Making a plan for your retirement can help you stay on track and say goodbye to your job earlier. But, making that plan can be a huge undertaking. Luckily, you can use Google Sheets to make a retirement planning spreadsheet. Read on to learn how to make one, or download one of our three handy templates.
4 Steps for Retirement Planning
Learn Some of the Basics of Investing and Saving
You should know and understand the primary forms of investment products, such as savings bonds, stocks, and money market accounts. As an investor, you should be aware of the risks and rewards. You should also know how they can work together in your investment portfolio. Participants in a retirement plan should be fully aware of the features offered and how they can make use of them.
Avoid the Common Mistakes
You might make common mistakes, including failing to diversify, failing to rebalance asset allocations, getting overly emotional, or failing to have an investing plan. Starting with an investment plan is the best approach to try and get rid of all these errors. One of the best ways to retire could be to create a robust investment plan. The spreadsheet template we provide later in the article can help with this.
Focus on the Important Components
While some factors, such as bear and bull markets, are out of your control, there are three essential components that you can control: the timing of your savings, the amount you save, and the date you retire. More savings and earlier retirement planning are significantly more important than the actual returns on their assets. Retiring later gives investments more time to potentially rise.
Monitor and Adjust
As your circumstances change, a solid investing plan should adjust accordingly. Any significant event in your life, such as a change in income, the addition of new family members, financial gains or losses, or any other, should provoke a financial review to determine whether you are still on track to retire.
Related Reading: How to Make a Google Sheets Task List Template
New Potential Costs You May Need to Consider After Retirement
Health Care Expenses
You become eligible for Medicare, a government health insurance program, once you turn 65. However, depending on your income and the plan you select, you may still have deductibles, coinsurance, and copays, in addition to out-of-pocket expenses like vision and dental care that are not covered by Medicare.
Adding Medigap coverage to Medicare is another option. And if you haven’t already, think about getting long-term care insurance. You will also need to make arrangements if you’re retiring early and aren’t covered by a spouse’s healthcare plan or by retiree medical benefits from your old work employer.
Now that you are retired, you can travel as much as you like. The only thing that can prevent you is money. Remember to include the cost of new hobbies and travel in your budget if you intend to engage in either of these activities.
Discounts on hotels and rental vehicles are frequently available to senior adults. If you’re prepared to stay with friends or trade houses with someone else, there are more intelligent ways to travel on a budget.
Even after you retire, you still need an emergency fund. You will still need to replace broken appliances, restore your car, and do home maintenance. You must have an emergency fund to prevent rapidly blowing through your retirement funds. Make sure you have money set aside in your retirement plan to cover unexpected costs.
In retirement, housing will probably be a significant expense, but there are several ways to cut your monthly housing costs drastically. By paying off your mortgage, you may reduce your monthly payments to only taxes and insurance.
Another choice is to move to substantially less expensive property, freeing up personal savings to boost your retirement fund. Your maintenance and tax costs might be decreased if you move into a smaller home in a less expensive neighborhood.
Although senior individuals frequently qualify for additional tax advantages, some new taxes impact retirees. After age 72, distributions from tax-deferred retirement accounts are necessary to avoid a severe 50% tax penalty.
There are, however, several strategies to remove funds from your retirement accounts and lower your tax liability. If your retirement income exceeds a certain level, a portion of your Social Security payout may also be subject to taxation.
Things a Good Retirement Calculation Spreadsheet Should Include
A good retirement spreadsheet template should include the following:
- Savings that you have currently.
- Your investments and your net worth.
- Your age at the time of retirement or years to your retirement.
- The rate of your yearly withdrawal. This is recommended as 4% and is adjusted for inflation every year.
- Your investment return rate. This shows how much of your investments and your savings return on average over a few years. It is usually recommended at 4-8%.
- Your projected income. This includes needs for your retirement.
- The additional income includes sources like annuities, pensions, and social security.
- The cost of your living
You may also want to consider building a dashboard in Google Sheets to visualize the data in the spreadsheet.
How to Create a Retirement Planner Spreadsheet
One of the best reasons to use Google Sheets to create a retirement cash flow spreadsheet is that it allows you to be highly flexible and create a retirement planning worksheet that suits your needs. You can remove the unnecessary elements and add the ones you will need.
We won’t go into detail about the calculations, but here are the basic steps you need to follow to create a retirement income calculator spreadsheet:
- The first part of any template is creating the header. A header should instantly gain a user’s attention, so it’s a good idea to make the header bigger than the other elements. To do this, we merged the cells by selecting them, going to Format > Merge cells, and clicking on Merge all.
- The second part is to make the font readable. We did this by making the font size bigger and bold using the options in the main toolbar. To make it prominent, we changed the fill and the text color of the header box.
- We need to add the elements for the data the user needs to add to the spreadsheet. These can be different variables depending on the spreadsheet you’re making. In our retirement plan spreadsheet, we added six inputs. To format them, we changed their box fill color, and we added a border around the cells.
- The final part is adding the data you want to display in the spreadsheet. As we want the retirement calculator spreadsheet to calculate the values yearly, we will need to add the formulas for the number of years we wish to calculate. Once you’re done adding in the formulas, make sure the retirement planning spreadsheets look visually appealing. Again, you can do this by changing the fill and text color and fonts.
- Now that the retirement spreadsheet is created remove the unnecessary cells by clicking and selecting the header column and row one by one. Then right-click on them and click on the Hide column or Hide row option.
Different Types of Retirement Planning Spreadsheet Templates
When planning for retirement, there is a lot to consider, and not everyone’s plans will match. On top of that, the way we want to plan can differ significantly. Related Reading: Free Debt Snowball Spreadsheet Template
So, in addition to the template that goes with the above guide, we’ve included another two for you to use.
The Retirement Calculation Spreadsheet from the Guide
Here we have the exact same spreadsheet we used to show you the steps above. This is a good one to follow if you want a hands-on learning experience for what you need to do in Google Sheets.
Investments/Income/Spending Retirement Spreadsheet Calculator
This template has a more detailed breakdown of your investments, income, and spending and how they’ll impact your retirement plans. Use this one if you want a more in-depth look at your balances. You could then combine this sheet with a Google Sheets expense tracker for even more detail.
Simplified Retirement Stash Template
This template only has 11 simple parameters and is primarily for counting the years needed to save for your goal. This one could be used as a simple FIRE retirement strategy spreadsheet or an easy way to put shared income in for a couple’s retirement planning spreadsheet.
Related Reading: How to Make a Schedule in Google Sheets
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Four Basic Steps of Retirement Planning?
The four basic steps of retirement planning are:
- Learn all the basics of how to save and what to invest in, such as a savings bond.
- Avoid making mistakes like getting too emotional or not making a retirement plan.
- Focus on how much you should save, when you should start saving, and when is the right time for you to retire.
- Make sure you are up-to-date with your retirement plan. If you face a financial setback, adjust your retirement plan accordingly.
What Is the 70% Rule for Retirement?
The 70% rule is a calculation that estimates how long it will take for investments or sums of money to double a specified return rate. The time it takes for your investment to double is calculated by dividing the growth rate from 70. For example, divide 70 by 5 if the rate of growth of your mutual fund is 5%.
How Do I Calculate My Retirement Income in Google Sheets?
The simplest way is to use a ready-made template. That way, you can simply place in your values without knowing all the math behind the calculations.
Just Start Planning
Whether you choose to build your own retirement planning spreadsheet or use one of the templates provided, we hope you can get a hold of your finances and enjoy an easy retirement
Let us know in the comments how you’re saving for your golden years.