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To be prepared when it comes to retirement, you need to be proactive in ensuring you're on track towards your goals. Using our retirement calculator can help you check up on your financial strategy and plan for your later years.

With a few details, it can let you know if you are likely to meet your savings goal and what your projected savings balance will be.

On this page, we'll break down everything you need to know to move your retirement in a positive direction. We'll describe the benefits of a retirement calculator and share some brief retirement savings tips.


Why use a retirement calculator?

Knowing how much money you need to make to meet your retirement goals is one thing. Understanding if you're financially on track to hit that goal is another thing entirely.

Therein lies the value of the great retirement calculator that our team has built for you.

With all of your details in place, it will be able to project exactly how much money you'll have saved by the time you choose to retire, if you should save more, and how long your money will last.

Getting Started

Using the retirement calculator we've provided is relatively straightforward.

You'll enter your age, the age you want to retire and your annual income. We'll also ask you what percentage of that income you'll contribute to your retirement and where your savings currently stand.

The remaining questions get a little more theoretical. The first of the final three fields asks what your expected salary increase will be on an annual basis.

Put simply, how much of a pay raise do you think your employer will give you each year?

Entering this figure as accurately as possible enables our calculator to adjust your retirement needs per your growing income.

Finally, you'll need to estimate your investment returns, the percentage of your annual salary you'll need during retirement, and how long you'll need your the funds.

How much money will I need to retire?

This question has plagued many people in their early 30's who begin to realize that they can't physically work forever.

To start forming an answer to the above question, before we get into using a retirement calculator, you need to answer some more qualitative questions.

For example, how much money do you anticipate spending per year in retirement? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have?

You can use what you're spending on things now as your baseline to estimate how much more or less you may need when you drop out of the workforce.

Once you have an idea of how much you think you'll need annually when you retire, getting a picture of how much ground you need to cover is easy. Start by multiplying your annual retirement allowance by how many years you plan on being retired and deduct your current savings from that figure.

As an example, say you need $40,000 per year in retirement and you plan on being retired for 30 years. That's a total of 1.2 million dollars you need.

If you currently have $30,000 saved for retirement, you'd need 1.17 million more to meet your goal.

Whats the best way to save for retirement?

If you looked at your retirement calculator projections and have found that you will outlive your savings, it's time to get to work increasing your contributions and maximizing your interest.

Below are a few ways you can start building up your retirement savings faster.

1. Maximize 401K Contributions

This is an obvious suggestion. If your employer offers you a 401K, be sure to max out contributions to ensure that you're taking full advantage of any matching your company offers.

2. Open an IRA or Roth IRA

IRA's are very popular among people who don't have access to a 401K. IRA's mimic 401K accounts in that they are retirement-focused and have the potential to accrue massive interest whilst giving many legal and tax benefits not afforded to regular stock traders.

IRA accounts have an annual contribution limit of $5,500 per year. All deposits into an IRA account are tax-free until withdrawing in retirement. Roth IRA contributions do incur taxes up front but are tax exempt upon withdrawal.

3. Cut Back on Today's Luxuries to Pave the Way for a Brighter Tomorrow

At the end of the day, you can't contribute money to retirement that you don't have. If you're living a lavish lifestyle now but your retirement calculator is telling you that you're going to pay for it big time later, it's time to start making adjustments.

Cut back on that expensive cup of coffee. Downgrade to a less expensive cable package. Reduce the size of your housing expenses.

The more you can do now to allocate money to your retirement accounts, the more comfort you'll get to enjoy in the final years of your life.

Final thoughts?

1 in 3 Americans has less than $5000.00 saved for retirement. If you don't want to be among those who run out of money when you're too old to work, take saving seriously.

Infer how much money you'll need for retirement and then use our retirement calculator to see if you're on track to meeting your goals. If you're not, reconsider your investment strategy or reduce your frivolous spending so when retirement comes around you'll be taken care.

Want more of the best tools online to answer life's most difficult questions? Our team at GC has you covered.

From retirement to home buying and beyond, we offer sophisticated calculators that get you the answers you need and keep your life moving in more predictably positive directions.

Tell your friends about us!