When can I retire calculator and resources

By Matt Mayerle
Modified on May 8, 2023

Are you prepared to retire? Do you feel comfortable with the amount you have saved and invested in your retirement? 

Maybe, but nearly 64% of Americans Will Retire Broke.

In fact, we recently surveyed over 3,000 people and over half say they don’t expect to fully retire when they are older. The pandemic didn’t help that number either.

If you are concerned about your financial plans for retirement or what to set yourself up for success in the future, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this guide, we’ll provide you with financial factors you need to consider, how to better prepare for retirement, and resources — including a “When can I retire?” calculator —  that makes planning for a successful retirement easy.  

Table of Contents

How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a one size fits all answer. While some experts recommend the 4% rule…  

Your estimated monthly expenses divided by 4% = the amount you will need to withdraw from retirement funds each year of retirement

…the fact is that in order to figure out how much you’ll need to retire truly depends on several different factors, including: 

  • Age
  • Income
  • Savings
  • Cost of living at the time of retirement
  • And more. 

And although not all money experts agree, the 4% rule may be one of the many that make the most sense for today’s economy, especially those living through an economic crisis like during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But will the 4% rule work for you? How can you truly financially prepare for retirement? Let’s dive in to learn how to properly prepare for your future. 

This number would certainly change if you decided to withdraw from your retirement funds early.

How Do I Calculate my Retirement Age?

The age when you should retire is based on several factors, but one of the most significant factors for many people is the age at which they start receiving retirement benefits. 

As of 2020, to be eligible for Social Security benefits, a person must be 62 years old — but you won’t receive monthly benefits until at least 66 years old. 

What’s more important about calculating your retirement age? Figuring out exactly how much you’ll need to save to reach your goals and meet your needs when deciding to retire. 

Saving for retirement as a 20-year-old, for instance, looks much different than someone who is starting to save for retirement at 40 years old. 

If you’re determined to retire by a certain age, come up with a goal of a retirement window instead. Say you want to retire at the age of 65, give yourself a window from, say, 62-68 years old. 

Preparing for retirement based on age can be frustrating and time-consuming. Instead of spending hours — maybe months — crunching numbers, consider using a tool like CreditNinja’s “When Can I Retire?” calculator. 

By factoring in key information, our calculator can help you get a clear picture of when and how much money you’ll need to retire. 

Aside from age, there are many other factors you need to consider to create a financial plan for retirement.  

How to Calculate When You Can Retire: 3 Financial Factors to Consider

Now, you might be searching the internet for, “How to calculate when I can retire,” primarily if your goals are based on your retirement window. 

Whether you are basing your goals on age, or something else, it’s essential to consider the following factors when preparing for retirement.

Factor #1: Will You Be Paying off Debt?

If you are approaching retirement, it’s important to evaluate the debt you have and if you will be paying off the debt during retirement. 

Are you going into retirement with debts left to pay? Whether it be a mortgage, credit card debt, automobile, or other loans, you’ll have less money accessible to you to use for day-to-day finances and to be able to enjoy things like traveling and engaging in activities you enjoy. 

If you’re going into debt during retirement or preparing to retire and looking for how to get out of debt before retirement, it’s vital that you reevaluate your budget. 

For some, retiring with debt may be completely unavoidable. If this is the case for you, you must account for these expenses when calculating how much money you’ll need to retire comfortably. 

Factor #2: How Much Will You Spend During Retirement?

You’ve already established whether you’ll be debt-free or paying off debt during retirement, but you’ll also want to determine how much you’ll be spending on day-to-day needs and the lifestyle you plan to live. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, households run by someone 65 or older spend an average of 3,800 dollars a month — or 45,756 dollars a year. 

The expenses included in a year include…  

  • Housing and Utilities 
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Food
  • Household Needs
  • Pensions
  • Donations; and
  • Entertainment

but the amount spent during retirement will undoubtedly depend on the lifestyle you choose to live. Want to travel frequently during retirement? Maybe you see yourself learning new hobbies? 

You’ll want to take those expenses into consideration. 

Start keeping track of what your discretionary expenses vs. your non-discretionary costs will be during retirement, and get a clear picture of what your needs versus your wants will be as retirement gets closer.  

Factor #3: How Much of Your Income Will Be Replaced by Social Security or Other Sources?

Do you know how much of your income will be replaced by a pension, 401k, or Social Security? 

As a general “rule,” 70 percent of your pre-retirement income should be replaced by a combination of Social Security, pensions, income from assets, etc. 

How much you will receive from Social Security, for example, depends on several factors, including: 

  • The age window you plan to retire in
  • Salary history
  • Marital status
  • Employment history — have you worked for a state or local government

3 Tips on How to Better Prepare Financially for Retirement

You’ve considered the factors regarding retirement, but how can you better prepare before retirement? Are there specific steps you should be taking early on to set yourself up for retirement before it’s “too late?” 


Here are our top 3 tips to financially prepare for retirement. 

#1: Make Saving for Retirement a Priority

If you haven’t started contributing to your future, it’s never too late to start! But how much should you be contributing to meet your retirement goals? 

If your short-term goals are already being met…

  • You have an emergency fund
  • Your debts are covered, and 
  • You’re paying the bills you need to cover

…contribute as much as you can to meet your retirement goals. If you have a 401k, this is the best place to put those funds.   

If you aren’t ready to contribute significant amounts of money to retirement, start with a minimum of 10-15% of your income.

Although it may not seem like it early on, paying yourself first and committing to saving for retirement early can make the most significant difference long-term. 

#2: Adjust Your Spending Based on Future Retirement Goals

As you get closer to retirement, consider practicing living off of the amount you’ll have when you retire. 

For some, the amount of money they’ll be spending during retirement is less than what they’re spending before retirement — for others, the opposite is true. 

No matter the case, it’s vital to know that you can live off of the money you’ll be receiving during retirement.  

To successfully live within your means during retirement, adjust your spending base on your future retirement goals. If you’re planning to retire within the next 3-5 years, consider living off of the minimum budget you’ll need during retirement. 

Are all your income sources aligned? This will give you a clear picture of what goals you will need to adjust and what you can plan to spend during retirement. 

#3: Have an Idea of How Long Your Estimated Retirement Income Stream Will Last

Do you know how long your retirement savings will last? There are so many variables that are at play, even after you’ve prepared financially. 

Do you understand your investment returns? Have you prepared for inflation or unforeseen emergencies and expenses? 

All of these things can affect the longevity of your retirement income, and it’s essential to understand and be prepared for that longevity to fluctuate. 

From the four percent rule to the income floor strategy, there are many different ways to calculate how much you’ll need to retire and how long that retirement income will last. 

The four percent rule, for example, works for many, but will only work if you stick to the plan every single year. One big purchase or splurge and the impacts can be substantial

The income floor strategy works well for those who are willing to look for income and investment sources using things like pensions, annuities, CD’s, etc. The downfall of this strategy is that if interest rates are low (like they are during a global pandemic) building a large enough floor becomes increasingly difficult. 

Use CreditNinja’s “When Can I Retire Calculator” to Build a Successful Retirement Plan

As you can see, choosing a saving strategy for retirement takes a lot of time and effort. CreditNinja wants to help you set yourself up for a successful retirement.

By using our “When Can I Retire Calculator,” you can get a clear picture of how to successfully prepare for your future. Simply plug in the information needed on the calculator and let our experts do the work for you quickly and efficiently. 

Retirement income calculator

By using our “When Can I Retire Calculator,” you can get a clear picture of how to successfully prepare for your future. Simply plug in the information needed on the calculator and let our experts do the work for you quickly and efficiently.

Your retirement story

I am years old, my pre-tax income is and I have current savings of . Every month I save ( of my monthly income). Investment rate of return is .

My retirement spending will be per month. I am expecting to retire when I am years old and my life expectancy is years.

How much will you need to retire at 0?

Based on the information you provided, when you retire at age 0, you may have a retirement savings balance of $0 (in today’s dollars). Your estimated monthly expenses are $0, and you could expect a monthly income of $0 in retirement.

Retirement Savings: $0

Preparing for the future is easy with resources like CreditNinja by your side.

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