See how much you need for a comfortable retirement
Personal Finance Insider’s free retirement calculator can show you if you’re on track for a comfortable retirement.
By providing information such as your age, income, savings rate, retirement balances, projected retirement expenses, and how long you plan to work, it estimates how much money you will have compared to what which you will need.
Use Insider’s calculator to see if you’re on track for a comfortable retirement by answering a few questions about yourself, your savings, and how long you plan to keep working.
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*Need is based on coverage of 70% of your annual pre-retirement income and a life expectancy of 100 years.
How to use the retirement calculator
For this calculator, we define a comfortable retirement as being able to live on 70% of your pre-retirement income. However, the calculator is customizable.
Here is what you will need to enter:
- Personal information: The current age and the age at which you plan to retire.
- Current pension balance: The total amount of your retirement savings across all your accounts, including 401(k)s and IRAs.
- Current household income: Your annual gross income (the amount you earn before taxes).
- Savings rate: How much money you are saving each month for retirement. You can enter it as a dollar amount or as a percentage of your income.
The following entries are pre-populated, but you can modify some of them to further customize your retirement calculation.
- Expected annual salary increases: The calculator default is 2%.
- Expected monthly expenses at retirement: We assume you will spend 70% of your pre-retirement income (the amount you should be earning just before you retire), but you can change this figure if you plan to spend more or less.
- Life expectancy: The default calculation uses a life expectancy of 100 years.
- Returns on investment: We assume your savings are invested and earning an annual rate of return of 5%.
How a retirement calculator can help you
Our retirement calculator is designed to track your progress towards retirement. It’s based on a rule of thumb that Americans spend less as they age and can therefore support a 30-40 year retirement with 70% of their pre-retirement income.
The calculator generates two important numbers:
- The amount you will have have by your desired retirement age. By providing your current savings rate and retirement account balances, we are able to estimate how much money you will have in savings or investments in retirement.
- The amount you will have need by your desired retirement age. Using your current income and expected salary increases, we are able to estimate the amount of money you will need in savings or investments in retirement.
Using a retirement calculator to see where you stand offers several benefits.
- Overview of your future: A rough estimate of how much money you will need to retire at a certain age is better than having no estimate at all.
- Identify gaps: The calculator indicates whether you are at risk of not reaching your financial goal, giving you the opportunity to plan for a higher savings rate or find additional sources of income.
- See your options: By adjusting calculator inputs, such as changing your savings rate or your expected retirement age, you can see how your overall plan is affected.
What to do if you’re behind on retirement savings
If the retirement calculator indicates that you are not reaching your financial goal, do not be discouraged. There’s still time to adjust your savings rate or investment strategy to get closer to your goal.
One of the most effective ways to catch up on retirement savings is to increase your income. A nationwide labor shortage gave workers significant bargaining power. According to FlexJobs’ Work Insight 2022 survey, 47% of employees who requested a raise in 2021 were successful.
If you’re unable to get a raise in your current position, consider changing jobs for higher pay or better benefits, such as a more generous 401(k) match or access to stock purchase options. actions.
Above all, be flexible. As you approach retirement, consider taking a part-time job, waiting to claim Social Security benefits, downsizing your home, or moving to a more affordable city.