- 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 do 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 S&P 500 for the 10 years ending Dec. 31st, 2012 had an annual compounded rate of return of 7.1%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 through the end of 2012, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.1% (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 bank 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 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 US is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). From 1925 through 2012, the CPI has a long-term average of 3.0% annually. Over the last 40 years, the highest CPI recorded was 13.5% in 1980. 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.
- Additional advanced cash flow inputs
- These inputs allow you to account for addition income or withdrawals that happen during retirement. All additional inputs are considered to be annual amounts that happen at the beginning of the year. If you have two items that overlap, they will offset (or partially offset) each other. The inputs allow for 10 lines (one pre extra withdrawal or deposit) and consist of:
If the year to start is the same as the year to end, we assume the amount is deposited or withdrawn only once at the beginnging of that year.
- Amount: Amount to deposit or withdraw. Since these are cash flow items, negative numbers are withdrawals, and positive numbers are deposits. If no amount is entered, we blank out the two years fields.
- Year to start: First year of the item be deposited or withdrawn. This is a year, with the current year (2011) the lowest number allowed. If the year to end it blank or less than year to start we enter the year to start in this field as its default.
- Year to end: Default is to be the same as the year to start, but you can change it to any year after the year to start.