Developing a Retirement Budget

November 16th, 2009, by

Q: I need ideas on how to develop a retirement budget. Do you have recommended Web sites people can go to and get information for developing one?

Dumfries, VA

A: One of the best retirement calculators is the Ballpark E$timate, created by the Choose to Save Program. This nonprofit aims to help people become better money managers.

The retirement calculator is an easy-to-use, two-page worksheet that helps you figure out how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. You have to complete several fields of information, including about your expected Social Security benefits and assumptions on savings, but it’s worth the trouble.

Fill out the worksheet first before you try to do a retirement budget, because you have to know what you have coming in so that you can manage what’s got to go out.

Once you have a good idea of what your retirement income is, use the same budget format or template that you, hopefully, had for your pre-retirement income. Retirees have the same expenses as the rest of us–housing, food, transportation, insurance costs, etc.

If you don’t have a budget template, use the Monthly Spending Plan Worksheet on this site.

Last modified: April 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm