I've seen several guides online that suggest multiplying my current salary by a certain amount to see where my retirement savings should be. I think that these methods assume people ramp up in salary over the years, and want to make about the same as their salary when they retire.

I don't need nearly as much as I make now when I retire. When I use these calculators, do I put in my target yearly income for retirement instead?

  • 1
    If the calculator doesn't allow for lower desired income in retirement, it's probably neglecting other factors as well.
    – Hart CO
    Jan 27, 2018 at 18:08
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    The problem here is the assumptions that 1) you're going to spend everything you make unless you put in in a 401k/IRA; and 2) that you're going to want to keep on spending that much after retirement. They benefit the people running retirement plans, as they encourage you to invest more with them. But if it's not true, then you do better by entering your actual spending, adjusted a bit, as you might expect to spend more on health in retirement, but perhaps have paid off your mortgage, don't need to spend on work clothes &c...
    – jamesqf
    Jan 27, 2018 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


I guess you are right, but anyway in such delicate topic I believe you should understand the math behind and make your own calculations. Something like:

target_income_per_year = savings_in_bank * (annual_percentage_rate - inflation)

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