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Retirement Planner

Do you know what it takes to work towards a secure retirement? Use this calculator to help you create your retirement plan. View your retirement savings balance and your withdrawals for each year until the end of your retirement. Social security is calculated on a sliding scale based on your income. Including a non-working spouse in your plan increases your social security benefits up to, but not over, the maximum.

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Definitions

Current age
Your current age.

Age of retirement
Age you wish to retire. This calculator assumes that the year you retire, you do not make any contributions to your retirement savings. So if you retire at age 65, your last contribution happened when you were actually age 64. This calculator also assumes that you make your entire contribution at the end of each year.

Household income
Your total household income. If you are married, this should include your spouse's income.

Current retirement savings
Total amount that you currently have saved toward your retirement. Include all sources of retirement savings such as 401(k)s, IRAs and Annuities.

Rate of return before retirement
This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investments after taxes. 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.

Rate of return during retirement
This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investments during retirement, after taxes. It is often lower than the return earned before retirement 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.

Percent of income to contribute
The percentage of your annual income you will save for your retirement goals. This should reflect the total you save toward your retirement. This should include any 403(b), 401(k), or 457(b) plans and your employer contributions to these plans. It should also include any other retirement accounts such as an IRA or a Roth IRA and any retirement savings in non-retirement accounts. This calculator assumes that you make one annual contributions at the end of each year, and any withdrawals happen once per year at the end of the year.

Expected salary increase
Annual percent increase you expect in your household income.

Years of retirement income
Total number of years you expect to use your retirement income.

Percent of income at retirement
The percent of your working year's household income you think you will need to have in retirement. This amount is based on your income earned during the last year you will work. You can change this amount to be as low as 50% and as high as 150%.

Expected rate of inflation
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.

If you are married checkbox
Check this box if you are married. Married couples have a higher maximum social security benefit than single wage earners.

To include Social Security checkbox
Check this box if you wish to include social security benefits in your retirement planning. Social Security is based on a sliding scale depending on your income, how long you work and at what age you retire. Social Security benefits automatically increases each year based on increases in the Consumer Price Index. Including a spouse increases your Social Security benefits by 1.5 times your individual estimated benefit. Please note that this calculator assumes that you have only one working spouse. Benefits could be different if your spouse worked and earned a benefit higher than one half of your benefit. If you are a married couple, and both spouses work, you may need to run the calculation twice - once for each spouse and their respective income. This calculator provides only an estimate of your benefits.

The calculations use the 2010 FICA income limit of $106,800 with an annual maximum Social Security benefit of $27,876 per year for a single person and 1.5 times this amount for a married couple. To receive the maximum benefit would require earning the maximum FICA salary for nearly your entire career. You would also need to begin receiving benefits at your full retirement age of 66 or 67 (depending on your birthdate). Your actual benefit may be lower or higher depending on your work history and the complete compensation rules used by Social Security.

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your personal independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We can not and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.