# Calculators

Waiting to begin your savings plan can have a huge impact on your results. A delay of even a few years could cost you thousands of dollars. This calculator helps show you how much postponing your savings plan can really cost.

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# Definitions

Starting amount
The starting balance or current amount you have invested or saved. For this calculator, we assume your current savings is earning your annual rate of return whether you decide to delay your new contributions or not. For example, if you have a current balance of \$1000 and never make any new contributions, your delayed and non-delayed results will be the same.
The amount that you plan on adding to your savings or investment each period. The options include monthly, quarterly and annually. This calculator assumes that you make your contributions at the beginning of each period.
Years
The total number of years you are planning to save or invest.
Rate of return
The annual rate of return for this investment or savings account. 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 wait
The number of years you might wait before you begin saving. We will then delay your new contributions for that number of years.
Cost of waiting
The difference in your savings or investment balance between your delayed and non-delayed plans.
Required contribution
If you wait to start saving, this is the amount you would need to contribute each period to achieve the same result as starting your savings plan immediately.

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.