401k Retirement Planning Calculator

This calculator helps you to determine what sort of lifestyle you can expect to have during retirement, by showing you your 401(k) account balance both before and during retirement. The goal is to let you experiment with different savings amounts so that you can see what effect they will have on you during your years in retirement.
Salary – Enter your current annual salary or annual wages here. If you are married enter the sum of both of your salaries.
Contribution Percentage – Enter a percentage between 1% and 15% that represents the percentage of your income that you wish to withold into your 401(k) account. The witholding may not exceed 15%. Also, a person cannot contribute more than $9,500 to a 401(k) account in any year, so adjust this percentage to make sure that the total annual witholding does not exceed $9,500. If you are married, you can both save up to $9,500 for a potential total of $19,000.
Match Percentage – If your company matches your contributions, enter the matching percentage it uses (for example, if your company matches 3% of your salary, enter 3 here). If your company does not match, enter zero.
Pre-retirement Interest Rate – Enter the interest rate you expect to earn on your 401(k) account prior to retirement. To give you two ideas, current CD rates run between 5% and 6%, while the stock market has returned an average of 10% or so for many years. For 6%, enter 6 in the entry field. Typically you would invest more agressively prior to retirement and then move the money to less-risky investments after retiring.
Post-retirement Interest Rate – Enter the interest rate you expect to earn once you retire. See the previous field for an explanation. You might enter 10 in the previous field and 6 here, for example.
Inflation Rate – Enter the expected inflation rate during the coming years. 4% is a good average number for the past ten years and would work well here. If you are more pessimistic, choose a higher number.
Salary Increase Rate – Presumably your salary will rise over the years. It should, at a minimum, rise with the inflation rate in the form of cost-of-living increases. It may rise faster than that depending on the job you hold. Enter the rate at which you expect your salary or wages to increase. If you are unsure, enter the inflation rate from the previous field here.
Current 401(k) Value – Enter the current value of any 401(k) accounts you have now.
Current Age – Enter your current age.
Expected Retirement Age – Enter the age at which you plan to retire. 65 is normal, but you might want to consider early retirement options.
Desired Retirement Income – Enter the amount of money you would like to have to spend each year during retirement, in today’s dollars. For example, if you look at yourself and say, “If I were to retire today, I would feel comfortable if I had $30,000 per year to spend” then enter $30,000 here. Remember that you will have to pay taxes on that amount just like you do today, so take that fact into account. A good ballpark figure recommended by many financial experts is 80% of what you currently make per year. Therefore if your salary is $30,000 now and you feel comfortable with that amount, you could enter $30,000 * 80% = $24,000 in this field.
Click the calculate button to see your retirement outlook
401(k) Contribution – This field shows how much money you are contributing to your 401(k) account per year given the contribution percentage you entered above. If this value exceeds $9,500, adjust the percentage you entered.
Matching Contribution – This field shows how much money your employer is contributing to your 401(k) account based on the matching percentage you entered above.
401(k) Account Value at Retirement – This will be the total value of your 401(k) account when you retire.
Year Value
1 year value – This is the total value of your 401(k) account at the end of your first year in retirement.
2 year value – This is the total value of your 401(k) account after two years in retirement.
3 year value – And so on…
4 year value
5 year value
10 year value
15 year value
20 year value
30 year value
40 year value

If you look at this table and see the retirement account value going negative at some point, it means you either need to:

  • Increase the contribution to your 401(k) account
  • Plan to work longer before retiring
  • Scale back your desired retirement income