Retirement Calculators: Your Roadmap for Saving

Retirement Calculators: Your Roadmap for Saving March 25, 2011

I’ve seen a lot of retirement calculators online, but not all of them are good (an understatement for some).  Some are downright confusing and long.

While there’s no surefire way to calculate yourself into the perfect retirement, you can get a better idea of where you’re headed if you use the right calculators.  I’ve found a few that do a good job in providing retirement projections, and would encourage anyone who is saving for retirement to use these to see if they’re on track.  (Most of these calculations come from Calc XML – I’ve just put together some of the most common and helpful calculations used for retirement planning)

Retirement Calculator Roadmap

1. How much will I need to save for retirement?

2. What will my qualified plan be worth at retirement?

3. What is the impact of increasing my 401(k) contribution?

4. Are my current retirement savings enough?

5.  What is my current year required minimum distribution?

6. I’m retired, how long will my savings last?

Other Considerations

Social Security Income

I am not planning on any social security income.  Yes, I think it will still be around in some form; I’m just not counting on the funds for my own retirement.  Some calculators have a field for Social Security income, so just be sure to include this with your calculations.

Health Expenses

This is by far the biggest expense for most retirees.  You may think living on $50,000 a year is adequate, but one or two stays in a hospital can really eat into your annual income.

Part-time work

I’ll probably never fully retire – I think I’d go crazy.  You might be working longer too, which will help stretch the life of your retirement savings.

Downsizing Your Home

If your kids have moved out and you don’t need all that space, you may consider downsizing.  Your expenses may go down significantly, which can help to stretch out your savings.

These retirement calculators aren’t the ‘end-all’ for retirement planning, but they’re certainly a good start for you to use as you plan for your future years.

Are you ‘on track’ with your savings?  What did you think about these calculators?

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