Rule of Thumb - Guess how much money per year on which you need to live then multiply by 25. This is how much $ in a brokerage account you'll need with a steady 4% return after inflation to live off dividends forever excluding taxes and blah blah blah, etc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depressive_realism pretty much says that nothing in this comment is Truth, but the comment http://www.reddit.com/r/depression/comments/1gdxry/depression_feels_more_real_optimism_feels_like_a/cajbziq is nice. Namely:
- "It's important to realize the impact of optimism vs. pessimism. A pessimistic person is less likely to set high expectations, or high standards. As a result, they are less likely to be disappointed. A pessimistic person is less likely to be step outside of their comfort zone. As a result, they are less likely to face failure. [...] an optimistic person is more likely to attempt something that would be beyond their perceived abilities. As a result, they are more likely to succeed. An optimistic person is more likely to search beyond the bleakness of a current perceived state, and as a result is more likely to find happiness."
- "Confidence is often just healthy, controlled delusional thinking. Confidence is choosing to press on despite failure and disappointment. Confidence is therefore strength;"
- "Take a moment to separate pessimism from realism as well. Realism is the seeing of reality, in all its darkness as well as its light. Pessimism is the seeing of darkness and the giving into darkness. You can be a realist without being a pessimist."
- "do you want to be a pessimist, and simply wallow in the bleakness of depression for the sake of seeing the darkness in reality, or do you want to fight it with confidence and control?"
And from an old episode of Mad Men, "If you don't want to drink, you don't have to drink."