Best Free Online Retirement Calculator

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T Rowe Price Retirement Income Calculator

5 Best Retirement Calculators and Planners (#1 is Free)

With the T.Rowe Price Retirement Income Calculator, you input income sources such as Social Security and pensions, as well as asset values, and it projects the likelihood that your plan is sustainable through life expectancy. It also provides suggestions to make your plan sustainable.

Overall Score: Fair, scoring 2.2 out of 3

The 10 Best Retirement Calculators

Kathleen Coxwell

May 31, 2021

Retirement planning has never been more complicated. With changes in the economy and uncertain times ahead, you might think you need a finance degree to get it right. But then again, its never been so simple.

Fortunately, there are tools called retirement calculators that help clear the murky water.

A quick Google search will show you that theres no shortage of retirement calculators out there. But volume doesnt reflect quality. So, how do you know which one will work for your situation?

Simple: Weve done the research for you.

Of the possibilities, weve selected NewRetirement, T. Rowe Price, American Funds, AARP, Bankrate, and others. Each of these offers the fundamental information to help you make sound retirement planning decisions. But each one has something special, too.

Whether youre looking for a quick snapshot or an in-depth review of your goals and progress, youre likely to find what you need in one of these top-shelf retirement calculators.

How Much Will You Need To Retire

If you play with the retirement calculator for even a few moments, youll realize quickly that theres no simple answer to this question.

As a start, how much youll need depends on how much youll spend, and even that isnt set in stone. Plus, other sources of income can play an important role in determining what youll need to draw from your retirement savings. The more you expect to receive through Social Security or pension payments, for example, the less your retirement savings need to provide.

Changing healthcare needs also might increase your spending, while qualifying for Medicare will change some financial pictures for the better.

Discounts for seniors and organizations such as AARP can make it easier to make ends meet, and many retirement communities offer fixed living expenses to help you plan for your long-term needs.

With so many factors to consider, the first step in figuring out how much youll need is to determine a reasonable monthly spending budget for your retirement.

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Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg Calculator

The Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg Calculator is another easy-to-use calculator. It gives you a quick snapshot of your retirement savings and investment. Data input uses sliders and you are not required to submit personal information.

It offers useful information based on an analysis of multiple investment scenarios. It is easy to change your inputs and test other options.

What to Expect

The calculator is only one page. It only requires six data entries. These data entries are easily changeable and allow you to run multiple scenarios.

There are two graph options you can view: How long will your savings last? and Projected savings balance.

The first graph shows you when your savings will start dropping off. It also tells you the probability of your investment lasting for however long you chose it to.

The second graph shows how your balance might change over your years of retirement. The graph has three different colors to represent the range where your investment may fall.

This is because the analysis runs 100,000 different scenarios and ranks them from best to worst. You can see where your investment may fall and the chances of it being better or worse.

Pros:

  • Easy to change your inputs and run multiple scenarios
  • Information presented in a concise manner

Cons:

  • Data based on assumptions and chance

Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator Review

The 3 Best Free Retirement Calculators

With the Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator, you input income sources such as Social Security and pensions, as well as asset values, and it projects the likelihood that your plan is sustainable through life expectancy and provides suggestions to make your plan sustainable.

Overall Score: OK, scoring 2 out of 3

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New Retirements Simple Retirement Calculator

New Retirements Simple Retirement Calculator is as advertised: simple. Although it lacks the fancy design or graphics, this calculator gives you a quick assessment of your current retirement savings, showing how long your money will last in retirement at a set level of spending in retirement.

Additionally, the New Retirement Planner contains a number of resources for retirement planning. Once you create a profile and enter information about your financial goals, youll be given suggestions. Results are provided in a format that is goals-focused, with a timeline showing how close you are from exiting the workforce within your specified time horizon. There are also suggestions for next steps in addition to a thorough analysis of your retirement situation. The overall flow and interface of the website, and inputting the information, makes the experience more user friendly for a person with basic retirement and investment knowledge.

The Planner allows you to input the value of your home and other assets while also incorporating debt, annuities, medical expenses, net worth, and estate planning. One thing I really liked was alternating from optimistic and pessimistic rates of returns on your investments and savings accounts, providing a truly holistic understanding of various investment scenarios.

Don’t Forget These Important Steps

Once you get your account set up, what’s next?

For a Fidelity Roth IRA: Make your first contribution. Once your money is in your IRA, you should get it invested. This is a very important stepinvesting is how your money has the potential to grow over time.

For a Fidelity Go® Roth IRA or Fidelity® Personalized Planning & Advice Roth IRA: Make your first contribution. You don’t need to choose or manage your investmentswe do that for you based on the information you gave us.

If you use Fidelity Personalized Planning & Advice, you might also want to set up a coaching appointment and review your full financial picture. That’s why we’re here!

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Betterment Retirement Saving Calculator

Betterment has a retirement savings calculator that works similar to the one offered by Personal Capital.

Youll provide basic information about your retirement plans, then sync your various financial accounts within the Betterment platform, providing access to your entire financial life in one place.

Betterment will project your retirement income, analyze your non-Betterment accounts, and provide a plan to help you reach your goal. Youll then be able to track your progress to see how close you are to reaching your retirement goal.

And since Betterment is a robo-advisor, youll be able to have some of your retirement savings professionally managed by the service. With a low advisory fee of just 0.25% per year, you can have $100,000 fully managed for just $250. That will include portfolio creation based on your long-term goals security selection, periodic rebalancing, and dividend reinvesting.

All you need to do is fund your retirement account and Betterment will take care of all the investment management for you.

There is a reliable solution to planning for retirement. It just doesnât follow the conventional wisdom.

If you want to apply the conventional model for retirement planning you must create a range of reasonable estimates for each assumption and then build a confidence interval for your retirement number.

It is the complete solution for how to use retirement calculators correctly and estimate how much money you need to retire.

My Methodology For Testing Calculators

The BEST Retirement Calculator I’ve Seen (Just incredible!)

To test the calculators fairly, I felt the need to be consistent with our information. For our purposes were going to ignore both social security and pension plans, but I do make note of the ones that offer the ability to do so. Not all plans allowed us to input the below information, as some calculators make a few general assumptions, but here is what I used:

  • Current Income: $100,0000 annually
  • Starting balance of retirement plan: $10,000
  • Annual Contributions: $10,000 or 10%
  • Current Age: 35
  • Age of Retirement: 65
  • Years of Retirement: 30
  • Rate of Return before Retirement: 7%
  • Rate of Return during Retirement: 5%
  • Income Need at Retirement: 80% of Current Income
  • Inflation Rate: 3%

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Claiming Social Security Retirement

They also generally conflate the concept of retirement with receiving Social Security. In reality, those two events are totally distinct. They then go on to make dubious assumptions about your Social Security benefits.

If youre in the accumulation stage rather than nearing retirement, then the problems I ran into using the near-retirement scenario may not affect you.

Estimate Your Retirement Budget

This retirement calculator starts with a monthly spending budget of 70% of your current gross income. In other words, if you earn $100,000 per year, the calculator assumes youll spend about $70,000 per year in retirement. To get your monthly budget, it divides that amount by 12.

Its a reasonable place to start, but there are a lot of other factors to consider. For example:

  • If retirement is still many years away, your income today probably doesnt reflect what it will be when you retire.
  • If you expect to downsize in your retirement, this could significantly reduce your spending, making it easier to reach your retirement savings goals.
  • Paying off your mortgage is a huge life event that will reduce your spending each month by eliminating your mortgage payment.
  • Traveling in retirement can be expensive, depending on how and where you expect to travel. This and other lifestyle choices can change that estimated budget a lot.

Still, before you reduce yourself to a bare-bones budget trying to make future ends meet, work through the other factors below. There are a lot of other ways to make your retirement picture look brighter.

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How Our Retirement Calculator Works

Our retirement calculator predicts how much you need to retire based on your current salary and investment dollars and divides it by your post-retirement years. Our calculator makes the following assumptions:

  • 2% annual salary increase
  • Cost-of-living is 70% of your annual pre-retirement salary
  • 3% annual inflation
  • An average life expectancy of age 92

This calculator does not take into account any spousal benefits, social security, or other expected income. If you are planning a significant portion of your retirement on social security benefits, we have detailed the social security formula to help you find out how much social security you will receive.

Firecalcs Financial Independence / Early Retirement Calculator

5 Best Retirement Calculators Which Are Totally Free

The FIRECalc calculator helps you to understand how safe or risky your early retirement plan will be, based on the unsteadiness of the market. You can see whether your financial plan is robust enough to stand up to the worst weve seen in the history of the stock market.

FIRECalc scores 100% safe for any financial plan that would have survived the Great Depression, and every other financial calamity weve encountered.

When I entered my hypothetical nest egg of $1 million, with annual spending of $48,000 for 30 years, FIRECalc determined that my financial plan is 75.4% safe. It only failedthat is, I would run out of money before the end of the 30 yearsin 29 out of the 118 possible 30-year historical cycles.

Also, FIRECalc offers several places to put in optional additional information. This allows you to see how your spending, additional income, investing, and portfolio choices can affect your retirement income.

  • Pros: FIRECalc is completely free to use. They also provide great explanations for every detail of their tools.
  • Cons: Its old. They dont allow you to split your taxable and non-taxable savings.
  • Test Results: Unable to test.

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Youre Our First Priorityevery Time

NerdWallet, Inc. is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. Its articles, interactive tools and other content are provided to you for free, as self-help tools and for informational purposes only. They are not intended to provide investment advice. NerdWallet does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information in regard to your individual circumstances. Examples are hypothetical, and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific investment issues. Our estimates are based on past market performance, and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesnt feature every company or financial product available on the market, were proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.Here is a list of our partners.

Find A Retirement Calculator That Reflects Your Situation

Not all retirement calculators are created equal. Here Ill review six free, online retirement calculators and compile notes on my impressions, likes, and dislikes.

A few things to understand before you get started first, there are a lot of retirement income calculators out there some good, others not so good. To resolve any particularities of one calculator, I recommend using a couple. This can help to provide a more accurate understanding of your retirement saving in the long run.

Similarly, finding a retirement calculator that fits your exact situation can be a daunting task, so choose a few. It would be hard if not impossible to find one, best retirement calculator that would work for everyones situation. Can the calculator compute for inflation or pay raises, or even automatic increases? The assumptions that some retirement planning calculators algorithms make about us can produce inaccurate projections. For example, many calculators assume an ongoing 8% compounding return even though you may be a more conservative investor and can more realistically expect a lower return. You are the best judge of your investing style and tolerance for risk, therefore it is critically important to be honest with yourself when selecting an achievable return assumption. Other assumptions about spending needs in retirement can equally throw off the estimation.

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Early Retirement Now Calculator

Karsten, who blogs at Early Retirement Now is a member of the early retirement community. With a Ph.D. in economics and working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he has an excellent grasp not just on retirement but also on the state of the economy. Big Ern has created a custom-built excel spreadsheet based on the Safe Withdrawal Rate Series.

Pros:

  • The early retirement calculator is highly customizable, and you can modify the expected rate of returns for each asset class.
  • If your portfolio has small-cap value stocks, the calculator includes the Fama-French Style Factors returns.
  • Lists the historic returns of each asset class on an annual basis.
  • Incorporates CAPE based rules to determine Safe Withdrawal Rates.
  • In software, we have a saying, eat your own cooking. Big ERN uses the calculator to plan his retirement. The calculator is updated regularly.
  • Cons:

  • You do need to spend time reading the entire series to utilize the calculator optimally.
  • Expense ratios of your funds are not taken into consideration. The calculator has a single expense ratio, which can be customized.
  • No ability to add Social Security income or additional lumpy one time retirement expenses.
  • Doesnt distinguish between pre-tax and post-tax funds. In a high tax state like C.A. or N.Y. you need to continue year end tax planning even after you retire.
  • You are required to make your copy. Any future updates made by Big Ern will need to be manually incorporated into your version.
  • Are You A Fan Of Fire Try The Firecalc

    3 of the Best FREE Online Social Security Calculators

    Want to retire early like our reader Michelle wants to retire by age 40 in her case study?

    If so, FIRECalc is a tool for you!

    Also managed out of the U.S., FIRECalc can tell you how much you would have needed to ensure that you wouldnt have depleted your portfolio too soon in retirement if things went terribly south in the stock market. Like in 1929 or even more recently in 2009 .

    FIRECalc will show you in a very visual way, just how safe your retirement portfolio value might be based on every single U.S. market condition since 1871.

    If you leave FIRECalc settings alone, the calculator assumes youve invested in a couch potato portfolio of 75% U.S. stock index and 25% U.S. bond funds, with a 0.18% fee/MER charge. Inflation is assumed at 3%.

    What we like

    • Very simple since you can estimate how safe your retirement might be .
    • Provides a graphical representation via Monte Carlo simulation.
    • Neat to look at some 120 possible 30-year periods in the available data.

    What needs work

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    Get Started With An Easy Retirement Template

    You can build your own retirement planner, but its faster and easier to get started with a free template. So here are seven of the best free retirement spreadsheet templates.

    These spreadsheets can even help you find the best age to retire. For example, you might want to plan for early retirement, or a hybrid scenario where you keep working part-time or otherwise choose to delay your social security benefits.

    Plan For A Long Active Retirement

    With a healthy diet, moderate exercise, and regular preventative healthcare visits, many people are able to enjoy the freedom of retirement for a full third of their lives, or even longer! As a result, its becoming more and more important to plan for a long, active, vibrant retirement.

    Todays continuing care retirement communities offer a wide range of activities, lifestyle choices, and living expenses. If youre having trouble setting a retirement budget, consider researching the options youre most interested in to get a feel for your price range.

    Its also a good idea to set aside something extra for healthcare. As a place to start, Fidelity estimates that the average retired couple needs about $300,000 for healthcare costs.

    Once your everyday living and healthcare expenses are covered, include something extra in your retirement budget for whatever you love to splurge on. From fishing vacations to family holidays, retirement is meant to be enjoyed. Be sure you have the funds you need to make the most of it.

    Finally, think about your goals for legacy gifts and any inheritance you might want to pass on to future generations. If certain bequests are important to you, its best to plan ahead.

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