Do I have enough to retire? How long will my savings last?
To determine how long your savings will last, you can simply take the total amount of all your savings and divide it by your monthly spending. However, this is a very simplified model that does not take into account inflation or any interest earned or other investment gains.
Investing your money can help you protect yourself against inflation. Furthermore, it can dramatically increase the longevity of your savings since your current savings will be growing. To illustrate this concept, let’s use a simple example:
- You have $100,000 saved up, invested at 10%, and you spend $10,000 per year.
- If you withdrew your $10,000 of spending money at the beginning of the year, you would have $90,000 left.
- At a 10% return, your $90,000 would grow into $99,000, so your portfolio only went down by $1,000!
So even though $100,000 divided by $10,000 would suggest your savings would last 10 years, the $100,000 in the above example would actually last over 25 years!
- Amount Saved – The total amount of your savings and investments.
- Investment Rate of Return – The expected return you will earn on your savings and investments. This is across the board, so if half of your money is earning 10%, and the other half is earning 4%, you would use 7% for this calculation.
- Expected Inflation Rate – This is the inflation you expect to see every year, on average, while you are withdrawing from your savings. From 1971 until time of writing, the US has seen an average annual inflation of 3.89%. The Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate is 2%.
- Desired Annual Withdrawal – The amount of money you will withdraw every year. You can estimate this as twelve times your monthly spending.
- “Your savings will last…” – The output will tell you how long, in years and months, that your savings will last.