, or that the amount would make you “happy”, what would it be?

The Villain’s response in the movie is a bit predictable, “MORE!”

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (neither does Rust I hear too)

Given we are all not megalomaniacal bankers (the villain in the story is one of them), the question is good for all of us, “What is your number?”.

For me my number would consist of:

How much remains on my mortgage

How much I need until I retire (assume yearly income with a 3% growth per year for inflation) times about 15 years

Any other remaining debt

That would be my number initially, then I would take that number and double it (I might even triple it), because I know that my ability to estimate is always woefully low when it comes to expenses. With that number in my head I realize, that is a BIG STINKING NUMBER, but it is my number.

Do you know your number?


  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter August 3, 2011, 10:16 AM

    My number would be 7 figures as well in order to reach all of my goals of retirement, helping out friends and family etc. I would also want to account for inflation and grandkids. My hope is to retire in 25 years or less. Great post- very thought provoking as usual.

  • Bankruptcy Ben August 2, 2011, 6:38 PM

    I will be worth 7 figures when I retire in 35 years based on current long term realestate returns(4%). So i thought i’d try for 8 figures

  • krantcents August 2, 2011, 2:30 PM

    In six years, I will be retiring again. My mortgage will be paid off and I will receive a pension and Social Security. In addition, I have a retirement savings that will grow over the years. In theory, I met my number, but I adding to it anyway. One of the reasons is I do not know how long I will live.

  • Michael James August 2, 2011, 9:49 AM

    Before doubling or tripling your number, it seems that you don’t require any extra money after retirement. Are you satisfied that the amount of pension you’ve earned to date would be adequate after you retire?

    • bigcajunman August 2, 2011, 10:04 AM

      I thought about that one, if I could figure out how much I would need to buy into the pension that could be an answer, but then again, maybe I am missing 10% of my yearly income * 15 that goes into an RRSP that might compensate (and then double that).


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