There are a lot of retirement and savings calculators online that will let you plug in your monthly (or yearly) savings and investments, and your expected rate of return. There are some that will tell you how long it will take you to become a millionaire. There are others that will ask you when you want to retire and calculate how much you need to save monthly to make that happen. What I haven’t been able to find is a real retirement calculator.
What do I mean by that? Well, assume you’re 25 and you put $2,500 in a Roth IRA, but then you kind of forget about it and it sits for five years. Then you’re 30 and married and realize you need to put more into that IRA! So you start making random deposits, sometimes you get on a monthly routine of adding $100, but other months you don’t add anything, and then right before tax season, you add $1,000. Maybe this goes on for a few years, and then you start to get serious about it at age 35. You invest as much as possible each month–let’s say $500. But the next year, at 36, you get a raise, and up your savings to $600 each month. And you continue to get both small and large raises and increase your savings until retirement. Also, after your mortgage is paid off at age 45, you start investing your former house payment as well, so now it’s up to $2800/month into savings and investments.
Where’s the calculator for that? I’d like to see a calculator that allows for exponential savings amounts, lets me project 15 or so years and plug in the amount that I could potentially be saving per month at age 45. I want a calculator that allows me to add in other retirement benefits I may have, like a pension that grows as my annual income rises.
I can guess at these numbers, but none of the calculators I’ve found–including Excel sheets people have made–allow for this type of input. Most people don’t invest $500/month for the rest of their lives, though maybe some do. People who want to accumulate wealth put away everything they can.