Saving for retirement seems overwhelming, and a big part of that is that it's just so much money. For example, if you're 40, you're supposed to have twice your annual salary saved. If you're starting late, that might seem impossible. Like all goals, it helps to start small, and NerdWallet's new retirement calculator helps you do just that. The calculator works like other retirement calculators we've covered, but it gives you an idea of how much you need to save monthly, which makes your goal a little more attainable. You enter a few details about your situation: age, desired retirement age, current income and so on, and the tool tells you what your savings goal should be. From there, you can adjust the filters to see how much you have to save each month to stay on track.
NerdWallet uses some general assumptions with the tool. For example, they ask for your pre-tax income, because as a general rule you'll need 70 to 80 per cent of your current income in retirement. They do point out, however, that your actual retirement spending might vary, and the calculator allows you to adjust for this:
Be sure to adjust the numbers based on your retirement plans. For instance, if you know you won't have a mortgage, you can plan to replace only 60%. If you want to travel every year, you might aim to replace 100%, or even 110%, of your pre-retirement savings.
If you anticipate receiving Social Security benefits, you can estimate replacing 70% of your pre-retirement income. Use this calculator to estimate how much you can expect to receive from Social Security.
Check out the calculator for yourself at the link below. They dig into their methodology a bit more, too.