Calculate your retirement income needs

Hello-

While you can calculate your retirement on your own, the best way to obtain an accurate forecast is to seek the services of a financial planner.

A financial planner can be objective about your finances.  He or she can advise you as to the approximate amount of your pension based on the contributions you have made over the years.

Moreover, they will probably advise you to begin contributing the maximum amount of pension contributions the closer you get to retirement age.  This is significant because it can boost your pension earnings more than you know.

In order to receive the best advice, you have to do a little calculating of your own.  The planner may ask when you plan to retire, whether you plan to move to another state, travel, pursue higher education, and what type of lifestyle you hope to maintain.

You also have to take into account your healthcare expenses.  For example, a city worker may have a healthcare plan such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield and GHI (Group Health Incorporated).  This type of insurance is worth approximately $12,000 a year and is a necessary component that can alleviate expenses resulting from ill health.

If you would like to calculate how much you will need for retirement, there are many online calculators you can use.  One is located at: How much you need to retire calculator

You simply enter your current annual income, 70% post-retirement income, expected annual pension, expected annual Social Security payment, current age, age at which you will retire, and life expectancy.  Note these are approximate figures.  The figure of 70% is the amount of your income that one would need to retire comfortably.

Once the calculations are made, you can then proceed to increase your pension contribution, if applicable, and/or begin a savings program outlined by your financial planner that will yield a high rate of interest and allow you to retire knowing there will always be money available to you.

If you are years away from retirement, calculating your pension income now will give you a clear and concise measure of what to expect.  Here is an example of an individual who did not plan well for retirement.  A man retired at age 57.  He contributed less than 10% to his pension and the result is that he now receives under $1000 a month.  Although he did consult a financial planner, the pressure of the job was such that he had to retire early for health reasons.  He is currently working full-time in another position.

Thanks,

Adam