Over the past year, we developed a FREE retirement calculator to help college students and recent graduates save for retirement. We collaborated with a fantastic UX designer to come up with a user-friendly desktop and mobile responsive website. The calculator has been tested by friends and family. Thanks to everyone for helping out!
The calculator will walk you through an easy 7-step process to help you visualize how you can accumulate wealth throughout your career.
The 7 Steps
- Basic Financial Info - Current Age, Desired Retirement Age, and Salary
- Emergency Fund
- IRA - Individual Retirement Account
- Eye-popping 👀 Graphics about whether you can retire and grow your investments
- General Advice based on your Answers
Let's take a look at a few steps and what the experience looks like for each of them. (Prefer to try it out yourself before learning more? Here you go!)
Almost all of the steps will require input from you so that we can perform calculations to fit your specific scenario. Once you have created a budget (Step 2), we will use that budget to determine your emergency fund (Step 3).
An emergency fund should be 3-6 months of living expenses. If you do not have that amount saved, it should be one of the first financial goals on your list.
401(k) plans are complicated and will vary from employer to employer. If your employer matches your contribution, then you will be brought to this screen where you can enter the match terms. We should be able to calculate the minimum you need to match, if your 401(k) plan isn't too complicated.
Remember, do not leave free money on the table. It is vital that you contribute the minimum for your employer to match and essentially give you free money.
Once you have completed Steps 1-5, we generate a graph along with a few stats on how you are preparing for retirement. You are free to manipulate the Average Market Returns and Inflation rates. By default, they are set to values generally accepted among investors.
Due to individual’s unique circumstances, this calculator does not provide a definitive answer (check out the disclaimer at the bottom of calculator).
Your ability to retire is calculated using the 4% Withdrawal Rule from the Trinity Study along with your current expenses and inventing methodology.The obvious caveat is that we cannot predict the future as life is full of surprises and the best action we can take is to prepare for uncertainty.
Fortunately, there are generally accepted actions you can take to financially prepare yourself for most situations. The final step, step 7, will list out a variety of actions you can take to improve your financial situation.
If you are concerned about the security of your financial data, please note that we do not store any of your data. Your personal financial data is stored on your browser and we see none of your data. This also means the data is not shared between devices. If you clear your browser cache, then you would have to fill in your data again.
The calculator uses liberal estimates. One of them is that it assumes you will make the same salary throughout your career and that your budget will stay consistent throughout your life. Both of which, we know may not always be true! Promotions and lifestyle inflation happens.
The goal of this calculator is not to dictate a retirement strategy just like everything else on this blog. The goal is to motivate you to perform your own research and design the financial life you want with a little push. It just so happens that most of us will need to retire and leveraging this calculator would be a great start!
Without further ado, here is the retirement calculator!
If you would like to report bugs or suggest features, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: This blog references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. This blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please do your own comprehensive research before investing in anything or making financial decisions.