Retirement Spending Calculators

    Retirement Spending Calculators Splash image

    Where can you turn if you want a relatively quick-and-easy estimate of how much of your retirement savings you can safely spend each year? The following Web sites all provide calculators to help you make that determination. The better calculators allow you to enter fairly detailed information concerning the types of savings accounts you currently have (for instance, taxable vs. tax-deferred), other sources of income during retirement (for instance, Social Security benefits and pensions), and estimated expenses during retirement. Don¬ít expect to get the same answer from all of them, however—many of the calculators use different assumptions.

    CNBC on MSN Money
    Comprehensive site includes a Retirement Planner (under Planning), empowered by mPower. Provides tables and charts showing the probability of success of your retirement plan, including an estimate of retirement income you could expect to safely withdraw each year from your savings, probable net worth at time of retirement and potential worst-case losses based on your current asset allocation and suggested allocations.

    Comprehensive site includes a Retirement Planner (under Calculators) that estimates the return you would need in order for your planned savings to meet your retirement needs, and the likelihood of achieving that return based on your asset allocation; indicates how much more you would need to save to increase your probabilities. Also shows estimated retirement cash flows. Retirement Planner is not very sophisticated, and focuses more on planning for retirement rather than post-retirement planning.
    Retirement planning and forecasting system designed for professionals, with a shortened trial version available to individuals. Measures the likely success of any financial plan based on personal financial information (including savings and investments, your salary, rate of savings, etc.). Probability analysis is used to determine the likelihood of meeting your retirement goals. Results are based on asset categories and historical modeling; the service does not include any analysis of individual stock or specific mutual fund holdings. More sophisticated analysis is available, but for a substantial fee.

    Financial Planning Toolkit
    Comprehensive site includes a retirement planning section with a Retirement Planner Calculator and a Retirement Shortfall Calculator (under Financial Calculators), which allow you to determine whether your current rate of savings will meet planned needs at retirement. It allows you to adjust various assumptions, and provides year-by-year account balances and post-retirement cash flows. Web site sponsor CCH Inc. is a major provider of up-to-date business, legal and tax information and software for professionals in those areas. Retirement calculators do not perform very sophisticated analyses.
    Comprehensive site includes the Quicken Retirement Planner (under Planning & Tax in the Investing section), which provides a basic but very good retirement planning tool that allows you to see if your plan will remain on track both pre- and post-retirement. It also provides portfolio values at retirement and beyond, as well as year-by-year post-retirement cash flows. The Planner allows you to see the impact of changing certain factors such as your savings rate, asset allocation, time to retirement, inflation assumptions, life expectancy, and retirement benefits. Provides good explanation of how the planner makes its calculations as well as other assumptions used. However, the Retirement Planner is not a sophisticated analysis.
    Comprehensive site includes a Retirement Worksheet (under Personal Finance) that allows you to enter personal financial information including your salary and benefits, current and planned savings, expenses during retirement, and retirement goals; the Planner determines how much you will need to accumulate by retirement, whether your current savings plan will reach that amount, and how much more you may need to save to reach that goal. The worksheet allows you to analyze post-retirement expenses in more detail. However, it does not provide any graphical depictions, charts or other details on post-retirement account values and cash flows.