As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved everything about calculators. The ability to complete complex math tasks on such a small screen was always so amazing to me. Nowadays, with the power of the Internet, we’re fortunate to have very helpful calculators to help us forecast how many years until we hit financial independence.
NERD ALERT: And when I found out you could wear a calculator on your wrist, it was game over! Everywhere I went, I was running computational calculations for all to see. Me and my mobile math companion were unstoppable. Want to know how much three boxes of baseball cards cost? No problem! Calculator watch to the rescue!
I can also remember in class trying to spell out words on my calculator (some good, some not so good). If you understand these numbers:
07734, then you know what I’m talking about (SPOILER ALERT: they spell “hello” upside down).
That being said, on the journey to financial independence, calculators can actually serve as powerful tools to help us predict and map where we want to go. As a result, I have created a list of my top 5 financial calculators in the quest for financial independence.
5 Best Calculators for Financial Independence
Grant Sabatier, creator of Millennial Money, created this Early Retirement Calculator. You can use the calculator to analyze different retirement scenarios such as:
- Do you currently have enough money to retire?
- Are you on pace to retire when you want?
- Do you have enough money today to retire at various ages? (e.g., 40,50, 65 years old)
- How much money will you need in order to retire early?
This calculator allows you to test for different scenarios such as withdrawal rate, tax rates, inflation rates, and desired retirement date.
DQYDJ, which stands for Don’t Quit Your Day Job, provides some really cool financial tools. If you’re into numbers, percentiles, and actual data, then this is the site for you (and me).
With this calculator, you simply enter your net worth and select your age range and DQYDJ will provide you with your percentile as compared to other households in the US based on 2016 data.
For example, if you’re in the 51st percentile, your net worth is ahead of 51% of people your age and behind 49%.
And if you’re renting or don’t want to count your home as part of your net worth, you have the option to omit that equity. They also provide you with a very nice graph.
Financial Toolbelt has some really great calculators on their website. Particularly, the Compound Interest Calculator does a fantastic job of demonstrating the power of compound interest. This tool allows you to enter in your initial investment amount, annual investment amount, growth rate percentage, and length of investment (in years).
This page has a step by step savings rate calculator, which will help you easily compute your savings rate to compare to your own benchmarks, to future savings goals, and to the results of others. By following the steps in the calculator, you’ll have a normalized rate for both a strict savings rate – that is through your purchases and accumulation of assets – and a regular savings rate, which alsoincludes principal pay-downs of your debt. The calculator will give you results for both gross and net savings.
FIRECalc is not your average calculator. It operates more as a simulator than a calculator. It takes your retirement fund, projected expenses, and the length of your retirement and then runs them through a stock market simulator.
After you enter your information and run the simulation, FIRECalc predicts your success rate (e.g., your portfolio has an 80% chance to outlive you) according to historical data. This includes financial upheavals such as the Great Depression, high inflation, and the recent Recession.
It also allows you to add information such as your pension, social security, asset allocation, retirement date, and add or subtract a lump sum (such as college tuition).
What’s the goal? To get your success rate as close to 100% as possible.
Any other good calculators out there?
What calculators do you prefer to use? Any awesome ninja calculators that you think I missed? Leave a comment below with the link and I’ll check it out!