Retirement Planning is a key consideration as you proceed through your professional life.

Just like you need to account for your child’s education, health and house, it is important to account for the money that you need to make your old age comfortable.

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One simple way to achieve this is by accounting for every possible expense using a spreadsheet.

A Retirement Planning Spreadsheet is essentially all about encapsulating your entire retired life on an excel sheet or a spreadsheet.

The idea is geared towards creating a future account that enables you to save today and live a comfortable retired life in future.

Key Constituents of Retirement Planning Spreadsheet

While creating a spreadsheet is not very difficult, the point is what should be the key constituents of your retirement planning?

RetirementWell, there are some basic calculations that you must take into account while planning your retirement and these include:

  1. The exact level of monthly income that you would need every month post retirement
  2. How much you need to save now at current levels to get adequate funding for future rates
  3. Apart from the 401k retirement plan, figure out how much you need to save separately
  4. Exact tax liability once you reach the state where you can withdraw the retirement fund

Well, you might say that there is no real exact answer to this question.

But yes these above mentioned calculations will surely help you come up with ballpark numbers that you can use as a reference to guarantee future comfort.

A lot of it is also dependent on the kind of lifestyle you have now and what you intend to follow in future.

The amount you would require to service the future needs would solely be dependent on that crucial aspect.

An Example

For example, if your annual expenses are closer to $100,000 to live comfortably, the money that you need to save to continue the same lifestyle post retirement is significantly higher than what you would need if your annual expense is close to $50,000.

In fact, the money that you would need would be almost half of what you would need in case of the former lifestyle.

If your annual expense is even less than that, say around $25,000, then for the same money, you can spend your retired life pretty lavishly.

Just when you are creating the spreadsheet, you must pay attention to the various details that you must account for.

Only then can your retirement planning spreadsheet.

Also, keep in mind that your spreadsheet has to be extremely practical.

You cannot just assume you will save a specific amount.

Think about your existing expenses and see how you can balance both parameters efficiently.

Also, this planning needs to account for sudden financial needs or medical expenses and even economic downturn which could significantly bring down your overall returns in the longer run.

Therefore your retirement planning spreadsheet needs to adequately account for inflation related spike up in expenses, market related drop in returns and other such uncertainties have to be adequately padded up in your investment plan.

Online Options

Given the widespread use of computers and easy solutions available online, it is now possible to easily download retirement planning spreadsheet from the internet and tweak it as per your expenses to get the right amount that you need to save up.

But given the plethora of options that are available online, often making a choice can be tricky.

So, you might end up downloading an option that does not quite serve your purpose appropriately.

Ease of use is also another factor that you must take into account.

1. User Friendly Interface:

Choose a spreadsheet template that can easily adapt to your needs and yield the desired result for you.

There could be some template with the great features, but compatibility might be a major problem.

Therefore, you must pay attention and choose an option that can help you adapt to your requirement and computer software quite easily.

A user friendly interface would also ensure that you find it easy to use and can properly optimize the available features to get the right kind of result from the entire template.

This also means that you will also be able to access it in any format.

2. Flexible:

Another key requisite for your retirement planning spreadsheet is that it should be extremely flexible.

Everyone has a different type of income source and savings pattern.

Even the expense picture can be very different for various people.

It is, therefore, important to use a spreadsheet template that’s extremely flexible.

It can help you make these complex calculations without altering either your style of savings or making an irrational allocation to heads that you would not consider otherwise.

In short, the whole idea is that it needs to be adaptable and flexible to your needs.

3. Multiple Options:

Sometimes you might be investing in a traditional 401k retirement plan but perhaps given the kind of job profile that you have a SEP plan might help you garner better returns.

So an efficient spreadsheet option is essentially the one that easily helps you to compare the various options that you have at your disposal and make the most appropriate retirement planning for you.

Sometimes as individuals, we often get into herd mentality and just tend to do whatever we see others doing.

The fact is that it might not be very effective all the time.

Therefore a template that can help you compare option sand make an appropriate call based on these various alternatives will be best for you.

It will help you garner better returns for every penny that you spend.

At the same time minimize your tax burden as best as possible.

Therefore, an effective retirement planning spreadsheet is one that can address all your needs and generate options that are most appropriate for you.

While some may argue that they can easily do a back of hand calculation and know for sure how much they need, sometimes it is a much better idea to put it all down in pen and paper.

The idea is once you make a note of these various elements, it is much easier to track them both individually as well as a collective entity.

The whole idea is to guarantee a comfortable retirement for you.

And, the spreadsheet can often go a long way in ensuring this fundamental need.

Click Here to download our Retirement Planning Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet for free.