Is there a simple retirement planning formula? I mean, how difficult could it really be?
Well, first you would need to make a list of all of the possible variables:
Your age, your gender. Do you have a spouse? What age do you wish to retire? What’s your current annual salary? Do you have any other annual investment income? How is it invested? At what rate would you expect your salary to grow in the future? What would be the expected inflation rate over time?
What’s your current retirement plan savings balance? What is your current retirement contribution rate? Do you have a match program? How much is it? Do you have other previous retirement savings balances from past jobs? Do you have other taxable retirement savings? Is your current plan a traditional plan or a Roth plan or is it a combination; and if so, what percentages are they of your total account balances?
What’s your estimated retirement expenses? What amount are you expected to receive in Social Security benefits. What age are you planning on taking your benefit? Do you have a pension? Do you have other retirement income benefits like an annuity?
What’s your tax filing status, your state of residency, your local income tax rate?
What’s your current retirement plan allocation? What’s your expected rates of return on your assets? What’s your planning time-horizon and what’s your expected life expectancy. How your health? Are there any other expected financial events to be added into your equation like college planning or wedding costs for your kids?
So, is there a simple retirement planning formula? You tell me.