How to Use a Retirement Worksheet

A retirement worksheet works like a retirement calculator. It helps you plan for your retirement by determining a target amount of money and how much you need to save annually in order to meet your goal.

There are a lot of professionals who can help you with retirement planning. However, before even going to a professional retirement planner, you should have a picture of how much you will need to save for your retirement.
There are a lot of example worksheets you can find in the internet. They are easy to use and most come with instructions.

The first step when using one is to fill in blank boxes with the appropriate answers. If you are not familiar with the technical terms used in retirement planning, most retirement worksheets are equipped with a list of definitions of the terms used within.

An example can be found online at It can be used to determine the approximate retirement benefits that you would receive if you retire at the age of 62, the average retirement age. If you decide to retire at a later age the worksheet can make adjustments to give you an accurate picture of the benefits you would receive after working these extra years. This example is only applicable to those born after 1948.
While the above example focuses only on retirement benefits from social security, other retirement worksheets will have a broader scope and will tell you how much you need to save for your retirement each year. These kinds of retirement worksheets are usually divided into four major categories including your personal data, the cost of living you want during your retirement, your current assets and other income-generating sources. These are variables that will help you arrive at your retirement income.
The personal data usually includes asking you what your desired retirement age is and until how long you expect to live. It also considers your current salary and your years in service and that of your spouse if you are married. In terms of the cost of living, you will be asked the needs you expect to have during your retirement and it includes your basic needs as well as your travel expenses and the like. In the section on your assets, it usually revolves around your tax deferred investments, your Roth IRA contributions and the estimated inflation rates you will encounter during retirement. Other income includes those you expect to receive from your social security and pension plans.
The retirement worksheet will analyze your input and determine how much you will need to support the standard of living you desire. It will also display how much you will need to save if your current sources of retirement income fall short in providing for your needs, as well as how much you need to save for the present year in order to reach your goal. The data you input may vary each year as you encounter life changes. The results may only be representative of the present scenario so you have to go back to the worksheet and change some section if there are changes in your status.

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