With the stock market galloping away like a Triple Crown winner and our 401(k) and assorted IRA rollovers and Roths looking as if they’re on anabolic steroids, we confess that we cannot — cannot — stop punching away at online retirement savings calculators.
Although we’re not so naïve as to think we’ll be winning at the races forever, what if … we really could be wealthier, if not quite beyond our wildest dreams of avarice.
To give all this fun stuff a try and to get motivated with your own financial plan, Bankrate.com has a detailed 401(k) savings calculator that requires you to plug in figures like your age, salary, the payroll contribution coming from you and your employer, and your estimated age at retirement. You estimate an annual rate of return and the calculator gratifies you with the big number.
But the little machine at MSN Money is actually more fun because it runs the numbers based on a conservative return of 5 percent, a moderate return of 8 percent and an aggressive return of 11 percent, all before taxes. This lets you see how the dollars will look if the dice really roll your way.
Still want to play with your fantasy money?
Moneychimp has a Simple Retirement Calculator that spews out your annual income in retirement based on the estimated growth in your current holdings. The site’s Risky Retirement Calculator runs stock market data from as far back as 1871 to determine if your money will last as long as you will. Cheeky Chimp.
BetterInvesting is a national nonprofit organization that has been empowering individual investors since 1951. Founded in Detroit, the association (formerly known as National Association of Investors Corporation) was born out of the conviction that anyone can become a successful long-term investor by following commonsense investing practices. BetterInvesting has helped more than 5 million people become better, more informed investors by providing webinars, in-person events, easy-to-use online tools for analyzing stocks and mutual funds, a monthly magazine and a community of volunteers and like-minded investors. For more information about BetterInvesting, visit its website at http://www.betterinvesting.org/investing/landing/openhouse/blog/index.html or call toll free (877) 275-6242.