Retirement Calculator

Ah, the golden years. House by the beach. Golf every day. Lots of time with family. Retirement dreams are fun to think about—and save for. Want an idea of how much your investments could be worth when it’s time to retire? Put your numbers in our retirement calculator and see.

Enter Your Information

If you were born in 1960 or later, 67 years old is the age at which you can retire with full benefits.


This should be the total of all your investment accounts including 401(k)s, IRAs, mutual funds, etc.


This is the amount you invest each month. We recommend investing 15% of your paycheck.


This is the return your investment will generate over time. Historically, the 30-year return of the S&P 500 has been roughly 10-12%.1

Your Results


In 0 years, your investment could be worth:


Want to make a plan to meet your retirement goals?
Are you saving enough to retire the way you want?
Scared to invest or feeling behind?
  • Initial Balance

    $ 0

    0% of Total

  • Contributions

    $ 0

    0% of Total

  • Growth

    $ 0

    0% of Total

What if I...

  • Saved an extra $100 per month.

    Adds $100 a month in contributions, but creates


    in additional growth

  • Gave up daily coffee purchases.

    Adds $128 a month in contributions, but creates


    in additional growth

  • Gave up weekly restaurant visits.

    Adds $200 a month in contributions, but creates


    in additional growth

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Ramsey SmartVestor

Plan for Retirement With a SmartVestor Pro

You’ve got the numbers. Now it’s time to connect with a SmartVestor Pro. These pros teach and guide but won’t intimidate—so you can feel confident about investing for retirement, no matter what’s going on in the market. You got this!

Ramsey Solutions is a paid, non-client promoter of SmartVestor Pros. 
Read our disclosure.

Ramsey SmartVestor

Plan for Retirement With a SmartVestor Pro

You’ve got the numbers. Now it’s time to connect with a SmartVestor Pro. These pros teach and guide but won’t intimidate—so you can feel confident about investing for retirement, no matter what’s going on in the market. You got this!

Ramsey Solutions is a paid, non-client promoter of SmartVestor Pros. 
Read our disclosure.


A SmartVestor Pro Can Help You:

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Make an investing plan with your retirement goals and the big picture in mind.

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Get clear on your options and ways to diversify your investments.

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Manage your investments and guide you in ways to help protect your nest egg.

Investing and Retirement Terms

Investing and retirement terminology can be, well, confusing. And since we like to say, “Never invest in something you don’t understand,” here are some common terms and what they mean.


These are employer-sponsored, tax-advantaged plans for retirement savings. You fund these accounts by having money automatically pulled out of your paycheck. Then that money is invested so it can grow into a retirement nest egg.

The main difference between a 401(k) and a 403(b) is that 401(k) plans are offered by for-profit companies and 403(b) plans are offered by government and nonprofit organizations. Two of the most common types of 401(k) and 403(b) plans are traditional and Roth.

With a traditional, you invest pretax dollars (and that lowers your taxable income now). When you take money out in retirement, you pay taxes then—on the amount you and your employer contributed as well as the growth.

With a Roth, you invest after-tax dollars (that means you pay taxes on that money now). When you take money out in retirement, you don’t pay taxes on your withdrawals or the growth—but you are responsible for taxes on the amount your employer contributed.

This is how money in your retirement portfolio is divided between different types of assets, like stocks, bonds and cash. For example, stocks or mutual funds might make up 85% of your portfolio while you also have 15% in cash investments, like a money market account. That means your asset allocation is 85% stocks and 15% cash.

Compound interest is the interest you earn on interest—that’s the simple (and probably not very helpful) definition. So let’s look at an example. Let’s say you invest $100 and it earns 5% each year. At the end of the first year, you’ve got $105. The next year, your whole $105 earns interest—not just your original $100. See what happened? You started earning interest on the interest you earned. Amazing! Over time, that compounding interest really adds up.

Contribution limits are the maximum amount of money you can invest into accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, in a year. Limits can be based on age, marriage status and annual earnings.

An IRA is an account that allows you to invest a certain amount each year for retirement. Two of the most popular IRAs available are traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Each plan has its own tax advantages, so learn which is best for your hard-earned money before you invest.

This is the percentage rate that consumer prices—things like milk, eggs, gas and more—are expected to rise by in the future. For investing, the goal should be for your long-term investment performance to outpace inflation. Inflation typically hovers around 3% a year, which may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re planning to live 20 or 30 years in retirement, it can take a huge bite out of your nest egg.


An HSA is like a savings account you can use to pay for qualified medical expenses—but with a few awesome perks. You can contribute tax-free money to an HSA, invest and grow your money tax-free inside your HSA, and spend tax-free from your HSA (on qualified medical expenses). It’s a tax-free triple play!

There is a catch though: To use an HSA, you have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Once you open an HSA, you can contribute right out of your paycheck through pretax deductions, or you can add after-tax money on your own and claim it as a tax deduction.

This is your money, or other assets, that have been invested or saved with a specific goal in mind—like retirement.

When you invest your money, you’re opening yourself up to the risk of losing some of it as the stock market fluctuates. Before you invest, it’s important to understand what you’re investing in and how much risk you’re comfortable with. You can also spread your money out into different types of investments (this is known as diversification) to help reduce risk while still allowing your money to grow.

These are investments you can cash out in a time frame that’s not strictly tied to your retirement planning. Common examples include money market accounts, high-yield savings accounts and government bonds. Short-term investments usually offer lower rates of return but let you quickly withdraw money.

This is any type of investment, financial account or savings plan that gets some sort of tax break. It could be tax-exempt (you won’t pay taxes on), tax-deferred (you’ll pay taxes when you make withdrawals), or tax-advantaged in some other way. These are things like IRAs and 401(k) plans.

The TSP is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the military. It includes the same tax benefits as a 401(k), and many employers offer matching contributions.

Different Types of Investments

There are a lot of different investment choices out there. Trying to learn about all of them could get overwhelming, so here’s a list of the most common and how they work.

When you buy a bond, you’re actually loaning a corporation or government agency money. They promise to pay you back with interest. Since they’re often backed by governments and guarantee a steady return, bonds have a reputation of being a “safe” investment and attract a lot of investors. 

But we don’t recommend betting your retirement on bonds because their returns—which barely outpace inflation—just aren’t impressive, especially when compared to mutual funds.

A CD is a special kind of savings account that comes with a fixed interest rate. Basically, it’s like giving a bank or credit union a loan from your own pocket. In exchange for lending them a lump sum of your money for a fixed amount of time, they agree to pay you interest until the CD “matures” (that’s the term banks use for when a CD reaches its end date). 

But historically, their returns don’t keep up with inflation (the mysterious force that makes things more expensive over time). So, they’re not exactly a winning strategy for long-term investing.

Commodities are raw materials like gas, oil, beef, gold and grains. Commodities trading is when you buy and sell these things, and there are many ways to do that. The basic principles of supply and demand typically drive the commodities markets, but factors like weather or political turmoil can play a role in prices.

ETPs are a common method for buying and selling commodities. An investing pro can help you weigh the pros and cons—but we don’t recommend ETPs since we think the potential rewards don’t balance out the risk. 

ETFs are funds that are traded on a stock market exchange. They generally mirror a market index, like the Dow Jones industrial average or the S&P 500, by investing in most or all of the company stocks included on that index. So, they’re a lot like mutual funds, except they can be traded like stocks.

ETFs that average a 10–12% annual return can be good to include in a taxable brokerage account as part of a long-term investing strategy (once you’ve maxed out retirement accounts like your 401(k) or Roth IRA).


Mutual funds are professionally managed investment portfolios that allow investors to pool their money together to invest in something. There are many different types out there that you can talk with an investing pro about. We generally recommend investing evenly across four different types of growth stock mutual funds: growth and income, growth, aggressive growth and international funds.

Inside a typical growth stock mutual fund are stocks from dozens, sometimes hundreds, of different companies, so you’re basically buying bits and pieces of all those companies. Some of those company stocks go up while others go down, but the idea is that the overall value of the fund should go up and beat inflation over time.


Real estate investing comes in different shapes and sizes. You can purchase properties and rent them out. Or you can flip houses. The idea with any of these investment opportunities is to (hopefully) make a profit.

Your real estate investing funds should be separate from your retirement savings—that’s why we don’t include real estate as part of the investment calculator.

Stocks represent shares (or tiny pieces) of a company. When a company goes public, they sell these small shares to people to fund growth. Picture a big ol’ sheet cake that someone cuts up into lots of small squares. If you purchase one of those squares, you own that slice. When you buy stocks, you become a part owner of the company. Although we don’t recommend single stocks, we do recommend that you invest in growth stock mutual funds, which contain stocks of dozens (even hundreds) of different companies.

Common Questions (and Answers)

A retirement calculator is a tool that lets you see how investing different amounts of money across different time frames will affect your future nest egg. 

And you don’t have to figure all of this out on your own. Our SmartVestor program can set you up with an investment pro who’ll guide you through the investing process and help you understand what you’re investing in.

Some folks will need $10 million to have the kind of retirement lifestyle they’ve always dreamed about. Others can comfortably live out their golden years with a $1 million nest egg. There’s no right or wrong answer here—it all depends on how you want to live in retirement!

Got your vision? Get an idea of how much you’d need to make it a reality.

Not quite sure what you want retirement to look like? Take some time to sit down with your spouse (or good friend) and really think about it. When you can see your retirement dreams in high definition, you’ll be more focused and ready to do what it takes.

We recommend that you invest 15% of your income into tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts. Not sure where to begin? It depends on the choices available to you and your eligibility. If you have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), you can start there. And the way we look at it, a company match beats Roth beats traditional.

Let’s break it down.

  • Match: We will always take free money. Who wouldn’t? So, if your employer offers a match with their retirement plan, invest enough to get it all. You can think of it as a 100% return on investment—if your match is fully vested. Fully vested simply means 100% of your employer’s contribution belongs to you, and whether you’re fully vested right away or over time varies by employer.
  • Roth: Second, do all the Roth you can through employer-sponsored or individual accounts. A Roth lets you make contributions with after-tax money, and then you have tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals in retirement. And the majority of your Roth 401(k) or Roth IRA balance is likely to be growth at retirement age.
  • Traditional: If you don’t have a Roth 401(k), invest up to the match in your traditional 401(k). Then, if you qualify to contribute to a Roth IRA, max that out. If you’re still not saving 15% of your income with those options, then go back to your traditional 401(k) and invest the rest there if you can.

That’s great! Next, you can think about putting your retirement savings into high gear and consider other investing options.

  • Max out your 401(k) and tax-favored investment options. When you have extra money to invest, the first step is to max out your 401(k) and/or Roth IRA.
  • Open a taxable investment account. You can put as much money as you want into a taxable investment account (or brokerage account) and take money out whenever you want, but you’ll have to pay taxes on any money your account earns.
  • Invest in real estate. Buying a rental property can be a great way to earn passive income, but there are some very important guidelines we recommend you follow—like staying local and having an emergency fund set aside just for your rentals. But the most important one is this: We want you to pay cash for your real estate investments—no exceptions. Don’t put yourself at financial risk by financing a rental property. It’s a bad idea. And like we mentioned before, your real estate investing funds should be separate from your retirement savings—that’s why we don’t include real estate as part of the investment calculator.
  • Take advantage of your HSA. With an HSA, you can save—and even invest—money to pay for deductibles and other medical expenses tax-free. To make contributions to one, you have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. And once you turn 65, your HSA acts like a traditional IRA—which means you can take out money for anything you’d like, not just medical expenses. But if you use money for non-medical expenses, you do pay taxes on it— like you would with a traditional IRA.

If you’re behind, you might feel like you’re never going to catch up on your retirement goals. But don’t let this market or your imminent birthdays keep you from taking the next step. It’s never too late to invest for your retirement. Even if you’re just starting out, you could still give yourself a substantial nest egg by the time you retire.

Here are a few ways you could save extra cash to invest in your retirement:

  1. Look for savings in your monthly budget. Cancel some subscription services, eat at home more, and look for better deals on car insurance.
  2. Find ways to increase your income. Get a side hustle, rent out a room in your home, or sell stuff lying around the house collecting dust.
  3. Turn your home into a wealth-building tool. Pay off your mortgage. Then you’ll have more room in your budget to put toward investing.
  4. Push back retirement. A few more years of working and building compound interest on your investments can help get you where you want to be if you feel really behind.

These FAQs provide general guidelines about investing topics. Your situation may be unique. If you have questions, connect with a SmartVestor Pro.

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