When planning your retirement, you first need to set your targets, and then to plan your savings and investments accordingly.
This article suggest two Excel spreadsheets that would assist you in both tasks.
Disclaimer: The suggested tools didn't pass examination by personal finance experts. It would be worthwhile to show results to a retirement specialist, for these reasons:
- You may not properly estimate your retirement needs
- Your current saving and investment strategies may need tuning
- Your calculation may simply get wrong, and expert in the field would notice this.
There are at least these targets to consider:
- Life planning
- Q-1 When to retire?
- Q-2 How long me and my spouse planning to live upon retirement?
- Q-3 What income do we need?
- Q-4 What will we leave as inheritance?
In recent article - Budget Planning Tool - I suggested a budget planning tool that, besides immediate purpose of budget planning, tracking, and cash flow forecast, also helps with question Q-3 - What retirement income do we need? - by allowing long-term expense forecast.
Retirement Planning using Life Planner Excel
After considering your targets, you may use this free Life Planner Excel to plan the retirement and to balance your plan versus the retirement targets. Feel free to customize this Excel for your needs.
Life Planner Excel allows to enter your retirement targets and savings plan, and to receive retirement income forecast.
All fields with yellow background represent your retirement targets and savings details, and should be set-up with relevant values.
Fields with green background should be reviewed and optionally set-up, since they represent your local regulations or expected interest rates which you may need to adjust.
You need to set $I3 cell to the previous year (currently, set to 2008).
The spreadsheet is suitable to double currency calculations (for countries which use both foreign currency, like US$, and local currency). If you just use one currency, set $ to Local values (row 8) to 1.
Section 0 - General Details
Adjust inflation rates and income tax forecast according to your country.
Tax for net calculation is used to estimate net worth of your pension funds, and represents generic withdrawal penalty. You may adjust it separately for each saving.
Section 1 - Assets
This section contains planning templates for the following asset types:
- Simple saving programs
- A couple of complex saving programs (called Educational Fund and Managerial Insurance) that you may use as examples for further customization
- Pension funds
- Real estate (your home, rental estate) - covers both asset and liability aspects
This article cannot go into details - I plan to explain more in subsequent articles. I believe that many of you will be able to proceed independently.
You absolutely need to tune this section to your assets. If you have multiple assets belonging to one scheme - don't hesitate to duplicate the related template.
Section 2 - Liabilities
Covers your debts and their repayment plan.
Currently, contains one template for simple debt repayment scheme - should be enough for most cases.
Section 3 - Net Value
This section summarizes your total net value (excluding your personal belongings) and its evolution with time according to your life plan.
Net value should stay positive by end of your plan, and should correspond to what you intend to leave as inheritance (see question Q-4).
Section 4 - Monthly Income
This section represents your retirement income plan, year by year.
This is the cornerstone of the retirement planning, and you definitely need to come to terms with this plan.
I believe that we need to start retirement planning as soon as our careers mature. Hope that this article will move you to start this process.
There are many retirement planning resources on the Web, here several ones to start with:
How much do you need to save for retirement?(by getrichslowly)
Retirement Planning - Introduction (by Forbes)
360 degrees of financial literacy (by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
For Golden Rules Organizer users, attached zipped listings.