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How Important is Social Security?

This "How Important is Social Security?" calculator gives you an estimate of how important Social Security benefits will be in your post-retirement finances. It gives you a good idea of what kind of role your Social Security benefits will play in your retirement plans. Having a clear view of your financial situation, both present and future, is vital when making retirement plans. The last thing you want is to be left high and dry because you didn’t save enough in your retirement account to get you through the autumn years, rather than being able to relax and enjoy them.

"How Important is Social Security?" overview

Although sometimes we may prefer not to think about it, planning for retirement is an important part of adult life. It requires research and careful planning. It's important to research all options and possible outcomes including losing the benefit of Social Security income. Considering this option now will help you to prepare for such an emergency in advance.

A smart move to make in researching and preparing for a loss of Social Security income is to use this social security calculator to see how such a loss would affect you. Simply input some basic information and our free calculator tool here can help make your determination. You should be able to provide most of the information ‘off the top of your head’, so hopefully there is no need to run and get the finance drawer out from under the bed to use this tool!


How to use this calculator

Here's how it works:

  1. Input your current age in years, either by using the slider or by typing directly into the box next to it
  2. Next, add the age that you intend to retire
  3. Specify your annual household income at this point in time – if you are married, include your spouse’s income in this figure
  4. Enter your combined total of all retirement savings up to this point
  5. Specify the percentage of your annual income that will be used for retirement savings
  6. Enter the amount you estimate your income will increase by each year
  7. Choose the percentage of your current annual household income that you are expecting to receive for each year of your retirement
  8. Input the number of years you expect to be using your retirement income
  9. Click "View Report" to see your results
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Who is this calculator for?

This calculator is designed for people who:

  • Would like to assess the impact of Social Security payments on their overall financial plans for retirement
  • Want to see how long their retirement savings will last, both with and without Social Security included
  • Are trying to calculate the amount that they should be saving each year to afford the retirement you want.

How much income will I need in retirement?

The answer to this is highly dependent on your personal situation, and your expectations for life post-retirement. For example, if you plan to spend your retirement jet-setting around the world and taking luxury cruises (good for you if so!), you will need more than if your retirement plans focus around spending a quiet life in the company of your family and friends. As a ballpark figure though, financial planners typically recommend an amount which is equal to approximately 80% of your income.