The retirement calculator can give insight into the financial future

There’s a familiar question that often comes up when people look at the money they’ve set aside for retirement: “Am I saving enough?” »

If you are asking yourself this question, know that you are not alone. A survey released in November 2021 by Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, found that 52% of respondents said they were behind on their retirement savings. The 2022 State of Retirement Planning study by Fidelity, also a financial services company, found that one in four people said they were less confident about when and how they would retire. wanted it to be in the past, based on the events of the past two years.

The good news is that you can find possible answers to your retirement savings question by using a retirement calculator.

AARP has one at tinyurl.com/nth5rtc2. It can give an idea of ​​your financial situation in anticipation of your retirement one day in the future.

The calculator asks for information about your age, current salary, retirement savings and family situation. To get a fuller picture, you can add details about financials like your pensions and social security, your planned retirement lifestyle, and when you plan to retire. (The Social Security section will allow you to estimate your benefit if you’re not sure what it will be; the original resource you’ll want to use is the Social Security website – tinyurl.com/2p9xfn86.)

Once you’ve entered your information, you’ll see a page with the projected minimum you’ll need to retire, what you’ll have saved, and the sources and percentages where your retirement money will come from (shown in a graph).

The calculator is based on the assumption that you will need approximately 85% of your “current lifestyle” expenses in retirement. You can view and edit this assumption, along with other basic economic projections, including the rate of inflation (a hot topic these days), your retirement tax rate, and your life expectancy age , by clicking on the “view and edit” link.

AARP isn’t the only source for a calculator to help you assess your retirement prospects. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees the brokerage industry, offers one to tinyurl.com/58fm8t23. The FINRA calculator consists of answering 13 questions, along with background details related to each question if you click on the blue circle.

Once the calculation is complete, you’ll see a retirement analysis, along with a table detailing your projected retirement savings balance on a yearly basis, along with tips to help you reach your savings goal. FINRA issues the following caveat: “The Retirement Calculator has been designed to help investors plan a basic investment strategy. Although it is a useful tool, you should understand its limitations. The results generated by this calculator are hypothetical.

Other sources for various retirement calculators include financial companies such as Fidelity (tinyurl.com/2p83s3cr), vanguard (tinyurl.com/4pvj2cnj) and Charles Schwab (tinyurl.com/4ntkyax4).

If you use a retirement calculator, it is important to remember that it offers estimates of the future based on certain assumptions that you will need to review when using the calculator.

For young future retirees, a retirement calculator can encourage them to get organized and set savings goals. For those approaching retirement, a retirement calculator can help confirm that they are on the right track or that there is still work to be done. Either way, this is valuable information that is definitely worth exploring. If you do, let me know your thoughts. Email me at [email protected]

Julie Jason, JD, LLM, personal fund manager (Jackson, Grant of Stamford) and author, welcomes your questions/comments ([email protected]). His awards include the 2021 Clarion Award, symbolizing excellence in clear and concise communications. Her latest book, a curated collection of Julie’s columns, is “Retire Securely: Insights on Money Management From an Award-Winning Financial Columnist.” To hear Julie speak, visit juliejason.com/events.