Free Retirement Calculators That Actually Work
They call retirement your “golden years” for a reason. Those years are supposed to be a great time in your life when you are able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
To reach that goal one must plan well in advance.
It is not possible to reach a destination like that if you do not have a road map to get there so to speak. This is why you need the best retirement calculator you can find.
Discovering What You Need For Retirement
To start planning for retirement, you first need to know how much money you will need to live the kind of life you want to have. This means looking at an online retirement calculator to see what level of spending you may require during the years you are unable to work. You might start this process by looking at your current spending levels to see how they stack up.
Most of us have no idea how much we are truly spending in various categories. Unfortunately, we often think that we spend less money than what we really do on various things. To get the true picture, we have to pull at least a few months worth of bank records to see what your spending really looks like. You are very likely to be surprised by the results!
Cutting back on some spending is the most straightforward way to start saving money now, but you likely want to be somewhat conservative in your estimates for the retirement calculator. That will at least help you to have a safer assumption when it comes to the goals you need to reach.
Using A Calculator For Early Retirement
Believe it or not, any early retirement calculator can be difficult to find sometimes (don’t worry, we will point you to one in this article!). Often you find only an online retirement calculator that calculates things for those who retire at the typical age of sixty-five. That is a perfectly fine age for some people to retire at, but others would like to retire much sooner than that. For that crowd, the better option is to use an early retirement calculator to figure out what they need to do.
You face a number of issues with an early retirement such as the following:
- Less Time To Save
- More Time To Live And Spend Money
- Less Time To Grow Money Via Compound Interest
While all of these challenges do exist, it is hard to deny the appeal of an early retirement. Not only does it mean that you get to start enjoying your favorite activities a lot sooner, but you also are more likely to be healthy enough to go back to work if the need arises.
Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg
At this point lets finally talk about perhaps the best retirement calculator that you can find on the market. This of course is the Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg calculator. Vanguard is a trusted name in the investment world, and for very good reasons. They have some of the lowest fees on any mutual funds ever offered to the public. That is all on their investment side though, what you are concerned with today is what their retirement calculator can do.
The Vanguard calculator requires just six simple inputs to get some results back with regard to what your retirement investment and financial picture might look like. You give the tool some information such as how much money you plan to invest, how long you plan to invest, what your expected rate of return is, and what type of funds you are planning on putting that money into. With that information and just a little more, the calculator will produce results of what might happen.
It is exciting to see those numbers flash up there and let you know just how well you could do with your investments over time. It is a great motivator to keep you on track. Sometimes all it takes is a little push in the right direction to remember to invest correctly and diligently.
AARP Retirement Calculator
Another amazing retirement calculator comes from the good people at AARP. That of course stands for the American Association of Retired Persons. It is the leading advocacy organization for people over fifty years of age. They know just about everything there is to know about retirement. They obviously do not shy away from embracing the financial side of retirement as well. Instead, they coach people on how to make the right financial choices to have the retirement they want to have.
The AARP calculator is pretty comprehensive in that it allows for people to plug in a variety of factors from their financial life. Things such as your 401(k), pension, retirement savings accounts, and other accounts are all a part of how the overall retirement picture comes together for any individual.
Finally, perhaps the easiest calculator on our list today is the one called FIRECalc. This calculator only requires a few simple inputs from you, but it produces results that are astounding to many people. It shows results based on stock market averages over time rather than assumptions by those putting in the inputs.
What a lot of other calculators get wrong is that they rely on the user to have some basic idea of what they expect their investments to earn. The problem is, a lot of people have no idea what to put down on a question like this. That means they end up putting something down that is not accurate. That can lead to wildly wrong results on the calculator.
Instead of putting all this pressure on the user, FIRECalc uses stock market averages to try to predict what the future may look like for someone retiring down the road. This offers users the most comprehensive look at what their accounts may look like based on the types of things that have happened in the past.
The above calculators will help you to determine what you need for retirement or if you have enough saved already, for the retirement lifestyle you are looking for.