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# Investment Savings and Distributions

Use this calculator to help you determine how long your investment savings might last. Enter your current savings plan in the contributions section of the calculator, and your withdrawal needs in the withdrawal section. This calculator will then plot your investment savings total year-by-year. You can then determine how much your investment savings could be worth, and how long it might last.

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# Definitions

Current age

Starting balance
Total amount that you currently have invested. Include any sources of investment savings such as 401(k)s, IRAs and Annuities that you wish to include in this analysis.

Amount to contribute
This is the amount that you will add to your investment savings. You can add additional amounts weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. All contributions are assumed to be made at the beginning of each period.

Annual return
This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investments after taxes. When withdrawing, the return earned is often assumed to be lower due to more conservative investment choices to help insure a steady flow of income. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. For example, from December 1999 to December 2009, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500 was -0.6%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 to December 2009, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.1% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a bank may pay as little as 1% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Years to contribute
This is the number of years you will be adding new money to your investment savings. If you wish to start withdrawals immediately, enter 0 for the years to contribute.

Inflation rate
What you expect for the average long-term inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a long-term average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2009. The CPI for 2009 was -1.0%, as reported by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.