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Did you know that an estimated 35% of Americans say that they haven’t saved for retirement at all? A little saving now can go a long way once you reach retirement age. Failure to plan can leave you struggling to meet your retirement goals.

Having a solid understanding of where you stand in your retirement savings can help you make the right money moves. Use the calculator to compare your retirement aspirations against your current financial situation.

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Retirement Plans

Current age

How old are you today? Entering this number will help our calculator identify the number of years you have left before your planned retirement age. This will help you account for your future earning potential. The closer you are to retirement age, the more savings you’ve accumulated, but the less opportunity you have to add to those savings.

Planned retirement age

Enter the age you intend to retire. The difference between your planned retirement age and current age is the number of years over which your income growth will be compounded.

If you are making your calculations based on the Social Security Retirement Age, please note that legislation is causing this age to increase over time. Currently, those born in 1960 or later will be eligible for full retirement benefits at age 67. Please visit the Retirement Benefits section of the Social Security Administration website for more information about retirement ages.

Annual household income

Enter how much you currently earn before taxes. Your gross annual income is the pre-tax total you collect from multiple sources of revenue. This income can include full-time employment and freelancing or consulting payment, rental properties, investment income, and more.

As a reminder, do not factor your current expenses into your gross annual income calculations. There will be opportunities to be more granular in your calculations later.

Needed retirement income

Input the percentage of your annual earnings you’ll need in retirement income. As a retiree, you may find yourself no longer needing to make monthly mortgage or student loan payments. You may also find, however, that your medical expenses have gone up significantly.

Studies show that the average retiree will need to make 80% of their current salary to live comfortably. Review your expected expenses to see what number is right for you.

Retirement Assets

Current retirement assets

Enter the value of your current retirement savings. Include all retirement savings – qualified plans, taxable savings, tax-deductible savings, other retirement accounts. Examples of retirement assets include:

  • 401(k) Plans
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • Roth IRAs
  • Roth 401(k)
  • Savings Incentive Match for Employees (SIMPLE) IRA
  • Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA
  • Monthly savings

Enter the percentage of your income that you contribute annually to your retirement savings.

Even seemingly small amounts of money set aside now can make an enormous difference down the road. Remember that some accounts, like IRAs, Roth IRAs, and 401(k)s have contribution limits. Be sure to take this into account.

Monthly pension

Will you be eligible for a monthly pension when you retire? Put that estimate here.

Monthly Social Security

Because of changes in our current Social Security system, this number is a little harder to estimate than others. You can visit the Social Security Administration’s website to estimate your monthly benefits after retirement.

Assumptions

Life expectancy

It’s impossible to predict the future, obviously. But estimate how long you’ll need your retirement to last, based on other family members and your own health. Some people find it helpful to overestimate this number, just so they know their retirement will last them as long (or longer) than they might need.

Annual salary increase

People typically experience salary growth throughout their time in the workforce. Enter your anticipated income growth for the future. To do this, you can look at your personal income history or look at historical data that takes your industry, position, and location into consideration. You can also speak with your financial advisor to create a better estimate for your income growth.

Inflation rate

There are a few economic assumptions to consider, including the estimated inflation rate.

You’ve probably heard people talk about how a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to— and that’s true! It’s also the definition of inflation: the rise of the prices of good and services over time.

You can estimate inflation rates by researching projections or looking at historical data. Of course, there’s no way to know for sure what the rates will be, but it’s always best to assume some degree of rising prices. Estimating inflation is essential for retirement planning because it allows you to see precisely how far your money will go in the future.

Rate of return

Retirement plans are not just savings accounts; they are also a type of investment. Your retirement plan is a vehicle that holds investments such as stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and cash. These funds are specifically put aside for when you’re no longer working. This means that you can expect to see growth beyond the money you put in it every year.

To effectively plan your retirement, you need to account for the rate of return on these investments. Some folks are cautious and estimate a 4% return, while others are optimistic and hope for a 12% return. This can give you two dramatically different numbers.

Even small changes to your annual return estimation can provide different results. The key to estimating your yearly return rate is to look at the data and consider your unique investment portfolio.

Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer Member FINRA/SIPC and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2021.

Talk to a CFS* Financial Advisor

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