A simple retirement calculator, such as a retirement savings spreadsheet or budget spreadsheet is useful for making projections and testing various scenarios as you plan for retirement.
You can save a spreadsheet on your computer and revisit it to tweak things as you think more about what your plans will be. Once you have the spreadsheet setup, your calculator will seem simple.
This makes them more useful than a website calculator where you have to start from scratch each time you return with new information.
Below you will find out how to get easy pre-formatted spreadsheet tools you can download and customize for your own simple calculator needs.
(Or click the worksheet image on the right to go to a download site where you can find a free personal budget spreadsheet. The one I tested works with Mac Numbers, too.)
Microsoft Excel is an extremely powerful tool used for all kinds of financial applications as well as budgeting and planning.
It's very simple to create many tools you need. You can create your own retirement budget, savings calculator, investment calculator or income calculator if you are Excel savvy, or you can find templates that are already nicely formatted and full of helpful formulas.
To find helpful pre-formatted spreadsheets, click on Help in Excel, then search for templates.
Here are examples of available templates.
Here is an example of a retirement savings spreadsheet.
Source: office.microsoft.com Copyright: Pagos, Inc, www.pagos.com
Source: Microsoft's website (office.microsoft.com)
One of the tools available for the Mac is the iTools package that is the Apple equivalent to Microsoft Office. The Mac application called Numbers is the spreadsheet equivalent to Excel.
When you open Numbers, you should see a Template Chooser screen.
From there, browse to the Personal Finance Category which should show you various charts and graphs for Budgets, Retirement Savings, and a Net Worth Calculator.
Here is the Template Chooser Menu:
Source: Apple's Numbers application for Mac
Here is an example of the budget template. This should be the starting point for any retirement planning activity.
Once you have your budget defined, you can copy and convert it to a retirement budget to help with estimating your savings goals.
Retirement savings calculator.
Calculator for determining net worth.
With a bit of exploration and experimentation, you should easily find a pre-formatted spreadsheet to turn into your personalized simple retirement calculator.
Good luck with finding the right set of template tools for your task.