There are so many different retirement savings calculators online. Search the phrase on Google and you’re likely to overload its servers with the possibilities.
True, it’s not trending like one of the Kardashian sisters, but we’re talking about retirement savings calculators, not a lead story on Entertainment Tonight. Regardless, the results are in the millions.
It Adds Up
The real purpose of these online computational tools is to give you a quick and easy grade of your efforts to save for retirement, and perhaps send a little wake-up call on how much money you’ve dithered away for lunch at the gourmet sandwich shop across the street.
Did you ever look outside your office window at two in the afternoon and notice the shop owner stepping into a new Mercedes to go home for the day? You helped pay for that. To be fair, they were probably open for breakfast too. Apple smoked bacon, egg and cheese on croissant anyone?
Sure, the occasional purchase of some cleverly named $8 baguette filled with a slice or two of meat, cheese, and organic sprouts is fine, but on a daily basis it becomes a real money pit. And let’s not forget the $1.50 bottle of water and that oversized cookie in the oily paper envelope.
Not all Calculators are Created Equal
Anyway, these retirement savings calculators are only as informative as the scenarios that have been pre-coded into them, and the level of detail that the user is required to provide.
One retirement savings calculator may have a certain set of factors to determine what a comfortable retirement is, while another may be quite different.
After all, the dream of living out your retirement years in small-town North Carolina may not require filling up your Thrift Savings Plan to the brim.
However, many people dream of a retirement filled with sun, fun, and lots of travel. Even living in a modern condo community is not cheap, particularly if you want the pool cleaned regularly, rules for supervising your dog in the common areas enforced, and noise from visiting grandchildren kept to a minimum.
In addition, people are living a lot longer than they used to, and many people who had major health events decades ago are still getting around. Sure, they may be hanging on with artificial valves and pacemakers, but if they’re still breathing, then there are bills to pay.
Double Check Your Totals
So whatever result you get from the online retirement savings calculator you find yourself playing with, remember there is a lot about you that may not have been factored in.
By relying on its use alone, you may get a false sense of confidence, or just the opposite—a feeling of unnecessary worry when a financial planner could have told you that you are in a good place with your TSP, and just a tweak here or there is needed.
Either way, a retirement report card from an experienced professional is always recommended.
For over 30 years, federal employee retirement planning has been a key focus of Medallion Financial Group. We recognize that FERS retirement benefits have extra layers of complexity, such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), 401K, Pension plan, FEGLI and more. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of bad advice when so few people understand the basics. We help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education and advice they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client’s expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.