I've been looking for a good retirement/FI calculator to use for calculating my goal savings rate to retire by a certain age. However, it seems like none of the ones out there include a mechanism for incorporating continued payments or expenses such as student loans, mortgage, or college funds for kids. Have you guys come across any calculators out there that have been helpful to you?
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I've made a couple excel based calculators that may be useful, and perhaps you've already seen them. The Savings Rate Calculator is based on my 4 Physicians posts, and the $10 Million Dream calculator will tell you how many years it will take to reach a variety of savings goals at various rates of return.
The easiest way to account for those "extras" is to add your debts on top of the pile of money you need to accumulate.
For example, if you want $100,000 a year, and are comfortable with a 4% withdrawal rate, you would need $2.5 million to be FI. If you have debts totaling $600,000 and expect to pay $400,000 in interest before those debts are paid off, plan on "accumulating" $3.5 million. If you want $200,000 in 529 plans, now you need $3.7 million. That will get you in the ballpark, which is the best any calculator can do.

Excel imo. Just plug and play.
=pmt(rate,nper,pv,fv) for how much you need to put away each year.
 rate = expected rate of gain (I like to assume 6%)
 nper = periods or years left until you retire
 pv = present value, what you've got in now
 fv = final value, what you want to have when the time comes; assuming a 4% safe withdrawal rate, just multiply whatever you want each year by 25
So if I want to retire with $200,000/year, have $100,000 in retirement savings now, will retire 30 years from now, and think I'll get 6% annually, I'd put:
=pmt(6%,30,100000,25*200000) = $55,980 per year you need to save.
Alternately, you can use the FV function to figure out how much you'll have if you save X amount.
=fv(rate,nper,pmt,pv), so assuming you're saving $53,000 a year and have nothing yet, =fv(6%,30,53000,0) = $4,190,084 so 4% withdrawal rate gives you $167,603 per year.
I had to edit this because Excel is weird about what has to be negative or positive because the functions are built for debts, hence the payment and value are usually inverse from one another...so the initial post might have been a bit misleading, sorry for that.
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I’ve been looking for a good retirement/FI calculator to use for calculating my goal savings rate to retire by a certain age. However, it seems like none of the ones out there include a mechanism for incorporating continued payments or expenses such as student loans, mortgage, or college funds for kids. Have you guys come across any calculators out there that have been helpful to you?
Click to expand...
Have you looked at flexible retirement planner? It is supposed to be the most powerful free retirement calculator. It has additional input for expenses like travel, college etc
http://www.flexibleretirementplanner.com/wp/
Did you try it?
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I havent seen a simple plug and play one that takes into account what you're talking about, because I've looked as well. What I've done is just use the simple ones and only run them for the term of whatever liability I'm considering then transfer that to my new starting number and increase contributions by the monthly payment, and do that until its done.
You could probably make one pretty easy in excel but that way is pretty simple as well.
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For the early retirement option, consider:
http://www.cfiresim.com/
or
http://firecalc.com/
They are free and use Monte Carlo analysis.
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None of these are really much different. It seems like there would be a market for a calculator that does more than just x spending y portfolio z years.
What the OP is saying I believe and that I have also not found (prolly because a pita) is a calculator that takes into account reality that certain spending declines and then goes into your savings rate.
5 years, goodbye student loans>more saving
10 years more liabilities gone, etc....more
15, 20, 30 etc...that allows a snowballing effect.
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None of these are really much different. It seems like there would be a market for a calculator that does more than just x spending y portfolio z years.
What the OP is saying I believe and that I have also not found (prolly because a pita) is a calculator that takes into account reality that certain spending declines and then goes into your savings rate.
5 years, goodbye student loans—>more saving
10 years more liabilities gone, etc….more
15, 20, 30 etc…that allows a snowballing effect.
Click to expand...
This is more or less what I'm trying to find, yes! Not just for trying to find changes in spending, how to throw in certain known future "curveballs" into your savings/spending plan (e.g. I don't have kids so I'm not putting money aside for college funds yet, but how can I factor that in several years from now?)
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None of these are really much different. It seems like there would be a market for a calculator that does more than just x spending y portfolio z years.
What the OP is saying I believe and that I have also not found (prolly because a pita) is a calculator that takes into account reality that certain spending declines and then goes into your savings rate.
5 years, goodbye student loans—>more saving
10 years more liabilities gone, etc….more
15, 20, 30 etc…that allows a snowballing effect.
Click to expand...
So if im understanding it correctly, a calculator that takes into account declining debt/spending? These others don't do that?
Comment

None of these are really much different. It seems like there would be a market for a calculator that does more than just x spending y portfolio z years.
What the OP is saying I believe and that I have also not found (prolly because a pita) is a calculator that takes into account reality that certain spending declines and then goes into your savings rate.
5 years, goodbye student loans—>more saving
10 years more liabilities gone, etc….more
15, 20, 30 etc…that allows a snowballing effect.
Click to expand…
So if im understanding it correctly, a calculator that takes into account declining debt/spending? These others don’t do that?
Click to expand...
Most calculators seem to assume you don't have ongoing debt payments and assume that your annual spending is relatively fixed. They also act weird if, in their "current net worth" field, you type in a negative number to show that your student loan debt is more than your current assets.
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