'm gonna call bs on this one. you don't need a million dollars to have a good living when you retire, unless you plan on having a shitload of payments that will need to be made.
Now, if you are saying 500k in home value that is paid for and 500k in retirement, then I would agree this is a minimum.
ok, look at this. Lets say you (and your wife or whatever) make about 80,000 per year now, and live on that. In about 30 years, JUST TO MAINTAIN that same lifestyle, you'll be needing about 270,000 per year in income.
What does this mean? This means you'd better have a stash of cash that can MAKE money for you, so you can live on the interest. Remember, inflation, so your purchasing power decreases with every year. If you have 500k In retirement in 30 years, you are fucked. You'll be pulling MORE than you MAKE interest, JUST TO MAINTAIN your lifestyle. Forget about bills, that is even if you have everything paid off, because in retirement everything will cost more, plus you'll be enjoying life right?
So, you don't have enough cash to live off the interest it makes. This means your principle balance will start dropping, and dropping, and dropping......and then, all of a sudden, you are 75, out of money, and need surgery, medical pills etc etc... You are fucked. There will be no Social Security for us, count on it.
Being a millionaire in 25 to 30 years is easy. Given an average return on the market, I am contributing enough to my 401k to almost hit the 2 mil mark, not to mention my wife and a Roth IRA. I'm not rich, I dont make more than most, but I do see the value in saving enough.
Crunch the numbers with any investment/retirement rep, and they will tell you the same thing. I'm not one of the above, but I have sat down with a few, and they all echo the same comments. A million dollars is a decent amount now, but in 30 years it wont be shit. Hell, even TODAY, there are more than a million millionaires. MANY of my clients who are of retirement age have a million dollars, and they worked normal jobs.