You can retire when you have enough retirement savings or you reach your full retirement age and are able to receive full Social Security benefits. The amount you need for retirement depends on your current age, expenses, lifestyle, and other factors. But according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. 401(k) plan participants, most Americans believe they need $1.8 million for retirement.1
The best way to determine when you can enjoy retirement and how much you need to save, is to use an online calculator!
Planning for Retirement Age
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 how 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 financial calculator — that make planning for a successful retirement easy.
Table of Contents
- How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?
- How Do I Calculate My Retirement Age?
- How to Calculate When You Can Retire: 3 Financial Factors to Consider
- 3 Tips on How to Better Prepare for Retirement
- Use CreditNinja’s Online Calculator to Build a Successful Retirement Plan
Retirement Savings: How Much 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:
- 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 2023, 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 online calculator for retirement.
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?
Are you going into retirement with debts left to pay? Whether you have installment loans, payday loans, secured loans, 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.
Remember that when it comes to debt, there is good debt vs. bad debt. Ideally, you should have more good debt than bad. 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 a month — or $45,756 a year.2
The expenses included in a year include the following:
|Housing||Mortgage or rent, property taxes, maintenance, repairs, utilities, and insurance.||Often the largest retirement expense. Consider downsizing or relocating to manage costs.|
|Healthcare||Medicare premiums, supplemental insurance, out-of-pocket expenses, long-term care insurance.||Costs can rise significantly with age; planning for these expenses is critical.|
|Food||Groceries, dining out.||Costs can be managed by eating in more often and taking advantage of senior discounts.|
|Transportation||Car payments, insurance, maintenance, fuel, public transportation.||Expenses may decrease if you no longer commute to work.|
|Leisure||Travel, hobbies, entertainment, club memberships.||This varies widely depending on personal choices and desired lifestyle.|
|Clothing||Apparel and related expenses.||May decrease as you no longer need work attire.|
|Debts||Credit card payments, personal loans, other debts.||Aim to retire debt-free to reduce financial strain.|
|Insurance||Life insurance, home insurance, car insurance.||Review policies to ensure they’re cost-effective for your retirement needs.|
|Gifts & Contributions||Charitable donations, gifts for family and friends.||Plan for these expenses according to your philanthropic goals and family commitments.|
|Emergency Fund||Funds for unexpected expenses like home repairs, car replacements, or medical emergencies.||Essential to avoid dipping into investments or savings unexpectedly.|
|Taxes||Income taxes on retirement account withdrawals, property taxes.||Consider tax-efficient withdrawal strategies to minimize impact.|
|Miscellaneous||Personal care, pet care, technology upgrades, home supplies.||Often overlooked, but can add up to a significant amount.|
However, 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% 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 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?” Absolutely.
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 in the 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 based 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 4% 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 4% rule, for example, works for many, but will only work if you stick to the financial 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, CDs, 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 Online 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 online 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 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.
How To Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
As you approach your retirement age, understanding how to maximize your Social Security benefits is crucial for bolstering your retirement savings. The key to optimizing these benefits lies in knowing your full retirement age and planning strategically around it.
What Is the Full Retirement Age (FRA)?
Your full retirement age is the age at which you are entitled to 100% of your Social Security retirement benefits. This age varies depending on your birth year. For many of today’s workers, the FRA is between 66 and 67. Claiming benefits before reaching your FRA can result in a reduction of your monthly benefits, while delaying benefits past your FRA can increase them.
Strategies for Maximizing Benefits
Waiting to claim Social Security retirement benefits until after your full retirement age can significantly increase your monthly benefit. For each year you delay, up to age 70, your benefits grow by about 8%.
Continuing to work beyond your retirement age can add to your Social Security earnings record, potentially increasing your benefit amount. It also allows you to save more, increasing your retirement savings and possibly generating additional passive income streams.
Review Your Earnings Record
Ensure your Social Security earnings record is accurate. Sometimes, earnings may be missing or incorrectly reported, which can affect your benefit calculation.
Understand Spousal Benefits
If you’re married, you may be eligible for spousal benefits, which can be up to 50% of your spouse’s full Social Security benefits. Coordinating with your spouse on when to claim can maximize your combined benefits.
Consider Tax Implications
Your Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your combined income. Understanding these tax implications can help you plan for a more tax-efficient retirement income strategy.
Consider seeking advisory or brokerage services for personalized advice. A financial advisor can help you navigate the complexities of Social Security and retirement planning to tailor a strategy that best suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Retirement Calculators
A Retirement Age Calculator is a tool designed to help you estimate the age at which you can retire comfortably based on your current retirement savings, expected Social Security benefits, and other income sources. It takes into account your pre-retirement earnings to suggest a retirement age where you can maintain your desired lifestyle.
When using a calculator, you should include the current balance of your 401(k) account, your annual contributions, and the expected rate of return. This will help the calculator estimate how much your 401(k) will contribute to your retirement savings over time.
Yes, many calculators allow you to input different types of retirement accounts, including those with tax benefits like Roth IRAs. They can show you how these accounts might grow and the tax advantages you could expect in retirement.
Calculators for retirement age can provide a good estimate, but remember, they work on assumptions about market returns, inflation rates, and other variables. It’s important to review and adjust your retirement plans regularly to account for changes in these factors.
To use a number cruncher for retirement savings effectively, you’ll need your current age, desired retirement age, current retirement savings, annual savings rate, and an estimate of your pre-retirement income. Including information about your Social Security benefits and any other income sources will also improve the calculator’s accuracy.
Mutual funds and MMAs are investment options that can be included in your retirement portfolio. You can input your current investments in these funds into the retirement calculator to see how they might grow and contribute to your overall retirement savings.
Yes, you can include the expected interest income from a money market account when using a retirement number cruncher. This will help you see how these accounts can supplement your income during retirement.
You can run separate calculations for you and your spouse, taking into account each person’s age, retirement savings, and the age at which you both plan to start taking Social Security benefits. This will give you a personalized plan for each of you.
If your pre-retirement income changes, you should update the information in the calculator to reflect these changes. This will help you reassess your retirement age and savings needs to ensure you’re still on track for your retirement goals.
It’s a good idea to use a calculator for retirement savings at least once a year or whenever you experience a significant life event, such as a job change, marriage, or the birth of a child. Regular check-ins can help you make necessary adjustments to your retirement planning to stay on course.
A Word From CreditNinja on Using a Retirement Calculator
No matter your current age, it’s a good idea to start saving for retirement as soon as you can. At CreditNinja, we know how crucial it is for you to have access to financial tools. That’s why we offer free financial calculators on our website!