 Current retirement savings
 This is your current retirement savings. You should include any savings or investments that are specifically for your retirement. Be careful not to include amounts ear marked for other purposes, such as your children's education.
 Monthly contributions
 The amount you will contribute each month to your retirement savings. This calculator assumes that you make your contribution at the beginning of each month. We also assume that this amount remains constant until you retire.
 Years before you retire
 The number of years you have to save before your retirement. If you are planning on retiring immediately, you should enter a zero.
 Number of years in retirement
 The number of years you expect to spend in retirement. If this retirement savings plan is intended to support you and your spouse, make sure this is long enough years to account for your spouse's potentially longer lifespan.
 Annual retirement expenses
 Your after tax retirement expenses. Since this calculator assumes that you will be paying income taxes on interest as it is earned, your expenses should be entered on an after tax basis. Your retirement expenses are increased each year by your expected inflation rate if the "Increase expenses with inflation" box is checked.
 Expected inflation rate
 What you expect for the average longterm inflation rate. A common measure of inflation in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which has a longterm average of 3.1% annually, from 1925 through 2004.
 Rate of return before retirement
 This is the annually compounded rate of return you expect from your investments before taxes. The actual rate of return is largely dependant on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2004, the average compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 11.5% per year. During this period, the highest 12month return was 64%, and the lowest was 39%. Savings accounts at a bank pay as little as 1% or less. It is important to remember that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for longterm investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment.
 Rate of return during retirement
 This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investments during retirement. It is often lower than the return earned before retirement due to more conservative investment choices to help insure a steady flow of income. The actual rate of return is largely dependant on the type of investments you select. From January 1970 to December 2004, the average compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 11.5% per year. During this period, the highest 12month return was 64%, and the lowest was 39%. Savings accounts at a bank pay as little as 1% or less. It is important to remember that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for longterm investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment.
 Federal tax rate
 Your marginal federal tax rate.
 State tax rate
 Your marginal state tax rate.
