Accurate Retirement Calculator

Create a Pre and Post Retirement Cash Flow Schedule
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retirement calculator
Retirement Calculator
  • Considers pre and post retirement cash flows
  • Allows for multiple income sources
  • Solves for multiple unknowns
  • Factor in inflation - Yikes!

Are you on track?

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 would think is even possible.

Don't believe me?

Here's what The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has learned, as of 2023:

The analysis discovered that 80% of households with older adults—or 47 million—are financially struggling today or are at risk of falling into economic insecurity as they age. Moreover, this trend is worsening over time, as 90% of older households experienced decreases in income and net value of wealth...

If workers understood how fast retirement creeps up, do you think they would allow themselves to get in such a dire circumstance?

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Regardless, I encourage you to spend a few minutes with this retirement calculator to see what your future will hold. Avoid becoming a statistic. More below

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Retirement Plan

Chart Area

Pre-Retirement Investing

Post Retirement Income

© 2022, Pine Grove Software, LLC
$ : mm/dd/yyyy

Information

Original Size
Click to make smaller (-) or larger (+).

Recent changes and enhancements — Dec. 2023

  • Export schedule's data to Excel/xlsx file. Click on "Schedule" then "Continue" or "Skip" past the title page option.
  • Save schedule to Word/docx file. Saving to a .docx gives you the opportunity to alter the style of the schedule, to add notes, or incorporate the schedule into a report.

How to Use this 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.

"ROI during retirement" rate goes into effect the day the last retirement contribution is made rather than on the day of the first income withdrawal. Setting the effective date equal to the final contribution date is a slightly more conservative approach when the after retirement rate is lower than the before retirement rate. (It is a less conservative approach when the opposite is true.)

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

  • Your Current age
  • Annual income
  • ROI for retirement savings - return-on-investment
  • ROI during retirement

The calculator will calculate any one of four unknowns. 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 five optional inputs. You may leave any or all of them set to "0":

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

Examples Creating Your Retirement Schedule & Chart

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 assumptions using the 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 the 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 the age at which the depletion of your retirement savings occurs.

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. Therefore, the calculator gives the user the option for two rates of return — one for the pre-retirement investment, and one for the after retirement investment. The investment rate change happens on the date of the last contribution.

Click the schedule button for details.

If you want to enter an amount to invest, not a percentage

When it comes to the amount you are contributing toward your retirement, some users may not care to think in terms of percentage of income invested. Instead, 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 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. 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. Additionally, 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.

Desired retirement income

A note about "Desired retirement income": When users are thinking about retirement and the income they want, they usually think about their total income, and 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 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 retirement schedule consider only your investment plan and income before Social Security and pensions. If you want to reach a particular income aside from what may come from other sources, leave other sources set to zero.

The average monthly Social Security check changes monthly, but for your planning, per the Social Security Administration:

The estimated average monthly Social Security retirement benefit for January 2024 is $1,907.

Also, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics as quoted by U.S. News and World Report:

In 2022, U.S. households led by someone age 65 or older spent an average of $57,818,
Average 2022 incomes after taxes were as follows for older households:
  • 65-74 years: $63,187 per year or $5,266 per month
  • 75 and older: $47,928 per year or $3,994 per month

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 — not a comfortable retirement illustration. Start at age 35 and save 5% of a $50,000 annual income with a 3% income increase every year. At retirement (age 65), start withdrawing $25,000 annually with a 2.5% inflation adjustment, you'll not have a comfortable retirement for your entire life expectancy. Notice at retirement; the invested 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 were two changes made to this plan when compared to the first illustration. The user settled for 12.5% less retirement income ($22,000 vs. $25,000) and retirement was delayed until age 66.

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. The increasing available income is indicated by the bars at retirement age supper imposed with the gold withdrawal line. The only reason the retirement funds start to deplete later in this retirement plan is due to the 2.5% 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 blue line shows the annual retirement contributions, and the yellow-gold line shows the retirement income (withdrawals). If you put your mouse on a point, you'll see the specifics.

The retirement calculator is one of the more critical financial calculators on this site. Feel free to come back and use it as often as you like.

Other Retirement Calculators

As described above, the calculator on this page can solve for multiple unknowns, and it will answer any of your common retirement questions. On the other hand, the below three 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.

35 Comments on “Retirement Calculator”

Join the conversation. Tell me what you think.
  • You still have the best calculators…. I’ve had to take your calculators and dump to a spreadsheet and to breakout the SS amounts and dates. The issue is the wife and I have different SS FRA dates and I would like to see a break-out of SS in your calculators for her, and a separate input for me. This allows decisions on taking SS first (or last), and leaving the tax defered $$$$ to grow…. or let the SS grow to age 70…. and what total numbers look best.

  • Is this broken? I’ve been using this awesome calculator in the past but when I now click on ‘calculate’ with the default values I get error ‘e.getSchedule().data[0] is undefined’

    • It seems that it is broken. I’ll take a look and let you know when it’s fixed (which hopefully will be tomorrow, or possibly Monday).

      Thank you for letting me know.

    • Carl, I fixed the Retirement Calculator.

      I have one concern, the error message that you reported is not the same error I saw. If you still have a problem (I don’t think you will), please let me know.

      NOTE:

      If you do not see the change right away, you may have to perform a hard refresh of the page:

      Depending on your operating system, all you need to do is type the following key combination:

      • Windows: ctrl + F5
      • Mac/Apple: Apple + R or command + R
      • Linux: F5

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