The Easiest Retirement Calculator Ever.

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I’m going to be completely transparent here: I did not do the best job saving for retirement in my 20’s. Or even a good job, for that matter. I did an okay job when I was 24/25, but then took like a 4-year hiatus. (My brother-in-law, an actuary, is probably reading this and dying).

Although some of my reasons are legitimate, others are excuses. Yes, I was broke, struggling, and battling credit card debt. But I could’ve done better. Lived below my means. Saved more.

I’m not going to be too hard on myself though. I’ve mentioned it before, but I think it’s crazy that society expects 20-something year-old’s to be so self-disciplined while figuring out their careers, life, love. I certainly don’t judge anyone for the financial decisions they made or didn’t make in their 20’s.

But, for anyone who needs to “make up” for lost time or who just wants to do a retirement “check-up”, the CNN Retirement Calculator is the best of the best. Forget about plugging in a whole bunch of information that just ends up confusing you more. All this calculator asks is your current age, your desired retirement age, the amount you’ve saved so far, your current income, and the percentage rate at which you’re saving. In just a few wonderful clicks, the calculator does the math for you and tells you whether you’re “falling short” or “on the right track.”

For me, as you’ve probably guessed, it was “falling short.” Worse, according to the calculator, I need to consistently save 18% of my salary beginning now until I retire. 18 percent! I was shocked when I found this out, but I’ve since recovered and accepted it.

Remember, since retirement contributions are pre-tax, saving for retirement really isn’t as hard on your paycheck as you might think.

CNN Retirement Calculator

So go ahead, give it a try! Play around with the “Savings Rate” slide at the bottom to see where you’re at, retirement-wise. Then, make adjustments. That’s the most important part: make the adjustments.

Yes, there are a lot of factors involved: The calculator assumes you’ll live to age 92 (you could live longer) and that you’ll live comfortably off 85% of your pre-retirement income. But if you’re like me and math gives you a headache, this is a great, simple way to track your progress.

And who doesn’t love more simplicity when it comes to finance?!

 

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5 thoughts on “The Easiest Retirement Calculator Ever.

  1. KQ

    It also assumes you will receive full social security…which may not provide at the same level when you are 67.

    At least it uses an average return of 6%…Some calculators assume 8% or 10%.

    I think you should make an article on risk vs return. And how a bank account is going to earn 0%.

    Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent points, Kevin. Social Security isn’t what it used to be, so none of us should be relying on it much. I did like that this calculator used a much lower return rate than most. (That some retirement calculators go so far as to assume 10% returns is a little deceiving!).

      On your last point, do people still save for retirement using savings accounts? That’s scary. Maybe you would be up for doing a guest post on risk vs. return? Let me know 🙂

      Like

  2. Pingback: Should We Be Talking About Money More? – Cheap Wine and Coffee

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