Retirement Savings Calculator

Use our free retirement savings calculator to see how long your savings will last with your desired monthly income.

Matthew Jones Matthew Jones Writer and Editor
Jeff Hoyt Jeff Hoyt Editor in Chief

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How Our Retirement Savings Calculator Works

Most retirement calculators show how much money you can save for retirement with your current habits. While this is useful, it may not help you understand how your savings translate to your retirement income goals. For instance, you may have calculated that you’ll have $300,000 when you retire, but what would a realistic monthly income look like for that amount? And if you’re making systematic monthly withdrawals, how long would your savings last?

Our retirement savings calculator starts with your desired monthly retirement income. This way, you can look at what you need and see how well your savings align. If your savings won’t last very long at your desired monthly income, you know that you’ll either need to ramp up your contributions or make some spending cuts to live on a lower monthly income.

Estimating Your Monthly Retirement Income

There’s no one-size-fits-all method for calculating the monthly income you will need in retirement. However, having an understanding of your income needs is necessary to get accurate results with our calculator. In general, it’s a good idea to assume that you will need between 70% and 80% of your working income during retirement. This means that if you make $10,000 per month before you retire, you will need between $7,000 and $8,000 of retirement income to live comfortably.

Pro Tip:

Pro Tip: Check out our finance guide for seniors for more helpful advice!

Your monthly income doesn’t all have to come from your retirement savings though. If you’re like most seniors, you’re eligible to receive monthly Social Security benefits. On average, seniors receive about $1,793.51 per month from Social Security,1 though your benefits may vary. You can subtract your Social Security benefits from your desired retirement income to figure out how much you’ll need in savings to meet your goal — or let our calculator do the work for you!

How to Use Our Retirement Savings Calculator

Our retirement savings calculator only requires you to put in a few pieces of information that falls under three general categories: income objectives, fixed income, and savings and assumptions.

Income Objectives

  • Monthly income needed (pre-tax)
  • Annual income increases

As noted previously, it’s often best to base your retirement income needs on your current income. Generally, older adults can live comfortably in retirement with 70% to 80% of their working income. When calculating income increases, you’ll likely want to link this percentage to the anticipated inflation rate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual rate of inflation over the past 40 years is 3.43%.

Fixed Income

  • Monthly Social Security income
  • Annual Social Security increases
  • Monthly pension income (if applicable)
  • Annual pension increases (if applicable)
  • Other monthly income (if applicable)
  • Annual increases to other income (if applicable)

If you’re unsure how much you will receive from Social Security, check out our Social Security calculator to get an estimate. Increases to Social Security via the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) are calculated annually, so you can check the latest SSA update for more information on how much your benefits will increase each year.

FYI:

FYI: Our guide to retirement planning for seniors can help you get your finances on the right track.

If you have a pension plan through your employer, you can also estimate this part of your income with our pension calculator. While some pension plans incorporate annual increases to account for inflation, many do not, which means that your pension payments could lose value over time.

It’s also important to consider if you have types of income that do not fall under standard retirement account withdrawals or pension plans. Earnings from a rental property, for example, could fall into the “Other” category.

Savings and Assumptions

Lastly, you will input your savings and assumptions into the calculator, including:

  • Current account balance
  • Annual return (pre-tax)
  • Desired amortization schedule (monthly or yearly)

FAQs About Retirement Savings

  • Is $500,000 enough to retire at 62?

    In some cases, $500,000 could be enough to retire at 62. However, you should keep in mind that it would only allow a monthly income of $2,900 for about 20 years, and collecting Social Security at 62 would reduce your monthly benefit.

  • What is a good monthly retirement income?

    Most people need between 70% and 80% of their current working income in retirement to live comfortably. So, if your working income is $5,000 per month, you’ll likely need a monthly retirement income between $3,500 and $4,000.

  • Can you live on $3,000 a month in retirement?

    This will depend on your location, living situation, and finances in general. If you have housing that is paid off and you live in a low-cost-of-living area, you could live comfortably on $3,000 per month.

Citations
  1. Social Security Administration. (2023). Monthly Statistical Snapshot, October 2023.

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2023). CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Written By:
Matthew Jones
Writer and Editor
Matthew is a freelance writer who has written on a wide range of topics, from personal finance to nutrition. Over the past three years, Matthew has worked extensively on articles and guides for seniors related to Medicare, insurance, and finance…. Learn More About Matthew Jones
Reviewed By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
As Editor-in-Chief of the personal finance site MoneyTips.com, Jeff produced hundreds of articles on the subject of retirement, including preventing identity theft, minimizing taxes, investing successfully, preparing for retirement medical costs, protecting your credit score, and making your money last… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt
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