Retirement: Tools & Calculators Back »

Photo from AAG

Written by Carrie Johnson (former SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Specialist).

A secure, comfortable retirement is every worker's dream. And now because we live longer, healthier lives, we can expect to spend more time in retirement than past family members.

Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier when you plan your finances. The biggest question for retirement is “How much do I need?”

The toughest fiscal challenge most people face, planning for the nonworking years takes time and money. Those who do it well will spend their golden years living financially stress-free


  • Retirement calculator (FINRA): Plan your investing strategy now so that you will have enough to see you through your retirement years.
  • Traditional 401(k) or Roth 401(k) calculator (Bankrate): Use this 401(k) or Roth calculator to help determine the best option for retirement. The Roth 401(k) allows contributions to a 401(k) account on an after-tax basis.
  • Retirement Calculator (Bankrate): Use this to help you create your retirement plan. View your retirement savings balance and withdrawals for each year until the end of your retirement. Social security is calculated on a sliding scale based on your income.
  • Retirement income calculator (Bankrate): Determine how much monthly income retirement savings may provide during retirement. The annual savings, expected rate of return and current age all have an impact on the monthly retirement income. The report gives a year-by-year breakdown of retirement savings.
  • CD/Savings calculator (Bankrate): How much do you need in order to retire?
  • Retirement Estimator (Office of Social Security): Gives estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
  • Social Security Benefit calculator (Bankrate): Estimate how much you might receive in Social Security.


  • Ballpark E$timate (Choose to Save): An easy-to-use, interactive tool that hels you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. The Ballpark E$timate takes complicated issues like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand.
  • Retirement Toolkit (U.S. Department of Labor): The toolkit includes a list of publications and interactive tools to help in your planning, plus information on how to contact us with your specific questions.
  • Financial Planning for Retirement Workbook (Purdue University): See how your retirement picture might look by following the steps in this workbook, filling in the worksheets, and doing the calculations.
  • Guidebook to Help Late Savers Prepare for Retirement (NEFE): This guidebook is for people who know they should have saved more when they were younger…but didn’t. The guidebook includes strategies and worksheets for those individuals needing to catch up.
  • Wealth Care Kit: Retirement Planning (NEFE): This short tool help you work through the initial steps of planning for retirement.
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