: Reset your retirement calculator now for today’s bleaker stock markets and make sure you’re still on track

by | Sep 28, 2022 | Stock Market

When markets are down, you don’t want to look at your 401(k) statement. But with a potential “lost decade” of stock returns looming, you have to at least take a peek, because it’s time to get real about your ability to afford retirement.  Economists often point to the fact that stock markets always eventually go up, but there are times where returns are down or flat. Those periods can last a while, even a decade, as they did from 2000 to 2013.

Your assumptions may be woefully inadequate if the numbers you used to figure out how much you’d eventually need are any older than six months. Even if it hurts, you need to jump online and run the numbers again using a calculator — or consult a financial professional. 3 key numbers to update The way most people save for retirement is to first come up with a big, round amount that they’ll need, like $1 million, and then calculate backwards to see how much to save today to get there. That entails a few key pieces of information. On the one hand are the big imponderables that are specific to you, such as when you will retire, how long you will live and how much you’ll spend. Then there are the factors you can’t control: how much will your investments grow, what’s the rate of inflation and how much Social Security will pay out.  If you use a retirement calculator, it’ll ask you for a combination of inputs. T …

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