How long will my retirement savings last?
How long will my retirement savings last? Definitions
- Account type
- Choose the type of account you are working with. This impacts how taxes are estimated on returns and withdrawals. A fully taxable account assumes all contributions are deposited after taxes are paid and that all earnings are taxed in the year they are accrued. Withdrawals are not subject to additional taxes. For example, a 401(k) account is assumed to be fully tax-deferred. All contributions are made before taxes, all earnings are deferred until withdrawal. When a withdrawal occurs it is considered fully taxable at your entered marginal tax rate. This calculator does not attempt to estimate any penalties.
- Account total at retirement
- Enter the amount that you will realistically have save between now and your retirement date. Use today's values, not anticipated future values.
- After-tax amount required in retirement
- How much money do you want to spend annually in retirement after taxes. Use today's dollars. Subtract from this number annual Social Security, pension, or other lifetime income sources. Be careful not to underestimate living expenses. Doing so could cause serious cash-flow shortages later on.
- Rate of return in retirement
- This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investments after taxes. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500® (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending December 31st 2017, had an annual compounded rate of return of 8.3%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1, 1970 to December 31st 2017, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.6% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.
It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that investment funds and/or investment companies may charge.
When you are taking periodic distributions from an account or investment, the return earned is often lower due to more conservative investment choices to help insure a steady flow of income.
- Marginal income tax rate
- Your marginal tax rate is used to calculate your potential tax savings. We assume that all contributions receive a tax deduction at the tax rate you enter here. **TAXTABLE_CURRENT_DEFINITION**
- Expected inflation rate
- This is what you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). From 1925 through 2017 the CPI has a long-term average of 2.9% annually. Over the last 40 years highest CPI recorded was 13.5% in 1980. For 2017, the last full year available, the CPI was 2.0% annually as reported by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve. This calculator increases your distribution amount at the end of each year by the rate of inflation. This begins at end of the first year of distributions. This helps illustrate the cost of providing a current amount of purchasing power throughout your distributions.
- This is the additional amount you will add to your retirement savings. Enter a negative amount if this is a reduction or withdrawal in your retirement savings. All deposits and/or withdrawals are assumed to happen at the beginning of the year.
- Year to start
- First year of the additional amount.
- Year to end
- Last year of the additional amount. If this is the same as the first year, it will impact your account once. Otherwise we assume that the additional amount is an annual deposit (or if negative a withdrawal).