Re: A real retirement calculator
I'm 33 too. If I had a dollar for every time I've read "According to an EBRI study..."
Anyway, according to some oft-sited EBRI study, lots of folks have never even tried to calculate how much they need to save to be able to retire some day.
I've tried every calculator I've come across. I'm at the ponit now where I know, from memory, every single number that these calculators ask for. I know how much I make, how much I'll need in retirement, how much I have saved, how much I'm saving now, etc...
I don't know what kind of return I'll get on my investments. I don't know what kind of inflation we're going to see over the next 30 years. I don't know what the tax rates will be 10 years from now. I don't know how much college is going to cost for my daughter 15 years from now. I don't know how much, if any, social security benefits I might get, or when. I have no clue how much healthcare will cost me after I retire.
So, yes, I've tried to calculate how much I should save. My answer is that I need to save somewhere between 0 and 40% of my gross pay. (Zero is possible for me because I already have some money saved away with 35 years until I need to draw on it). About all I get out of these calculators is that saving more money is better than saving less, at least in terms of how much you might have someday.