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How long will 300k last in retirement?

The length of time a $300,000 retirement nest egg will last depends on several factors, including the retiree’s annual expenses, retirement income, rate of return on investments, and life expectancy. With careful planning, $300,000 can provide some retirement income, but it may not be enough for a comfortable 30+ year retirement.

How much money do you need to retire comfortably?

Financial advisors generally recommend having between $500,000 and $1 million saved before retirement in order to generate $40,000 to $50,000 per year in retirement income. With $300,000 saved, if you are able to generate a 5% return, you would have about $15,000 per year in retirement income. This may cover basic necessities but does not allow much room for travel or discretionary spending. Ideally you would have additional income sources in retirement such as Social Security or a pension.

What are the major factors that determine how long $300k will last?

Here are some of the key factors that determine how long $300,000 will last in retirement:

  • Annual living expenses – The lower your annual expenses in retirement, the longer your nest egg will last.
  • Rate of return – Earning a higher rate of return through investing allows you to stretch a nest egg further.
  • Retirement age – The earlier you retire, the more years you will need your savings to last.
  • Life expectancy – The longer you expect to live in retirement, the more conservative you may need to be with withdrawing funds.
  • Supplemental income – Having additional reliable sources of income such as Social Security or a pension reduces reliance on your savings.
  • Inflation – As costs rise over time, $300,000 will not go as far each year.
  • Healthcare costs – These often rise faster than overall inflation so need to be budgeted for.
  • Tax rates – Both income and capital gains taxes can impact retirement income from your nest egg.

Carefully projecting your expenses, income sources, taxes, healthcare costs, and life expectancy can give you a better idea of how long $300k alone might last given your personal situation.

How is the 4% rule used to determine how long retirement savings will last?

The 4% rule is a popular rule of thumb used to estimate how much you can safely withdraw from your retirement savings each year. According to this rule, you take 4% of your total nest egg the first year of retirement, and then adjust that dollar amount for inflation each subsequent year. This is meant to provide steady lifetime income that keeps pace with inflation and will not prematurely deplete your savings no matter how long you live.

Using the 4% rule, a $300,000 nest egg would allow you to take out $12,000 the first year of retirement. If we assume 3% annual inflation, in year two you would withdraw $12,360 and so on. Over a 30 year retirement, this would provide approximately $360,000 in total lifetime retirement income.

So with $300k in savings, using the 4% rule you could safely expect approximately $12,000 – $13,000 in annual retirement income that could last for 30 years or more. This may cover basic necessities for a frugal lifestyle depending on your other income sources.

How much retirement income would $300k generate using the 4% rule?

Year Nest Egg Balance Annual Income (4% of Balance)
1 $300,000 $12,000
2 $288,000 $12,360
3 $275,640 $12,730
4 $263,910 $13,110
5 $250,800 $13,500
30 $126,680 $17,260

As we can see from the table, with an initial $300,000 nest egg, the 4% rule would allow approximately $12,000 – $17,000 in annual retirement income over a 30 year period, assuming 3% annual inflation. Total lifetime income generated would be around $360,000.

How does life expectancy impact how long $300k will last in retirement?

Life expectancy has a major impact on determining how long retirement savings need to last. The average life expectancy for a 65-year-old in the U.S. is around 85 for a man and 87 for a woman. However about 1 in 4 65-year-olds today will live past age 90.

So with average life expectancies reaching the late 80s, $300,000 in retirement savings may only last 20-25 years depending on the withdrawal rate and returns. To be prepared for a 30+ year retirement, the savings would need to be higher or other income sources available. If you expect to live longer than average, you need to be more conservative with the withdrawal rate or retirement date.

Delaying Social Security until age 70 or later can help increase this guaranteed income source for those with above average life expectancies. Having long-term care insurance can also help reduce the risk of running out of savings due to healthcare costs if you live into your 90s or beyond.

Table: Nest egg balance by age using 4% rule

Age Nest Egg Balance
65 $300,000
75 $210,000
85 $147,000
95 $102,900

This table shows how the nest egg balance declines by age as you make ongoing withdrawals. Living 5 or 10 years longer than expected can significantly reduce the remaining balance later in retirement. Planning for longer life expectancies is crucial.

How can you make $300k last longer in retirement?

If you want to stretch $300,000 in retirement savings further, here are some strategies that can help:

  • Reduce annual spending – Lower your cost of living by downsizing housing, transportation, entertainment, etc.
  • Delay Social Security – Wait until age 70 to claim Social Security to maximize this income source.
  • Relocate – Move to a lower cost of living area.
  • Work part-time – Earn extra income from freelancing, consulting, or part-time work.
  • Limit retirement withdrawals – Only take what you need each year to allow more compound growth.
  • Invest more conservatively – Focus on fixed income and lower risk assets to protect principal.
  • Purchase an annuity – Use a portion of savings to purchase a guaranteed income stream.
  • Maintain good health – Stay active and focus on preventative care to reduce healthcare costs.

A combination of reducing spending, delaying Social Security, working part-time, and investing conservatively can help you stretch $300,000 in savings significantly further in retirement.


A retirement nest egg of $300,000 can provide some income in retirement if carefully managed and supplemented with other income sources such as Social Security. To make $300,000 last for 30 years or longer, you need to have a bare bones budget, a conservative withdrawal rate of 4% or less, and relatively healthy investing returns. Reducing expenses, delaying Social Security, earning part-time income, and protecting savings can help extend the lifetime of $300k in retirement. But with average life expectancies now extending into the late 80s, $300k alone is unlikely to be sufficient for a comfortable 30+ year retirement for most people. Ideally you would have closer to $500k-$1M or more in retirement savings plus other income sources.