10 Free Retirement Calculators

Brent Pittman —  02/18/2013

Are you using a adding machine to calculate your retirement?

Have you ever wondered how much money you’ll need when you’ll retire? Perhaps retirement (I hate that word) is far off or it could be coming at you like a freight train.

How much money will you need? I’ve collected and reviewed 10 different calculators. 5 Stars is the best. I suggest that you try several as you’ll notice differences.



  • You’ll need at least 70% of your current income in retirement, if you want to have fun you’ll need more.
  • Determine what age you and your spouse will leave the work force.
  • Estimate you Social Security benefits if you can’t find your paperwork.
  • Conservative return rates are 5-8%, Agressive are 8-12%.
  • Standard inflation rate is 4%
  • Try multiple calculators and return every 3-5 years to see if you’re on track with your goals.

10 Retirement Calculators

AARP– Easy to use and gets the job done. Also factors in SS and estimates how much you’ll need each year. 5 Stars

Bloomberg– A bit too simple and doesn’t factor Social Security. I expected better Michael. 1 Star.

Charles Schwab– I really like this one Chuck! I especially like the interactive graph at the end. Very useful. 5 stars

CNN– Simple to use and it gives a projection if you’re on the right track. It does factor in Social Security. 4 Stars.

FINRA– Basic graphics, yet it gives you instructions and nice chart at the end. 4 Stars.

ING– Just a cute little tool to find out how much you’ll need to save. Only provides a piece of the puzzle. 2 stars.

John Hancock– Honestly this one seems a bit complex and I couldn’t get it working. I always imputed something wrong. There is no guide and I quit after 5 minutes. Next… 1 Star

Office of the Secretary of Defense (for Military Retirement)- Straight forward and much needed. 5 Stars

T. Rowe Price– Good tool and nice slide show at the end. 4 Stars.

Vanguard– One of the best calculators I used and only 1 page. Uses slide bars that change the outcome automatically. The only drawback is you have to figure your SS by yourself, but they provide a link. 5 stars.

4 Factors to Consider:

  1. Are you factoring in Social Security benefits? Will they be around when you retire? Better plan for the worst if you are young.
  2. What will the tax and inflation rate be? Again, youngsters (anyone under 40) should plan for higher taxes and inflation in the future.
  3. What state will you live in when you retire? Some states don’t have income taxes.
  4. Will you be out of debt? I hope so! Get on the ball and let’s get this done. Contact me if you need a financial coach.
Which calculator did you prefer? How are you planning for life after work? Comment below!
(Photo by  Thomas Hawk)

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
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  • AvgJoeMoney

    I’ve enjoyed using the Vanguard calculator in the past. While many of these are simplistic, I think they are a great start for someone who hasn’t ever looked at the cost. It’s a great wake-up call for many people!

  • John@MoneyPrinciple

    I’m not sure. Retirement is just another phase of life that people consider nowadays to be important because we are actually living longer and have time for an active third age.

    But that means that we need to divide the third age into at least two – a really active time when we can travel, play sports, see things that work has always prevented us from doing, a less active time when such things begin to be beyond us and an inactive time when we actually need looking after.

    It is budgeting for this that is more important – and the decision of what legacy you want to leave (financial or cultural). That’s why we generated our own retirement calculator on TMP….

  • My favorite calculator is the one at msn.com/retirement

    • There were so many, I just stopped at 10. Any reason you prefer this one?

      • I like how you can play with all of the different variables and watch how it changes your retirement picture and then how they show you the table of how much money you earn or gain every year.

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