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Not to preach or sound like some ol' fart, but let me tell you, from the perspective of someone who has reached their 60s, retirement time comes much faster than you think is even possible. I encourage you to spend a few minutes with this retirement calculator to see what your future will hold. More below...»

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Retirement Plan

* According to information you entered, your money will run out before you reach your life expectancy.

Pre Retirement Savings

Post Retirement Income

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Other Retirement Calculators

As described below, the above calculator has the ability to solve for multiple unknowns and it will answer any of your common retirement questions. On the other hand, the below 3 calculators take up less screen space and they may be more appropriate for smaller computing devices. They are also designed to answer one question directly and therefore require less study to use. You might want to check them out as well.


Help With My Best Retirement Calculator

The above calculator takes into account your current retirement savings plus additional contributions from your income as well as (optional) projected wage gains and evaluates your goals. It then charts your post retirement income to see if you are on track to meet those goals.

Update 06/21/2016: Minor assumption change. "ROI during retirement" rate goes into effect on the day the last retirement contribution is made rather than on the day of the first income withdrawal. This is, usually, a slightly more conservative approach. In any event, you won't get exactly the same results as you had gotten previously if your investment rate and retirement withdrawal rates were different. Neither is wrong. The calculator is simply creating your plan using a slightly different financial model.

Related: Rich Man, Poor Man - Thoughts Applicable to Retirement Planning

The calculator has 13 inputs, 4 of them are required:

  • Your Current age
  • Annual income
  • ROI for retirement savings
  • ROI during retirement

There are 4 variables which can be calculated. Enter "0" (zero) for one of the four and a value for each of the other three:

  • Your life expectancy
  • Percent of income invested
  • Your age at retirement
  • Annual income required

There are 5 optional inputs. Any or all can be left at 0.

  • Annual income increase
  • Current retirement savings
  • Annual inflation rate
  • Income from government
  • Other annual income

Retirement planning involves many variables. As with other financial calculators on this site, this retirement planning calculator can solve for multiple unknowns. Below are questions that can be answered based on your own assumptions using values you provide.

  • How much do I need to save to retire?
    • Set "Percent of income invested" to "0.0%"
    • Hover mouse over gold contribution line in chart to see annual retirement contribution
  • When can I retire?
  • Do I have enough to retire?
  • At what age can I retire?
    • Set "Your age at retirement?" to "0"
      • If calculated age equals your current age, then you have enough to retire now.
  • How much do I need to retire?
  • What will my retirement income be?
    • Set "Desired retirement income" to "0"
    • After calculating, see "Savings at retirement" in the chart
  • How long will my money last?
    • Set "Desired retirement income" to the total income you want including other income
    • Set "Your life expectancy" to "0"
      • The result is your age when your retirement savings will be depleted

Click on the calculator's "Help" button for more details about each input.

Preparing for Retirement — Assumptions

Generally, when someone retires, their investments become more conservative. More conservative investments usually have a lower rate of return, yield or interest rate. This is why the calculator gives the user the option for two rates of return — one for the pre retirement investment and one for after retirement. The rate change date is on the date the last contribution is made. Click the schedule button for details.

When it comes to the amount you are contributing toward your retirement, some users many not care to think in terms of percent of income invested. Rather some may rather think in terms of an absolute amount they plan to contribute. If that's the case, set "percent of income invested" to 100% and enter for "annual income" the amount you plan to invest. Naturally the "annual income increase" feature will also work correctly if you select this approach.

If you want to know at what age you can retire given your expected savings plan and income desired, this calculator will tell you as noted above. In order to make this calculation, we have to know how long you want your retirement income to last. But this calculator does not ask you that question. So how do we know this? Behind the scenes, the calculator has a default retirement age. That age is 66. When you enter your life expectancy the calculator calculates the number of years you want your savings to last from the default date. If you want your retirement income from investments to last 20 years (21 withdrawals), you therefore enter 86 for "your life expectancy". Or if you want it to last 25 years, you enter 91 and 0 (zero) for "Your age at retirement". Notice after the calculation, your retirement age will be known, but also your life expectancy will be updated so that the difference between the two will equal the number of years you want the funds to last.

A note about "Desired retirement income": When users are thinking about retirement and the income they want, they normally think about the total income, not the individual components of the income. Therefore, desired income is the total annual income you want when you retire. If you enter income from other sources, such as projected Social Security or pensions, that income will be deducted from the desired income when making the investment calculations. Or stated another way, both the chart and the schedule consider only your investment plan and income before income from other sources. If you want to reach a particular income aside from what may come from other sources, just leave other sources set to zero.

Retirement Plans Compared

Click on the below plans and the calculator's data will change and the chart will be updated. The point is to show three slightly different sets of inputs and how generally small changes can have a significant impact on the results.

Retirement Plan 1 — even starting at age 35 and saving 5% of income with a 3% increase every year, the savings plan will not allow the user to have a comfortable retirement for their life expectancy. Notice at retirement (age 65), the retirement funds immediately start to deplete as indicated by the red bars.

Retirement Plan 2 — if the user follows this plan, the retirement funds immediately start to deplete, but they will not run out. There was one change made to this plan when compared to plan one. The user settled for 12.5% less retirement income.

Retirement Plan 3 — this plan has the best results. Notice the funds available continue to increase even after contributions have stopped and the user is retired. This is indicated by the slightly darker green bars at retirement age and beyond. The only reason the retirement funds start to deplete later in this retirement plan is due to the inflation adjustment applied to the withdrawals. (See for yourself. Set the "annual inflation rate" to zero and you'll see that the funds continue to grow. [After you make the change, click on the "Calc" button of course.])

Place your mouse over a bar for details about the data at any age. Notice the yellow line shows the retirement savings and the blue line shows the retirement income, and if you put your mouse on a point, you'll see the specifics. The retirement calculator is one of the more important financial calculators on this site. Feel free to let me know how it can be made better.

Possible Changes to This Calculator
This is a physically large calculator. It takes up a lot of screen space. I'm thinking of going to a tabbed design and putting the chart on a second tab to make the calculator smaller. What do you think?

8 thoughts on “retirement-calculator

  1. Your calculators are great. Very helpful.

    Using the Retirement Calculator: Doing scenarios where you would retire early, and the field ‘income from other sources’. I will get government income, but not at the onset of the early retirement age I am using. Does the calculator account for this?

    • Thank you. Glad to hear it.

      All retirement income is assumed to commence in the retirement year. I’ll have to give it some thought as to how that might be accomplished. The difficulty would be calculating an unknown retirement income when part of the total income starts at a different time.

      It would probably be possible to model your scenario in the Time Value of Money Calculator. Let me know please if you think of a way to do this. 🙂

  2. Hi Karl,

    Your calculators are most helpful.

    Suggestion: a field or two that would allow for changes in circumstances over the course of retirement. i.e. receive and inheritance at age 70 or decrease annual income at age 75.

    Thanx for your consideration!

    Warm regards,

    Laurie

    • Hi Laurie, thank you for taking the time to make a suggestion. Perhaps I’ll be able to update this calculator in the first half of 2017. Currently I have a number of enhancements I want to implement on this site. One problem with this particular calculator though, is it is not particularly popular (why, I’m not sure) and it probably best to enhance calculators that get more use.

  3. I put in 50K for desired annual retirement income and only 27K from govt source. Your schedule took 23K the first year of my retirement from savings but not an of the following years. It should deduct every year until life expectancy of age 95. age is 71 now.

    Mary

    • Hi Mary, I understand what you’re saying, but I can’t duplicate the problem. When I run the schedule, the calculator deducts 23,000 per year for each year of retirement, until the life expectancy age.

      However, it would help if you tell me your other inputs. Because I now see that if current age is 71 and age at retirement is 71, then there is 1 year of withdrawal. Perhaps that is how you have it set? The reason for this, is because there is no pre retirement investment period and thus no accumulated savings to withdrawal the 23K from.

      Also, what do you want to calculate? Perhaps there is a different calculator you should be using.

  4. Very good calculator. After using your calculator I realized that inflation can really create havoc in your finances. $ 12,000 per annum requirement now calculates to $ 28,000 after 28 years if the inflation rate is 3%. Shocking for a layman.

    • Yes, it is surprising the cost of inflation. I think the next calculator that I add to this site will be an inflation calculator. I’ve been thinking about the design for a few months now.

Comments, suggestions & questions welcomed...

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