What age can I retire?
Oak Harvest's Retirement Age Calculator answers the question, “At what age can I retire?”. The calculator easily answers the question and creates a detailed schedule with projected date based investments and charts.
Request a Consultation
Retirement Age Calculator
For the average American retirement is an ideal that is far off into the future. It’s something they look forward to, but not necessarily something they tend to focus on in the here and now.
This is true for most, whether they are young or even if they are several decades or more into their working career and not far off from collecting their gold watch.
Not surprisingly, often the main question asked no matter where they are in life is, “What age can I retire.” This is often followed by the question, “How long will my savings last in retirement.” For others it’s very specific, such as, “How many days until I retire.”
Perhaps the first question should be, “How am I going to make my ideal retirement happen?” The answer to that question is actually straightforward – start saving and do so now.
The Earlier the Better
No doubt you’ve often heard, and know, that the earlier you create a plan and start saving, the more likely it will be you can retire with confidence, enjoy your golden years and live without the fear of outliving your assets.
For the vast majority of people, that hasn’t been their reality. How to start saving early for retirement is something on their mind. But they end up focused on that which is right in front of them, ranging from concerns like kids, jobs, mortgage, car payments, and trying to live within their means and not going broke in the process.
So the majority of Americans move through their working years saving too little, with a significant number of people in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even beyond having amassed no savings for their retirement. The National Institute of Retirement Security reports that approximately 40 million U.S. households have no savings for retirement.
Unfortunately, saving nothing can lead to serious issues in the very years you are hoping to slow down and enjoy life, the grandkids, some travel, and trying some new things you weren’t able to do when you and your spouse we constantly busy and putting everything else first.
Financial stress in your golden years can rob you of both enjoyment and relaxation and bring on serious anxiety and health issues at a time when your mind and body are less able to deal with such stressors.
Conversely, it’s not wise to set yourself up for failure by trying to live too frugally and not enjoying the roses along the journey.
The key is to start saving some regularly, but not completely austerely (done too extreme is unsustainable) and in a manner where you have no enjoyment – it should be a balance.
Wherever you are right now in terms of age, savings, situation, you should start right away if you aren’t already, and plan on saving up to the day you retire, with a goal of doing so consistently – each month.
Equally important, don’t just start saving some arbitrary percentage or amount until you retire. Instead you should create a plan and gain perspective on how much you need to save.
As part of that planning, your plan should include everything, from you current savings, how you live currently (standard of living), job, age, health and/or related issues, goals and desires in retirement, what you hope to leave for family, organizations, and more.
Income and Expense Considerations
When it comes to the savings you will have accumulated by the time you retire, first off there is what you can realistically save from now till that day.
Then there are other considerations you should think about, ranging from alternative sources of income, such as Social Security benefits and earning money from part-time or side gig jobs. Even income you can earn after retiring, such as performing consulting work for your employer or others on a part-time basis or turning that hobby you’ve enjoyed for years into a real business.
In terms of Social Security, keep in mind you might be best served holding off until you reach the age of full retirement, which for many is 67. Doing so prior to that age will cost you a fair amount of your benefits.
Also, if possible, working longer is something to consider now as each year you continue is an opportunity to add to your savings and take full advantage of compound saving while avoiding drawing down your retirement fund.
There’s also the fact that some expenses will be less, such as those associated with raising kids, commuting costs, the home mortgage and car payments, etc.
That said, you can expect your healthcare costs to go up at a good clip, as it is one of the more burdensome areas for seniors in terms of where they must spend. There’s also the issue of long-term care, which many simply skip and hope they won’t need.
One other thing to consider is you’ll probably want to travel at least some (even if just infrequent short stays and doing so nearby) and you might want to try out new things so as to avoid sitting around the house all the time, so you might be looking at other types of expenses not previously incurred.
Use Available Tools
Figuring all of this out is no easy job and for most, not something they want to do…or feel equipped to do so.
Working with a financial advisor will make all of this that much easier. They can pull all of this together and work with you to customize a plan based on your situation and needs.
Yet many opt not to utilize an advisor for myriad reasons. Why? The cost of an advisor, large stacks of documents, and complex plans they must follow, to name a few.
Whatever your decision, you can do yourself a major favor by performing some easy tasks and research. First up, start by looking at your current bills, spending, other obligations, lifestyle, health, salary, goals, and dreams.
And you can utilize some of the great tools and information that are available in the market, as they can help you start to get a grip on your financial situation right away. In so doing, you will be that much more informed if and when you do see a financial advisor or retirement planner.
One of the best types of tools available is an assortment of retirement and savings calculators, as they can quickly and easily provide you will insightful and invaluable information.
Circling back to the big question of at what age will you be able to retire, the Oak Harvest Financial Group Retirement Age Calculator is a great tool to start with, as it can help provide a retirement date calculation.
With just a little information you can run an array of scenarios that can help you gain perspective on what you will need to save and for how long, which will tell you at what age you can realistically retire.
Start By Figuring Out How Much You’ll Need
To determine what you’ll need to live the retirement you want and can afford, you’ll first have to decide on the lifestyle you expect to maintain in your golden years.
If you seek to travel extensively you will certainly need more funds available in your retirement to be able to prudently do so.
Then there are the more regular things, such as how active you anticipate you can and/or want to be, movies, dinning out, going to attractions, spending on grandkids, contributing to causes or charities, etc. Even where you wish to live and whether you own your own home.
Comparing those things with your current costs is imperative, as this gives you context to work with. It’s important to be realistic and to consider where you can reduce costs versus those things you can’t skimp on, such as eating healthily, obtaining the medicine you need to maintain health, spending some on even simple, modest pleasures (park passes, zoo, hitting the beach, etc.), and more, as well the important fact that prices will continue to rise as you go through retirement.
In addition, you need to have some foundational information to work from, so you’ll also need to be brutally honest regarding these key issues:
- What do you currently have saved, even if that figure is zero?
- An approximation of how long you plan or can realistically work (if in bad health your might have to retire earlier than expected, but if you are mid-50s, you might have up to 15 years or longer before you wish to retire
- What do you bring home each year currently?
- Are you able to cover your bills with that amount?
All those things are critical in terms of starting to identify what you might need in retirement to maintain whatever standard of living you are thinking, and in turn what it will take to get there, and ultimately what age you can retire at to make it happen.
Obviously, the younger you are and the more you have saved, the easier it will be to reach your retirement goals and the earlier you’ll be able to retire.
On the flip side, the older you are and the less you have saved, it may be much tougher, or even impossible to have enough for everything you want in your retirement.
Wherever you fall in that spectrum, you need to gain insight now in order to set realistic expectations.
You are single and live modestly on a salary of $52,000. You’ve saved $10k and have $8,500 in your employer’s 401(k), which Is matched dollar-for-dollar, up to 6% of your salary.
This year you decide you want to start contributing 6% to your 401(k) to take full advantage of your employer’s match. This equates to $3,120, which combined with the employer match of the same would be $6,240 in annual contributions. Divided monthly this equals $520. Further assume you will contribute the same amount until you retire and that your average annual return is 5%.
If you assume you will need approximately $3,600 net each month to maintain your current standard of living as a starting point and that when you reach age 67 your will start to take social security (say $1,800 monthly), not including other variables (taxes, healthcare and LTC costs, unexpected events and expenses, inflation, etc), you need at least approximately $1,800 per month in savings beyond your social security benefits. This equates to $648,000 ($21,600 per year over 30 years) if you live to age 97.
Given those variables, in order to save that amount you’d need to work till age 74. If you were able to increase your monthly contribution amount to just $1,000 using the same variables, you could retire at age 65.
You’re married and both the same age, have a combined salary of $130,000, have savings in IRAs of $145,000, plan to contribute $6,000 each annually until you retire, and expect to earn 4.5% on your investments.
Aside from social security benefits, you’ve decided you want to retire when you have $800,000 saved. With the same variables and limitations as the previous scenario (not including taxes, healthcare and LTC costs, unexpected events and expenses, inflation, etc), you could retire when you both turn 71.
If you were able to increase your monthly contribution amount to $2,000 (qualified and non-qualified), using the same variables, you could retire at age 65.
You’re divorced and have an annual salary of $95,000. You have little saved for retirement – approximately $15,000. You are now very worried about how you will survive in retirement and whether you will ever be able to retire, so you decide to invest $1,500 per month and expect to average 5.5% in returns on your retirement savings.
Aside from social security benefits, you’ve set a goal of saving $300,000 before retiring. To do so you will have to work till age 71. An increase of monthly savings of $500 (total $2,000 per month) could help you retire at age 69.
You should use the retirement age calculator to run many different scenarios based on where you are now and the information you have at hand, such as how much you think you can realistically contribute now, as well as in the future. Doing so gives you a good starting point. It also informs you as to how even modest increases in annual savings can make a big difference in your retirement.
That said, as previously mentioned, the scenarios listed don’t take into account your tax situation, as well as your health and life expectancy, other money you might have or will receive, issues that might arise in retirement, etc.
Importantly, they don’t account for tools and products that can provide other sources of critical income, such as lifetime and even spousal income, trusts or tax strategies that could save you thousands to tens of thousands over your retirement, and more.
The last point that should be clear is the fact that there are all kinds of moving parts when it comes to planning for retirement, ranging from the age you plan to retire, what you will need, taxes, costs you need to consider (e.g., increased healthcare costs), planning a monthly/annual budget in retirement, which retirement accounts to pull from first, tools or products that are available (example – Fixed Index Annuity with lifetime income benefit), as well as tax strategies that can make a huge difference, and much more.
Bottom line, you should seriously consider consulting and possibly working with a retirement planner or financial advisor, as they can guide you when it comes to addressing all the various considerations, and do so in a manner that will help you maximize your eventual retirement.
THE RETIREMENT INCOME SHOW
Listen to our radio show hosted by Troy Sharpe at 12 p.m. every Sunday on 740 AM Newsradio 740KTRH.
YOUTUBE RETIREMENT CHANNEL
Concerned about how market activity could affect your retirement? Get the latest market updates on our youtube channel.