Retirement Planning Calculator

 

This calculator helps people quickly estimate their current financial picture to help them plan for retirement. Future retirees can enter their desired retirement income goals & their current savings to see if they already have enough saved for retirement or if they will need to save more. This calculator allows users to factor in one-time benefits, retirement income sources & inflation. Once calculations are done you can print out a report highlighting your results.

Retirement Needs

Combined

Age at the end of current year:
Age you plan to retire at:
Life expectancy:
Desired annual retirement income ($):
Every years of retirement, reduce needed income by (%):
Desired estate ($):
Expected average annual rate of inflation (%):

Retirement Funding

Combined

Current retirement savings ($):
Current monthly contribution ($):
Age to stop contributions ($):
Annual return you expect to earn (%):
Combined Federal & State Tax Rate during retirement (%):

One-time Benefits

Combined

($):
Age to Apply One-Time Benefit #1:
($):
Age to Apply One-Time Benefit #2:
($):
Age to Apply One-Time Benefit #3:
($):
Age to Apply One-Time Benefit #4:

Pensions, SS & Other Income

Combined

Annual COL Adjustment % Starting

$
Start & Stop Ages for Retirement Income #1: to

Annual COL Adjustment % Starting

$
Start & Stop Ages for Retirement Income #2: to

Annual COL Adjustment % Starting

$
Start & Stop Ages for Retirement Income #3 : to

Your Retirement Savings Results

Savings Needed at Retirement Age:
Savings at Retirement Based on Present Entries:
Savings Surplus (negative number indicates a ShortFall):
Additional Monthly Contribution Needed to Fully Fund Plan:
Present Monthly Contributions:
Total Monthly Contribution Needed to Fully Fund Plan:

The Best Time To Plan for Retirement is Now

Guide published by Joelle Jacinto on November 26, 2019

If you haven't started saving for your retirement yet, you should be doing so now. How much should you be saving? As much as you can. 

Many financial advisors will suggest to start working on a retirement plan in your 20s, as soon as you get hired for your first important job. Of course, the last thing a new hire embarking on a promising career would think of is retiring from said career, but the longer you save the better, thanks to what they call “the magic of compound interest.”

Woman Excited at a New Job.

Compound interest is interest that is grown from the interest earned on an initial principal, which is why it is called “interest on interest.” This raises the original rate of interest, as well as the account balance of a loan or deposit. For example, let's say you deposited $1000 in your bank account, and earned $50 interest on your deposit. Even if you don't deposit any more money for a year and your balance remains as $1050, your bank will put interest on this full amount, compounding your interest and increasing your balance. Of course, the amount of interest you make will depend on how much your balance is, so a higher balance will mean a higher interest rate.

So imagine that you start saving $300/month in your 20s, you will have amassed around $500,000 in your retirement fund by the time you turn 70. In comparison, if you only start doing this in your 30s, you will only achieve around $300,000 because you weren't able to compound your interest long enough.  As some advisors will suggest that your replacement income during your retirement should be 80% of the annual salary you were earning while employed, the 30 year old late starters will have some catching up to do. 

80% of your annual salary is not a standard, and might not be desirable for an employee making $50,000 a year to be using only $40,000 a year during his retirement. Fidelity, according to Forbes, states that you should have saved up 10 times your final salary by the time you retire to be able to live comfortably. Fidelity also recommends saving 15% of your pre-tax income, but depending on how long you will be working or when you'll be retiring, and how long you expect to be living off your retirement fund. You should also consider other investments you will be making during your adult life, such as buying a house or sending your children to college. 

The following table shows the results of saving $500 monthly (equivalent of $6,000 annually) until age 70 with a 10% annual rate of return, which is roughly what the S&P 500 has returned since inception. The final column shows the present spending power of savings presuming a 2% rate of inflation.

Age Deposited Investment Returns Pre-tax Savings Present Value
20 $300,000 $7,056,214.19 $7,356,214.19 $2,678,910.17
25 $270,000 $4,273,671.46 $4,543,671.46 $1,830,544.65
30 $240,000 $2,557,303.70 $2,797,303.70 $1,246,759.39
35 $210,000 $1,502,946.73 $1,712,946.73 $844,610.56
40 $180,000 $859,646.36 $1,039,646.36 $567,110.79
45 $150,000 $471,579.80 $621,579.80 $375,101.49
50 $120,000 $241,993.36 $361,993.36 $241,669.66

Exploring Your Retirement Investment Account Options

Obtaining a Raise at Work.

Maintaining a retirement fund may be as simple as not spending a certain amount of money each month, but there are also more complex, yet easily efficient ways, to ensure you're working towards building your nest egg. The company you work for can help, as well as banks and brokerage companies that can offer you an Individual Retirement Account or IRA. Most of these accounts are usually tax-deductible and tax deferred, meaning they grow tax free until you withdraw them from the account. 

  • 401(k) plan – Big companies will have the 401(k) plan, which is a retirement savings plan which you can sign up for, where the company you work for will deposit a portion of your salary into an account with an investment company. Some employers can also match your savings, and, if you allow them, raise your savings rate per year. There is no tax on this plan while in the process of saving; you are only taxed when you withdraw from the fund upon your retirement. However, withdrawing from the fund prematurely will incur fines.
  • 403(b) plans – Non-profit and public education organizations like charities, schools, cooperative hospital service institutions, among others, offer their employees this plan, where your investment is put into an annuity, which often have high annual fees. It is advised for non-profit workers, who typically make less money than the normal worker, to opt for an IRA instead of availing for an expensive 403(b) from their employer. 
  • 457 plans – Government institutions will offer the 457 plan to their employees, which is similar to the 401(k) plan except it does not charge an early withdrawal fee if you access the funds before the age of 55.  
  • IRA – Individual Retirement Accounts are available from banks and brokerages, which you apply for yourself when your company doesn't offer retirement options or if you're self-employed. As you apply for it independently, you are able to choose your investment plan, which may include other investment products, such as stocks, bonds, ETFs or exchange traded funds, and mutual funds. Individuals may avail either the traditional IRA or the Roth IRA, which, unlike the former, requires you to pay taxes on your plan while investing but no longer upon withdrawal. 
  • SEP and SIMPLE IRAs – Small business owners and self-employed individuals avail of the SEP (simplified employee pension) IRA or the SIMPLE (savings incentive match plan for employees). Both plans follow the tax deferral rule of the traditional IRA. With SEP IRAs, employers can set up accounts for their employees to lower the cost of taxes, but the employees are not allowed to contribute to their accounts and are charged when they withdraw from it. Meanwhile, employees are allowed to contribute to their SIMPLE IRAs along with their employer. 

You may already have a retirement plan in place without realizing it, or perhaps found out only now that you are eligible for a plan with your company, or that you should proactively apply for one. Knowing your options, you should review each kind of plan to maximize your future life goals. 

How We Save and Invest our Money Through the Years

Each person is different, and goals are different as well. Today, more women are having children in their late 30s, while 70 year old retirees are getting energized from a second career. However you choose to live your life, maintaining savings is always a wise decision as it will support that life you wish to live. 

Typically, your concerns will be different at different stages of your life. Fresh grads are trying to work their way up the corporate ladder and finding it hard to put away savings when their salary is still at the bottom rung. Financial advisors would recommend to still put money away, even if it's just a dollar or two. You should be able to ask your company to enroll you for a minimum on a 401(k) plan. Even if salaries are at the lowest in your career timeline, it is also when individuals are not expected to have as much responsibilities as people in their 30s and 40s. 

Family Buying a House.

When people start getting married and raising a family, the responsibilities start to kick in. While now a part of a 2-income household, the first priority is to buy the house that makes the household, while other investments will adjust to accommodate this new, very significant expense. Couples should also ideally work on their finances together to make other major investments, such as setting up a college fund, much easier. But parents shouldn't disregard their retirement plans at this stage, and should instead strive to contribute the minimum amount that should compound by itself over time. 

Once their children are in college, people often review their investments, debts and any risks. Many individuals look into investing in stocks and bonds in their 40s and 50s, and in other avenues that can grow their money. Typically, younger investors are more aggressive with the stocks game, while 50 year olds and older tend to be more prudent with investments, as they should. IRAs typically stop growing once you begin to withdraw the money, so it is smart for retirees to have a fund that still grows continuously over time. 

The Time to Plan for Retirement is NOW

If you haven't started saving up for a retirement fund, whether you're in your 20s or 50s or wherever in between, you should go and start now. Starting early gives one a good headstart into determining how you'll be spending the rest of your life, but starting late is also fine, as long as you start at all. As life expectancies have prolonged with advanced medical technologies, Americans are spending an average of 25 to 35 years in retirement. As this likely looks to be your future as well, it would be best to be prepared. 

Woman Needing Help.

Here are ways to catch up to your retirement fund:

  1. Revisit or re-evaluate your retirement plan. Or go get one. Since 2019, workers who are 50 years old and older are able to contribute $25,000 per year on their 401(k) plan, while those 49 and younger have a $19,000/year cap. You should also apply for that employer match if your firm offers it. This match is not automatic, it is only implemented upon request, so be a proactive employee.  If you don't have a 401(k) plan, open an IRA with your bank. Even if the cap is at $7,000 per year for people over 50, any amount saved is significant for the future. Importantly, you should raise the monthly contribution if you wish to catch up your retirement plan. Use the calculator above to finalize your strategy according to how late you've started planning for retirement and how you want to spend the rest of your life.
  2. Keep working for as long as you can. Consider delaying retirement, which means maintaining your full-time job for longer, and during this time you should manage your funds to invest in a better retirement plan. Or you can get a part-time job either before or after you retire. Many managers are able to retain positions as consultants at their firm after they retire. You may also opt to open a business for extra income. 
  3. Get better Social Security benefits. Delaying retirement also means delaying availing of your social security benefits, which rise up to 8% annually if untouched after you reach your full retirement age of 66-67. While you can technically start to avail of your monthly benefits at age 62, it is possible to raise the monthly rate by around 70% if you delay collection until age 70. 
  4. Clear your debt and lower your cost of living. Pay off your mortgage. Sell your car and avail of ride-sharing services. Upgrade your home to make it more energy efficient, allowing you to pay less on monthly utilities through your golden years. Reduce your cost of living and live a happy, carefree life. 
  5. Keep in good health. Healthcare expenses are one of the leading expenses later in life. Maintaining your health can lower your risk of many diseases & costly treatments.

Life Begins After Retirement

Whether or not you were able to save up enough money to live your retirement years comfortably, it wouldn't hurt to look into additional means of income, as well as having meaningful things to do now that you have a lot of time to do it. Do note that if you are already collecting your Social Security benefits, you will be taxed on them by up to 50% if you earn $25,000 to $34,000, and any higher than that could tax your benefits by up to 85%. Just keep watch on your income and spend and you'll be fine. 

Old Man Driving.

Here are a few suggestions for post-retirement income that may suit you. 

  • Rent out your car while on vacation; Getaround will clean your car for you after. Also, sign up for ride share services, such as Lyft or Uber
  • Rent out rooms in your house through AirBnB, or even your parking space through Panda Parking or Pavemint. 
  • House-sitting, perhaps even internationally, although in some cases, you would have to pay for your own flight. However, how cool would it be to go on vacation in an exotic locale and be paid for your living accommodations?
  • Teaching. Visit schools and ask about any positions they need filled and any qualifications required, such as a Master's degree or teaching experience. You can get part-time classes or you can do substitute teaching. Working from home, online tutoring is also an option, as long as you have the required credentials and a Skype account. 
  • Sell your art work and crafts on Etsy
  • Sell anything else you can think of on Craigslist or eBay. You can also look into reselling on Craigslist, by getting a product at a bargain and reselling it for a more significant amount on another marketplace.
  • Turn your weekend pastimes into a business. Whether it's cooking and baking that can turn into catering, or furniture making and refurbishing, or gardening. You can either sell your products or make tutorials for people to learn how to do these themselves. 
  • Market research testers can earn around $10 for answering a consumer experience survey or commenting on the usability of a website or app for less than 20 minutes on a site like UserTesting.com. Or if you like shopping, you can be a mystery shopper, wherein you physically enter a shop and report on the experience afterwards. 

About the Author

Joelle sees writing as a craft, and is genuinely interested in the topics she tackles, which have ranged from finance and transportation, to pop music, to business advice, to society and culture, to performing arts. She has a Master's in Art Theory and Criticism from the University of the Philippines and is pursuing a PhD in Philippine Socio-Cultural Studies. Her works have been published in broadsheets, lifestyle magazines, online portals and academic journals. Her performing arts reviews have been published in Malaya, Manila Times, Critics Republic, Malaysia, and RealTime Arts, Australia, while her academic work appears in The Borneo Journal and the Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement.

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