The U.S. government has released an extremely helpful and easy-to-use retirement savings calculator to help you calculate and understand your retirement finances. To learn more about it, why it works and where you can get it – keep reading.
The guide, titled “Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning” was published by the Department of Labor and the Employee Benefit Security Administration. It’s 62 pages long and takes you through a series of worksheets and information to help you discover how big of a nest egg you’ll need to retire comfortably and how much must save to achieve that.
Where You Can Find It
Previously, you could only Scientific Calculators obtain a copy of the guide and worksheets by calling and requesting a printed copy. However, it’s now available online and can be viewed for free or printed off. The site includes a simple retirement savings calculator that even lets you store your information for up to one year.
To order a printed copy, you can call 1-866-444-3272 or print it yourself right from the website. You can also access the worksheets and calculators online at dol.gov/ebsa (choose Publications/Reports).
Features of the Calculator and Guide
The biggest advantage to using this simple 62-page booklet is how easy it is to use. Whether you’re doing the worksheets with the online calculator or by yourself using a printed copy, it’s easy to understand and follow. The tool is also very diverse and flexible. It lets you input a variety of scenarios, from extra part-time income after you retire to additional costs, like extended health care.
The next feature that makes this online retirement calculator stand out from the competition is its ability to make very complex assumptions. An example of this is how it treats health care inflation. Other retirement calculators simply assume that all expenses will inflate at a rate of about 3.5%, however this calculator knows that healthcare typically rises at about 7%. That potentially major discrepancy is accounted for.
Problems With the Guide
The main drawback for the guide is that it appears to be written for people who are about 10 to 15 years from retirement. The online tools can help and assist recent retirees, but the main focus is on planning and saving in those last few, crucial years.
The other drawback is that there is little advice for people who suspect they may incur extra health care costs or the expense of dealing with potential dependents.
That said, it’s still a fantastic retirement savings calculator. Overall, it’s a simple too