An investment calculator (sometimes abbreviated as “investment calc”) can be essential as you start organizing your retirement plan. But with so many online calculators out there, it can be hard to know which ones are the best for your needs. Inside Your IRA can help you assess some of the options.
Investment Calculator for Retirement Planning | Take your Pick Among These 9 Options
1. NerdWallet Retirement Calculator
The investment calculator from NerdWallet is an easy-to-use tool that does not require a lot of complicated inputs.
To know how much you need to reach your retirement investment objectives, you put in your age, income, current savings or the initial investment you plan to make, and how much you save every month. Then, this calculator lets you know if you are on track or if you need to do more retirement planning.
It is important to understand this investment calculator makes a few assumptions. In particular, it assumes a 3% inflation rate, salary increases of 2% per year, and 5% rate of return on your investments. Unfortunately, those elements may not pan out.
For instance, your income may not increase at that rate, or your return on investment may be different. As a result, this calculator is a great place to start, but you may want to check out a more advanced tool that lets you do scenario analysis or helps you calculate catch-up contributions, among others.
2. AARP Retirement Planning Calculator
— AARP Massachusetts (@AARPMA) March 29, 2016
Trying to figure out how much money you need for retirement? Then, the AARP calculator can be a great tool to check out. This investment calculator asks you questions about your personal situation. These include marital status, age, salary, and current savings.
It also has you take into account how much Social Security you anticipate receiving, and it explains how to find out these numbers using your current work history and charts from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Then, this retirement planning calculator asks about your lifestyle and how much you want to spend in retirement. Finally, it lets you know how much money you need to have the lifestyle you want during retirement, and it gives you a few options on how to get there.
3. The Personal Capital Investment Calc
Personal Capital has a free and extensive investment calculator on its website. It is one of the most sophisticated free tools available online, and it can help you plan for retirement based on your current savings, age, and target retirement dates.
You can even link your retirement savings accounts to this tool so you get real-time analysis on your financial situation based on your current balances, interest rates, and asset allocations.
As many people dip into their retirement accounts for big expenditures, however, this investing calculator also helps you consider big expenses such as college tuition, adoption fees, vacations, and more.
Then, to help you see how much money you will have during retirement, you can enter all your income sources including retirement accounts, real estate, rental income, projected inheritances, discretionary income, and whatever else you anticipate having.
4. Fidelity Investments Calculator
To make the process easy, this investment calculator starts with a short, six-question form. Then, it tells you what you need to do to prepare for retirement. You can also play with the results to see what happens in the future such as if you retire later (or earlier), save more (or less) in your investment account, change your spending in retirement, or shift your investment style.
Generally, your investment style needs to match your risk tolerance. If you want safety and guaranteed return, you need to focus on investments that do not have a lot of risks such as such as precious metals. If your risk tolerance is high, you may want to diversify your account with other types of investments.
5. Bankrate Calculator
This site’s main retirement investment calc considers the usual basic factors, and it has easy-to-use sliders that let you manipulate your inputs so you can see how different scenarios work out. Then, it lets you know how long your retirement accounts are going to last.
This site also hosts a number of specialized calculators that help you crunch the numbers related to all your retirement accounts.
It can be especially useful in comparing how different accounts can assist you in reaching the investment goal. These investment calculators include the following:
- 401(k) calculator
- Roth IRA calculator
- Traditional IRA calculator
- IRA required minimum distribution calculator
- 401(k) contribution calculator
- 401(k) savings with profit sharing calculator
- 403(b) calculator
Bankrate also has calculators that let you analyze different savings scenarios. For instance, you can see what happens if you switch from a Roth IRA to a Traditional IRA and vice versa. You can also see how your asset allocation affects your cash flow during retirement.
6. Vanguard Nest Egg Calculator
— Fire Fellow (@thefirefellow) February 28, 2017
If you are looking for a simple investment calculator, you may want to check out this option. It needs only four pieces of information: the number of years you plan to use your retirement account, the current balance of your account, how much you plan to spend per year in retirement, and your asset allocation. Then, this calculator shows you if your retirement account is going to last throughout your retirement.
Obviously, you cannot predict how long you are going to live, but this calculator helps you see how your investments will change based on living 10, 20, 30, or more years after retirement.
7. Flexible Retirement Planner
The planner is more than a basic investment calculator. It lets you perform sensitivity analysis, and it gives you information on what-if scenarios.
This tool can help you answer questions such as “What if I face a pay cut?” “How do I pay for unexpected home repairs?”and “What if inflation increases?” and similar questions.
8. Ultimate Retirement Calculator by Financial Mentor
This investment calc starts with the basics when doing retirement planning: age, target retirement age, life expectancy, desired retirement income, current value of your retirement account, and how much you save every month.
It also allows you to enter how much you want to leave in your estate after your death, and if relevant, it can calculate capital gains tax. If leaving an inheritance to your family is important to you, this tool can be useful.
9. MarketWatch Retirement Planner
This investment calculator takes into account a few basic details, and then, based on the information you provide, it lets you know when you can retire.
If you want to retire earlier, this calculator helps you figure out how to make that possible. You can use the simplified version or try the advanced settings if you want to add more information.
Planning for retirement can be hard. An investment calc can help with some of the initial steps and projections, but ultimately, you should let a professional guide help you.
Have you tried an investment calculator before? How was the experience? Tell us your thoughts below.