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Save now vs. save later

A penny saved is a penny earned, but a penny saved today is a penny earning more. It is important to start saving as soon as possible for events such as retirement due to the impact of compounding. If you start saving now you will need to save considerably less than if you wait a few years. Use this calculator to determine how much extra you will need to save if you wait.

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Make Compounding Work For You

Taking advantage of compound interest need not be a passive strategy on your part. The bigger your investment base, the more that time and math will conspire to build up your wealth. That is why investment advisors suggest taking advantage of time and a schedule of periodic investing. The results build on themselves.

You can maximize the power of compounding by following a few easy strategies:

  • Invest early. The longer your money has time to work for you, the better compounding works. In fact, the effect is far more dramatic the earlier you begin and the longer you stay invested. So, the sooner you can begin investing, the more interest or dividends, and hence growth of your principal, you will accumulate through compounding.
  • Invest often. Adding to your investments on a regular basis such as monthly or weekly can build your wealth quickly. The accumulation builds the base on which your interest is calculated. To stay on a schedule for periodic investing, some people take part in automatic investment plans, in which money is taken out of their deposit accounts and put into their chosen investments.
  • Reinvest your dividends. If you own shares in a stock or mutual fund, you may be able to reinvest your dividends into more shares. This continues to build your investment base, allowing you to compound your return. It's putting your new income to work for you.
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Setting Personal Financial Goals

If you do not know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? This is very true about financial goals. You need to set financial goals to help you make wise financial decisions, and also as a reward for your efforts. Goals should be clear, concise, detailed, and written down. Unwritten goals are just wishes. Those who set goals and fail will find that they didn't set realistic goals to begin with. So, the first step in setting any goal is to determine what is realistic and what is not. In this article, you will learn how to set realistic and achievable financial goals.

You achieve your financial goals when you have the cash or assets available to satisfy some immediate financial need, want, or desire. The key is to be prepared to have the required cash or assets when the time comes to achieve the goal. For example, suppose you want to buy a brand-new car costing $30,000 using cash five years from today. In five years and one day, you will know whether you achieved that goal. If you have the $30,000 five years from today, you might achieve your goal. That is all pretty definite, but is it realistic?

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Compounded Interest and Taxes

It will not do you a whole lot of good to compound the interest on your investments only to watch it get taken by the IRS. Fortunately, there are a few ways to compound your interest and avoid paying more tax than necessary.

Unless you invest in a tax-sheltered account, you will have to pay taxes on any investment interest at your regular income tax rate. Interest rates paid on savings/checking accounts and bonds, as well as dividends (shared profits), are all generally taxable. This could mean around 30–35 percent in both state and federal taxes. So a 10 percent rate of return could end up being closer to 6 percent after taxes.

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PlannerPortal - Financial Software for Financial Advisors

This information may help you analyze your financial needs. It is based on information and assumptions provided by you regarding your goals, expectations and financial situation. The calculations do not infer that the company assumes any fiduciary duties. The calculations provided should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice. In addition, such information should not be relied upon as the only source of information. This information is supplied from sources we believe to be reliable but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Hypothetical illustrations may provide historical or current performance information. Past performance does not guarantee nor indicate future results.