How long will my retirement savings last?
How long will my retirement savings last? Definitions
- Cumulative savings at retirement
- Enter how much you have saved to-date for retirement. Then add to this number how much you can realistically save between now and your retirement date. Finally, add in any estimated net after-tax dollars you expect to receive from the sale of real estate, a business, or any item of value at or near your retirement date. Do not count expected inheritances or return on investments. Use today's values, not anticipated future values.
- Amount you want to spend annually in retirement
- How much money you want to spend annually in retirement including payment of 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 and taxes. Doing so could cause serious cash-flow shortages later on.
- After tax 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 2020, had an annual compounded rate of return of 13.8%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1, 1971 to December 31st 2020, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.8% (source: www.spglobal.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.
- 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 2020 the CPI has a long-term average of 2.9% annually. Over the last 40 years the highest CPI recorded was 13.5% in 1980. For 2020, the last full year available, the CPI was 1.2% annually as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 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).