Thursday August 21, 2008 Talkback Question:

What is the minimum amount of a windfall you would need to pay off all of your debt and get out of the corporate rat race?

** For me, I would need a minimum of a cool million. I could pay off my mortgages and student loans and then invest the remaining money in something that would generate a reasonable income. I would probably even start a business of some sort. **

How much would you need? What would you do?
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16 comments

  1. Jeffrey Litvin // August 21, 2008 at 8:53 AM  

    1-2 million after taxes. So I would need a windfall in the 2-4 million range.

  2. Jennifer // August 21, 2008 at 9:05 AM  

    I'd also say 1-2 million after taxes. I could pay off all my current debt with about $25,000, but I'm currently renting and would like to change that too.

  3. dreamfool // August 21, 2008 at 10:15 AM  

    Probably two millions - so I can buy a house for myself and rent the other one out.

  4. Mali // August 21, 2008 at 12:02 PM  

    I would say 2.5 million. After taxes purchase a purchase a duplex pay in full. invest with the remaining and purchase a small economic car and pay that off.

  5. Tom // August 21, 2008 at 12:17 PM  

    5 million after taxes in today's dollars.

    I want to have the means to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

  6. Jazmin // August 21, 2008 at 2:55 PM  

    I have long said that I would quit my job for a million. Now I just need that million.

  7. Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet // August 21, 2008 at 3:26 PM  

    I would say two million after taxes. A million might do it, but two would do it for sure.

  8. Frugal Babe // August 22, 2008 at 3:02 PM  

    We quit our corporate jobs and started our own business several years ago. To quit that too because of a windfall, we'd need about $750,000. Our mortgage is our only debt, and it's just over $150,000 right now. We keep our expenses low and would continue to do so. And I think my husband would probably keep working at our business because he honestly does it for fun.

  9. Sara - pension comparison // August 23, 2008 at 12:28 PM  

    Paying off a house and setting up investments in order to live of the interest. $2 million after tax should do it!

  10. paradigmshifted // August 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM  

    350K would pay off the mortgage (maybe a bit more to pay for taxes, etc). after that, there are some options. it depends on if i'd want to do research the rest of my life (thereby requiring research funds) or if i want to start my own non-profit (thereby requiring start up funds). or both perhaps?

  11. Daizy // August 23, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

    $58,800 would pay off the mortgage and allow me to get a part time fun job. 3 years and I'll be there.

  12. Scott @ The Passive Dad // August 24, 2008 at 1:13 AM  

    Great question! I would hope $2 million would be enough to pay off debt and save enough for retirement and college for the kids, but you never know.

  13. Lauren // August 25, 2008 at 11:31 AM  

    I think 1.5 million is a good, round number.

    That would allow me to purchase an apartment for myself and a rental property on the side for an additional income stream.

    The rest could go into an investment account and hopefully pull in some more monthly income.

  14. bugbear // August 25, 2008 at 11:02 PM  

    A million in 2008 dollars. That matches my lifetime goal for savings and is my criterion for making many financial decisions, such as "should I get this fancier car, or keep the one I have".

    Since I'm not yet on track for the accumulated million in 2008 dollars yet, the answer is: keep the current car.

    If I did have the million on hand now, I wouldn't necessarily pay off the house, just get a mortgage and pay the mortgage from the income stream. That provides more liquidity and flexibility.

  15. Uncommonadvice // August 27, 2008 at 6:34 PM  

    I used to be a Bingo Hall Manager (Big in the UK) and worked on the national marketing forum. We used to work on the notion that the lowest "life changing" sum in people's perception is £10,000. I would need to win at least £50,000 to see a major change in my lifestyle.

  16. Anonymous // August 28, 2008 at 11:22 PM  

    I thought Single Guy Money WAS your business of some sort? ;)

    Pffft. All I need is my longshot $3 stock to rocket to $500. Not likely. But if it did, then I'd have enough to pay off the house, the car, and invest the rest so I get a modest allowance every month. Probably I'd go back to college, get ridiculously intelligent, & bang some grad students.