Retirement Savings Calculator
Are you currently planning for your retirement? If you’re not, you should be. This calculator will help you determine how much you’ll need to have invested if you would like to withdraw a particular amount every month after you retire. If you’d like, you can factor the effects of inflation into the calculations.
First enter your current age, the age at which you wish to retire, and the amount you would like to withdraw each month. Then enter an interest rate you expect to earn on your investment, as well as the number of years you would like to make withdrawals. Then include the expected annual rate of inflation and the amount of your current retirement savings.
Click on CALCULATE, and you’ll receive a breakdown of your potential retirement situation. Whether or not you plan to account for inflation, you will see how much you need to save each month to hit your goal, as well as how much you will need to have saved total.
7 Tips for Reaching Your Retirement Savings Goals
Your retirement goals now will determine how you live later in life. Many people do not commit to a set financial plan but look for ways to grow their savings. With helpful tips for saving and successful goal-setting, you can work towards the retirement you want.
Retirement is not an easy process, though it is an easy concept. To reach a solid financial place, you will have to understand investing principles and act on them. You should not put off your retirement planning, since every day wasted will hurt you in terms of missed opportunity and spending mistakes.
Determine S.M.A.R.T. Retirement Goals and Strategies
A good retirement goal should be a S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goal. In order to know if you are succeeding or falling behind in your attempts, you have to know what you are aiming for. There is no way to accomplish your goals if you have not clearly laid out a plan with desired end results.
This will require careful consideration and planning in the form of a written financial map. It is important your plans are written down, and it is likely best you share your goals with your financial planner or significant other. Research has shown, written goals and sharing weekly progress reports increases follow through and success rates in personal goals.
Your financial success is a choice that results from the culmination of small decisions made each day. Your end goal will be supported with checkpoints along the way to help you make smart spending, investing, and saving decisions each day. It is important you start planning today – just a few years of small monthly amounts set aside will add up quickly and mean less has to be set aside later.
Your plan should include aggressive accumulation goals during career years, asset growth plans for your semi-retirement, and spending reduction goals after retirement. Time will be the most important factor in amassing retirement wealth, so don't procrastinate!
Pay off High Interest Debts
There is good debt and there is bad debt. Good debt comes in the form of smart investments, like real estate or a college degree, that result in assets at low-interest rates. Bad debt is high-interest and low-value, like consumer goods purchased on a credit card that can't be paid off monthly. Get rid of the high-interest debts that will impact your savings. As your money goes towards interest instead of principal, debts take longer to pay off and cost more over time.
Look into transferring high-interest balances to accounts with lower rates. Be careful to check with your financial planner to ensure this will not reflect badly on your credit score. Also, be careful to close high-interest accounts after you have paid them off so you do not accumulate debt there again. This might mean simply cutting up your credit card so you can't continue to use it if shutting down the account would be bad for your credit rating.
Live Within the Freedom of Wealth
There is a difference between having true wealth and appearing to have wealth. Anyone can buy the items that make you look wealthy, but true wealth is the freedom to live life in a way that you want. Freedom from debt and tight financial strain means you can spend more time doing the things you want to do and investing your money where you want to invest it.
Most people choose momentary lifestyle over actual financial freedom. They spend money on consumable goods and fail to accumulate assets. This means later in life, they have spent money on items that offer no value. Your lifestyle should always lag behind your income to allow you to take advantage of investment opportunities that produce additional sources of hard value.
Realize that each day you are making choices between lifestyle expenses for today or wealth amassing for tomorrow. Look for ways to reduce unnecessary spending and adding your extra funds to your retirement savings. You must live beneath your income or you will have nothing to place in your savings. If your retirement savings is the last thing pulled from your paycheck, it will be a meager sum indeed; your retirement must take priority.
Learn How to Earn
Your financial education is an important step towards accumulating wealth for tomorrow. You must learn about investing if you expect your capital to grow at a good rate. Nearly any market condition can produce profitable results when you know how to work that market. By educating yourself through courses, reading, and market research, your financial intelligence can grow faster than your wealth. What you know will directly impact how much you can earn.
This financial intelligence will not be developed overnight, but takes time and discipline. Learn early, while your investments are small, to experience fewer costs by your beginner mistakes. Waiting will only cause you to lose in missed opportunities and investment mistakes that won't be easily made up for later.
Your wealth should not require your constant supervision. It is important to earn in such a way that you spend less and less time working as your money works for you. Every month, certain financial actions should happen without you, taking little effort or decision-making on your part. These kinds of investments could include:
- Real Estate – Owning your own home or property is paid each month and can be held at a fixed low-interest rate. You can expect appreciation from your investment, provided you do not neglect regular upkeep. To further increase your investment, properties can be rented out so another person is making the investment payments for you.
- Tax Deferred Retirement Money – Money can be pulled from your paycheck by your employer before you ever see it and you get a tax break. In essence, this is a free loan from the government that allows you to earn dividends on money you would otherwise be paying to Uncle Sam. Furthermore, your employer may offer a matching program to help maximize your investment.
- Automatic Savings Plan – It is easy to spend the money in your account, and if you struggle with spending what you have, then you should look into a program that pulls the money for you. With an automatic savings plan, money is pulled before you see it and moved where you can't easily access it.
- Investment Clubs – You can join in on group investment decisions to help provide you with social support, financial education, and forced savings. This will help put your financial investments on auto-pilot, though it might not always be the smartest way to invest.
- Investment Newsletters – There is a wealth of investment resources available freely online. Your newsletter will come regularly and help improve your financial education automatically.
Don't Under-Commit to Your Goals
Poor planning and dedication will result in failure. You need to be realistic about the methods of investment and savings goals you choose to set. Don't jump into real estate or rentals unless you are ready to commit to the job. Don't use a passive investment strategy for paper assets if you need more aggressive strategies to make up for a late start. Your investment education will go a long ways towards helping you select reasonable strategies for wealth accumulation based on your age and the current state of the markets.
Don't rely on optimistic numbers. Think long-term as you determine your savings plan and don't commit too little. Your time, energy, and money are all resources you must factor into your investment decisions.
Keep Retirement Money Out of Reach
Your life's savings could become an easy solution to life's every problem. As you face difficulties that are sure to appear in the future, you don't want to be able to easily dip into your hard-earned retirement funds. You might be surprised at how resourceful you can be when there isn't another easy button option sitting in your savings account. Life will throw you curve balls, and your savings will become the easy solution without any barriers to protect it.
Some savings methods, like government-sponsored retirement plans, will have many rules and penalties if you try to access your money early. These difficulties will present a roadblock to those who would struggle with strict discipline themselves.
If you lost your job or had your car break down unexpectedly, you might think you are in a crisis that calls for dipping into your savings account. This, however, is exactly what you want to prevent from happening or you will get nowhere fast when it comes to retirement. You don't want to spend a dime of retirement money until you are actually retired.
Retirement is an easy concept but difficult to live by. You will not achieve your goals by mistake; it takes careful planning and educated decision-making to develop the nest egg you want. You have to live out these principles on a daily basis and not let anything else get in the way of your goals. If you are successful, you will achieve the financial freedom that many covet but few attain.