Accurate Retirement Calculator

Create a Pre and Post Retirement Cash Flow Schedule
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Retirement Calculator
Retirement Calculator

Unique Retirement Calculator shows pre-retirement investing and post-retirement income in one schedule. Also optionally considers:

  • Social Security, Pensions
  • Inflation
  • Change assumptions for pre and post-retirement
  • Export analysis to XLSX/DOCX files

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


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.
  • No WP plugin yet????

  • Hello,

    I have two items: one a question and the other a comment on an apparent error.

    The question (and I apologize if I’ve overlooked the answer in the instructions or other comments and answers): Should the “Desired Retirement Income” entry be the total projected cost of living in the first year of retirement, or should it be the total projected cost of living minus the income from other sources (such as private and government pensions)? In other words, is that value supposed to be the total demand on one’s savings, after accounting for pensions?

    The apparent error: I entered current savings at age 61 and a retirement at age 62, and the calculator reduced my savings by 23 percent in the first year, even though, in the first year of retirement, the total demand on my savings, after accounting for pensions, would be about 3.3 percent of my current balance. Subsequent years’ decreases in total savings are far more gradual, as one would logically expect. I’ve reviewed my entries and can see no error on my end that would cause the calculator to do such a drastic reduction in one year.

  • Karl, Question on the retirement calculator. Would be great if you break out the “Income from Gov..?” question to separate income streams for SS (his and hers) and allow different start dates for turning that on at later ages. Would like to see the break-out of the spend down on all my savings first, and then how SS/Pension effects those numbers by turning on SS at a later age.
    Thanks! Mark

    • Hi Mark, I have a few "to-dos" for this calculator and one of them has to do with two SS amounts. The problem is, I have a lot of "to-dos"! I still have additional calculators I’m creating and new calculators normally bring more visitors than tweaks to existing ones. So it will be a while before I get back to this, since it’s certainly not a quick addition.

  • Hi Karl,
    do you have the retirement-plan calculator for download to include to my brazilian wordpress site?


  • Hi. First off, this is an amazing calculator. Thanks. I don’t know if anyone else has similar problems, but I have multiple options that take place between retirement and age 70. For example, inputting ss amounts that differ for my wife and I and depending upon when we take distributions. Based on these inputs, the effect it has on withdrawal amounts (and ultimate $$$ to heirs) varies quite a bit. Also, we have a potential variable for pension if my wife passes before me. Right now we collect x but if she passes before me, I only collect .25x. Obviously this impacts the future. Not sure if the program, as is, contemplates these type of variables and, if not, I understand. If you have any suggestions, that would be great. Again, many thanks for a great program.

    • Thank you. I’m glad to hear that you like the calculator.

      I definitely need to revisit the calculation options. A few others have asked about figuring in income from multiple social security accounts or pension funds.

      The problem I run into (and I run into it with almost all the calculators) is the trade-off between adding features and having it be at least somewhat easy to use. A lot of users are after calculators that give them “just an idea” and they are not so much into the analysis. In general, I try to strike a balance. But with the retirement calculators, I have 3 other ones that are more straight forward to use. So I think I will (eventually) add some more flexibility. Thanks for writing.

    • Perhaps I should add, you can do a lot of what you want to do with this calculator. It’s a general-purpose time value of money calculator. That is, you’ll have to model the cash flows, but you can certainly do retirement planning with it. It lets you increase/decrease amounts on any date. You can increase values by percent. And you can adjust rates. Scroll down the page, and there are a number of tutorials. They get into details about cash flows, but not retirement planning.

  • Hi Karl,
    Is the “Annual income?” after-tax income?
    and is the “Desired Retirement Income” in today’s dollar?


  • Love this calculator and the visuals. One item I would change however, is to take the information in the post retirement income section and account for inflation. Most people will not do that and it will create a shortfall in their saving needs.

    • Great! Glad you like it. The calculator does support an inflation adjustment for the post-retirement income. Please see the 3rd item down under post-retirement. Or is this not what you meant?

      • Correct. However there is a gap between the amount you put in for Desired Retirement Income and Income from Government for the time period between current day and when those payments start. So for a 45 year old person I will likely base my needs in current dollars. If I say I want $80,000 the calculator uses that as my starting point – which is still 20 years (or so) away. What most calculators do is to apply an inflation factor to that so you enter the amount you desire in today’s dollars, and it will use the inflated figure for your first payout in retirement. Without that someone would need to recognize this and calc it for themselves. For me that is easy, as I am only 6 years from retirement. However if you don’t account for it it could be a pretty big factor. At 2.5% inflation that $80,000 I want 20 years from now would equate to about $128,000.

        • You are right of course. I need to rethink the design as to how I can incorporate your idea. The current layout is pretty cramped.

          In the meantime, anyone can use this inflation calculator. For the 80,000 after 20 years, it comes up with 131,000.

  • Karl, Question on the retirement calculator. Would be great if you break out the “Income from Gov..?” question to separate income streams for SS (his and hers) and allow different start dates for turning that on at later ages. Would like to see the break-out of the spend down on all my savings first, and then how SS/Pension effects those numbers by turning on SS at a later age.

    Thanks! Mark

    • Thank you for your constructive suggestions. Having the ability to support 2 retirements (or at least 2 social securities) has been requested before. I will look into it this year. Currently, I have quite a few changes backed up.

    • The problem with most all the retirement calculators is they don’t allow for the draw down of SS (his and/or hers) in the later years….. if you want to draw down some of your 401k first for a few years, and then compute adding in SS in the later years and reducing some of that 401k payment, it becomes a long math computation.
      I hope you can find a way and time to improve this calculator. Thanks!

      • “…becomes a long math computation.”

        You are right about that!

        Interesting, I’ve done the opposite. I’ve started to take SS and not draw down on the investment accounts. I figure, why withdraw the tax deferred investments and pay taxes at a higher tax rate when my income is higher? But also, let the investments increase in value at a higher rate-of-return (hopefully!) than the increase in the value of the SS?

  • Your calculators are amazing. I use them often. Can you add to the retirement calculator either the ability to download a spread sheet of the yearly data? Also, it would be nice to incorporate the Required Minimum Distributions. While I think I can live off SS and a modest withdrawal from my 403B, I would like to know the real changes in the amount left after applying the RMD.

    • I’m glad you find the calculators useful.

      Adding the ability to factor into the calculation the RMD sounds to me like a good idea. I need to study how it works and how to implement it. However, I have a lot on my plate right now. It won’t happen for a while.

      The ability to export to a spreadsheet is something I want to add as well. A lot of the code changes recently (moving to a new site) was done with this in mind.

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