Ensuring you have enough money for retirement is essential because you’ll want to live out your remaining years in comfort. Developing a plan when you’re younger means you’re more likely to have the funds to retire in peace and allows you to alter your strategy whenever necessary.
A retirement calculator is one option when comparing how much money you’ll need with the current state of your retirement fund. The countless retirement calculators online ask questions regarding your retirement plans, current income, and investments to help you determine if you’re on track.
Locating a realistic retirement calculator can be challenging because so many variables are at play. This guide looks at some of the best retirement calculators available as you search online and the criteria for evaluating them.
How to Evaluate a Retirement Calculator
Retirement calculators should offer information on how likely you are to reach your retirement goals based on your current income, savings, and contributions. They should also incorporate your living expenses and other relevant retirement information. Evaluating retirement calculators is dependent on the following factors:
Any retirement calculator you choose should be as accurate as possible. You’re using this tool to help plan for your retirement, so you don’t want to end up with numbers that are nowhere close to the truth because that could lead you down the wrong path. Research by Taft Dorman suggests that few of these tools are accurate, though, creating significant problems for users that trust them.
An easy-to-operate calculator will always hold more value than a tool that requires significant time and effort when figuring out how to use it. The best calculators are straightforward while providing simple-to-read numbers and graphs and allowing you to update inputs without starting from scratch.
The best retirement calculators explain their methodology and why you’re likely or unlikely to reach your goals with your current strategy. They might also provide a list of assumptions they use as starting points. Some options might provide guidance, too, such as increasing your monthly contributions or retiring a bit later to ensure you have enough money put away for the future.
Using these criteria to evaluate the retirement calculators you’ll encounter online helps ensure you understand the information’s trustworthiness. You’ll also need to know what elements these tools use in their calculations when determining their usefulness.
Seven Realistic Retirement Calculators to Try in 2023
Learning about the most realistic retirement calculators available can help you find the right tool to use as you gather information on your readiness for retirement. These tools might only provide a partial view of your financial situation but still offer some valuable insight. Some of the best and most realistic retirement calculators you’ll find in 2023 include the following:
1. AARP Retirement Calculator
The AARP Retirement Calculator offers a personalized picture of your financial future by asking questions about your salary, retirement accounts, and household status. You can also include information on supplemental retirement income, how long you’re looking to work, and the lifestyle you intend to live once you retire. The result is a realistic overview of how much cash you’ll need to retire and information on whether you’re on the right track.
2. MarketWatch Retirement Planner
MarketWatch’s retirement calculator allows you to input variables like your current age, anticipated retirement age, assets, future income, and retirement spending to determine if you’ll have enough to retire. You can also make assumptions on your life expectancy and inflation to provide more accurate numbers. The calculation will integrate taxes and average investment performance, too.
3. T. Rowe Price Retirement Income Calculator
T. Rowe Price has a multistep retirement calculator that asks for personal information like age, location, and employment status. It then digs deeper by inquiring about your income, current retirement savings, annual contributions, and investment style to determine how much money you’ll need in retirement and the probability you’ll reach your goals.
4. Schwab Retirement Calculator
Schwab’s retirement calculator asks for information on your age, planned retirement age, and investment style to estimate the return you can expect on your investments. You’ll also input your household income, current retirement savings, future savings plans, and anticipated retirement spending to develop a personalized retirement analysis.
5. Bankrate Retirement Income Calculator
Bankrate has a retirement calculator that asks for your starting retirement fund balance, annual contributions, current age, retirement age, and the number of years you’ll spend in retirement to create a report for you. This tool aims to inform you how much more you’ll need to invest annually to reach your goals. These calculations also factor in inflation, taxes, and assumptions on your rate of return.
6. Vanguard Retirement Income Calculator
Investment firm Vanguard has a simple retirement calculator that offers some basic information on your ability to retire. This tool asks for your age, desired retirement age, current income, current retirement savings, and expected return rate on investments to determine where you stand concerning your retirement goals. Vanguard’s calculator isn’t as thorough as others on this list, but it is a good starting point as you prepare for your future.
7. Fidelity’s Various Calculators
Fidelity has multiple calculators available, including a guaranteed income estimator, IRA contribution calculator, retirement income calculator, savings planner, and Roth conversion calculator, all of which provide information you can use to maximize your retirement accounts. The problem is that none of these tools offer a broad overview of your retirement savings.
These calculators are helpful because they provide information on your readiness for retirement. Taking your retirement planning a step further and meeting with a professional is advisable, though, because of the personalized insight that process can provide.
Get the Retirement Advice You Need
Retirement calculators provide some valuable information, but they’re no substitute for the services of a retirement planning expert. You’ll have endless questions as you prepare to end your career, and meeting with a professional in the field ensures you fully understand your financial situation and have a long-term plan that works for you.
Bogart Wealth offers retirement and financial planning services in The Woodlands, Texas, and McLean, Virginia. We can help you set retirement goals and create a plan for reaching them, reducing your stress as you map out your finances. Contact Bogart Wealth to learn more about our retirement planning solutions.