Any regular listener of Dave Ramsey already knows what this is. For the rest of the world, it’s an intuitive and highly customizable retirement calculator – 100% free and user-friendly. And you can find it at ChrisHogan360.com.
It walks you through your retirement dream from leisure to travel. Then it asks what I think is the hardest question in the entire questionnaire: how much I think I need a month to live out my retirement vision. I have no concept of inflation, but I don’t need to worry about that! They do it for you, so, I just picked my take home pay for my first estimation. A lot of financial advisers recommend you pick a number that’s around 85% of your current take home pay. I like staying with a higher number because my take home pay is a lot lower than the national average.
Next, you’re asked when you want to retire. I picked 35 years just to pick something. Then we’re asked for our current retirement savings amount, and after this, your R:IQ number pops up along with the amount of money you need to save each month to reach your number by your target date. They start with a set of assumptions that you can edit by clicking on the little pencil in the top left corner.
Here you can adjust up or down for inflation, and adjust your withdrawal and interest rates. You can also edit your monthly target income, savings amount, and retirement age here. Social security is not a factor whatsoever. So whatever anyone may or may not get will be a bonus.
I have to say, this experience took a lot of stress off of me. Before I used the tool, I thought I had to actually save 15% of my income if I was ever going to be able to retire. Now I see that I don’t. Lol! I understand that the generally recommended 15% would be ideal and an almost guaranteed zero stress path to retirement. But until I get to the point where that isn’t stressful, it’s immensely comforting to know that if I keep up even my current savings rate, I’ll still have some kind of, albeit modest, nest egg for my elder years. And something is surely better than nothing at all!
Final Thoughts: This is definitely worth checking out, and it’s whole lot of fun to play around with. Editing my goals and adjusting the target date and other factors up and down to see how the numbers change is very informative. It was also fun to put my father in there, who is close to retirement age, to see how he was doing! If you’re super far off, you’ll know what your monthly amount needs to be to get you on track. And if you are on track or ahead of schedule, then you’ll know this as well. Getting access to the tool signs you up for a retirement newsletter from the website, which you can, of course, unsubscribe from at anytime. However, it’s super short and interesting, and the team only sends it out once a month, so I’m keeping myself signed up for now.