Retirement Calculator: How We Got Here
Our free calculator predicts your retirement nest egg, and then estimates how it would stretch over your retirement in todays dollars, taking inflation into account. Our default assumptions include:
A 3% inflation rate.
Salary increases of 2% per year.
A 5% rate of return in retirement .
Enter your age, income, current savings and monthly savings rate to see how you’re doing. If you wish, you can enter more details in the Optional settings, such as your expected rate of return before retirement and what you expect from Social Security . You can also fine-tune your retirement spending level, retirement age and more.
Percentage Of Your Salary
To begin to figure out how much you need to accumulate at various stages of your life, it can be useful to think in terms of saving a percentage of your salary.
Fidelity Investments suggests saving 15% of your gross salary starting in your 20s and lasting throughout the course of your working life. This includes savings across different retirement accounts and any employer contributions if you have access to a 401 or another employer-sponsored plan.
How Our Retirement Calculators Can Help
Meet Mac. Hes 51, married and planning to retire at age 65.
To work out how much Mac might need in retirement, he tries our retirement needs calculator. Mac is hoping for a comfortable standard of living in retirement, and our calculator estimates this will cost him $1,154.49 a week or $60,033 a year. Hes also planning on buying a new car and doing some travelling once retired, and thinks hell need $40,000 for these one-off expenses. Based on a life expectancy of 81 years, our retirement needs calculator estimates hell need a total of $993,473 to fund his retirement.
So how much might he have in retirement, and how long is his money likely to last, based on his current and expected financial situation?
Mac uses AMPs retirement simulator to find out. Mac currently has $172,000 in superannuation invested in a balanced investment option, an annual pre-tax salary of $82,000, shares worth $20,000, and the couple owns their family home. Based on this information, our retirement simulator calculates hell retire with savings of $294,944. Based on his expected expenditure in retirement outlined above, our retirement simulator estimates his money will only last until age 71, leaving him with a funding shortfall of 10 years in retirement.
While this news may seem scary, its not an uncommon situation. Luckily, finding out about the possible shortfall now means there may still be ways to boost his savings before retirement.
What do you do if you wont have enough to retire?
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The Perfect Retirement Begins With A Plan
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Factor No : How Long Will You Live
Since no one really knows the answer to that question, it’s best to look at averages. At 65, the average man can expect to live another 18 years, to 83, according to Social Security. The average 65-year-old woman can expect another 20.5 years, to 85 1/2.
“Most people err on the shorter side of the estimate, says Schatsky. That can be a big misjudgment: If you plan your retirement based on living to 80, your 81st birthday might not be as festive as you’d like.
It makes sense to think about how long your parents and grandparents lived when you try to estimate how long you’ll need your money. If you’re married and both sets of parents lived into their late 90s, the only way you’re not getting there is if don’t look both ways when you cross the street, Bass, the Texas financial planner, says. Unless you know you’re in frail health, however, it’s probably best to plan to live 25 years after retirement to age 90.
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Your Big Costs In Retirement
Think about any big costs that might be part of your retirement plans. For example:
- paying off your mortgage
Source: ASFA, June quarter 2021
ASFA estimates that the lump sum needed at retirement to support a comfortable lifestyle is $640,000 for a couple and $545,000 for a single person. This assumes a partial Age Pension.
ASFA estimates that a modest lifestyle, which covers the basics, is mostly met by the Age Pension. They estimate the lump sum needed to support a modest lifestyle for a single or couple is $70,000.
Know The General Rules Of Thumb When Planning For Retirement
While everyone’s situation and needs will be different, there are a few primary rules of thumb that most financial advisors follow, which you should consider when determining how much to save for retirement.
Retirement income as a percentage of pre-retirement income
Many financial professionals recommend that you account for between 70% and 80% of your pre-retirement income each year in retirement. This means that if you currently earn $60,000 per year, you should plan to spend between $42,000 to $48,000 annually once you retire.
This isn’t a set rule for everyone, and you may need to even account for more savings. “Many people need to have income streams cover 80%, 90%, or even 100% of their pre-retirement budget,” Ludwick says.It all depends on your specific expenses now and in retirement.
Saving 15% of your earnings every year
If you start saving for retirement early enough, an annual savings rate of 15% may be sufficient to meet your goals. If you’re off to a late start, you may need to save a lot more each year in order to catch up.
“As you get older, the amount needed for savings to reach the same end goal roughly doubles every 10 years,” says Tolen Teigen, chief investment officer for FinDec, a national financial advisory firm located in California. “So, if someone waits ten years to start saving, instead of 30, they are now 40. Instead of 8% to 10% annually, they are now looking at 16% to 20% saved to reach the same end number.”
The 4% rule
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Impact Of Inflation On Pensions And Savings
The amount you get from public pensions, like the Old Age Security pension and Canada Pension Plan, is protected against inflation. This means as the cost of living goes up, the value of your benefit goes up as well.
Not all employer pensions are protected against inflation. Ask your pension administrator or employer whether your pension is protected against inflation.
Personal savings and investments, such as mutual funds or guaranteed investment certificates , are usually not directly protected against inflation. Your savings need to grow by at least the rate of inflation. If not, the amount of things your savings can buy in the future will be less than what they can buy now.
For example, something bought for $100 in 2002 would cost $129.92 in 2016. If your income isn’t protected against inflation, you may have a hard time maintaining your lifestyle in retirement as the cost of goods and services increases.
Life Expectancy And Retirement Income
Nobody knows how long they will live. This is one of the most challenging facts about retirement planning: How many years of retirement income will you need? Save too little and you risk spending your savings and relying solely on Social Security income.
Looking at average life expectancy is a good place to start. The Social Security Administrations life expectancy calculator can provide you with a solid estimate, based on your date of birth and gender. Just remember: Average calculations cant take into account your health and lifestylenow or in retirementor family history that could impact your life expectancy, so youll want to consider them in any calculations you do.
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How Much Is Enough For Retirement
The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia estimates that Australians aged around 65 who own their own home and are in relatively good health, will need the following amount of money each week and year in retirement1:
A modest lifestyle is considered better than living on the age pension, while a comfortable lifestyle means someone can afford a good standard of living, be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and travel domestically and occasionally internationally2.
For Australians on above-average incomes, another rule of thumb to estimate how much money youll need in retirement is to assume you will require 67% of your pre-retirement income to maintain the same standard of living3.
Retirement Savings Confidence By Age
Anxious that you aren’t saving enough for retirement? You’re not alone. A 2020 survey by Charles Schwab of currently employed 401 plan participants found that saving enough for retirement continues to be a leading source of significant financial stress for all generations. Participants in the survey anticipate that the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will have an impact on their retirement savings.
Overall, only 37% of survey respondents think they are “very likely” to achieve their retirement savings goals. Almost half believe they are “somewhat likely” to do so, and 14% said it is “not likely” at all. Gen X has the least confidencejust 32% feel it is “very likely” they will reach their goalscompared to 39% of baby boomers and 42% of millennials.
In the early and middle years of your career, you have time to recover from any losses in your retirement accounts. That’s a good time to take some of the risks that allow you to earn more with your investments.
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Factor No : How Much Will You Spend
The rule of thumb is that you’ll need about 80 percent of your pre-retirement income when you leave your job, although that rule requires a pretty flexible thumb. The 80 percent rule comes from the fact that you will no longer be paying payroll taxes toward Social Security , and you won’t be shoveling money into your 401 or other savings plan. In addition, you’ll save on the usual costs of going to work the pandemic won’t keep everyone at home forever such as new clothing, dry cleaning bills, commuting expenses and the like.
You also need to factor in any pension or Social Security income you’ll be getting. If your annual pre-retirement expenses are $50,000, for example, you’d want retirement income of $40,000 if you followed the 80 percent rule of thumb. If you and your spouse will collect $2,000 a month from Social Security, or $24,000 a year, you’d need about $16,000 a year from your savings. Bear in mind, however, that any withdrawals from a tax-deferred savings account, such as a traditional IRA or a 401 plan, would be reduced by the amount of taxes you pay.
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When You Plan To Retire
The age you plan to retire can have a big impact on the amount you need to save, and your milestones along the way. The longer you can postpone retirement, the lower your savings factor can be. That’s because delaying gives your savings a longer time to grow, you’ll have fewer years in retirement, and your Social Security benefit will be higher.
Consider some hypothetical examples . Max plans to delay retirement until age 70, so he will need to have saved 8x his final income to sustain his preretirement lifestyle. Amy wants to retire at age 67, so she will need to have saved 10x her preretirement income. John plans to retire at age 65, so he would need to have saved at least 12x his preretirement income.
Of course, you can’t always choose when you retirehealth and job availability may be out of your control. But one thing is clear: Working longer will make it easier to reach your savings goals.
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How Much Do I Need To Retire
Most experts say your retirement income should be about 80% of your final pre-retirement annual income. That means if you make $100,000 annually at retirement, you need at least $80,000 per year to have a comfortable lifestyle after leaving the workforce.
This amount can be adjusted up or down depending on other sources of income, such as Social Security, pensions, and part-time employment, as well as factors like your health and desired lifestyle. For example, you might need more than that if you plan to travel extensively during retirement.
C How Much Do You Need To Save Up
To calculate this amount on an annual basis, you will need to subtract expected government pensions from the annual expenses you calculated in Step A, and then multiply the remainder by 25 .
For example, a couple who estimate their annual retirement income needs to be $70,000 will need to save:
|Annual expenses in retirement from age 65||$70,000|
|How Much Do You Need To Save For Retirement? c||$977,625|
a. Most individuals will not get the full government pension amount from OAS and CPP. The amount here reflects 70% of the maximum CPP amount for a couple in 2021 i.e. moderately conservative estimate. b. Line 1 minus line 2c. Derived by multiplying the annual income withdrawn by 25 or dividing by a 4% withdrawal rate . The result is the same for both formulas.
As shown in the table above, government pensions offset some of the savings required by the couple pre-retirement. The more government pension they qualify for, the less money required in their investment portfolio.
Additionally, if one or both partners have a defined benefit pension, it will further lower the amount of savings required to meet their desired retirement income.
Overall, to fund their preferred retirement lifestyle, the couple in the scenario above will need about $1 million in their retirement nest egg.
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The Bottom Line On Retirement Savings Goals
There is no perfect method of calculating your retirement savings target. Investment performance will vary over time, and it can be difficult to accurately project your actual income needs.
Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning other considerations. For one thing, not all retirement plans are equal when it comes to income. Money you withdraw from a traditional IRA or 401 will be considered taxable income. On the other hand, any money you withdraw from a Roth IRA or Roth 401 is generally not taxable at all, which may change the calculation a bit.
That’s just one example, and there are other possible considerations as well. While we’re trying to present the broad strokes here, it’s still a good idea to consult a financial advisor who can not only tailor a retirement savings goal to your particular situation but can also help set you on the right path with a savings and investment plan that can make sure you reach your goals.
Estimate How Much Super You’ll Have
You probably know how much super you have now, but do you know how much you’ll have when you retire?
Use the Moneysmart retirement planner to estimate:
- how much money you’ll have to spend each year once you retire
- how fees, investment options and contributions will affect your retirement income
You can also use the planner to test out different scenarios and work out how to grow your super.
Estimate how much super you’ll have when you retire.
How Much Can You Contribute To A 401
The most you can contribute to a 401 is $19,500 in 2021 and $20,500 for 2022 . Employer contributions are on top of that limit. These limits are set by the IRS and subject to adjustment each year.
That limit dictates how much you can contribute, but it doesnt tell you how much you should contribute. To figure that out, consider the following.
A More Aggressive Formula
Another, more aggressive formula holds that you should save 25% of your gross salary each year, starting in your 20s. The 25% savings figure may sound daunting. But don’t forget that it includes not only 401 holdings and matching contributions from your employer, but also other types of retirement savings.
If you follow this formula, it should allow you to accumulate your full annual salary by age 30. Continuing at the same average savings rate should yield the following:
- Age 35two times annual salary
- Age 40three times annual salary
- Age 45four times annual salary
- Age 50five times annual salary
- Age 55six times annual salary
- Age 60seven times annual salary
- Age 65eight times annual salary
Whether or not you try to follow the 15% or the 25% savings guideline, chances are your actual ability to save will be affected by life events such as the job loss many experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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