Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the spending calculator.

Shouldn’t I be 100% confident that I won’t outlive my savings?

Where do I include my spouse’s retirement savings?

Why does it only show 3 years of payments?

Can you show me how much I should save for retirement?

How can I find out my Social Security benefit?

Why can’t I include my fixed income?

I’m younger than 40, why can’t I use this tool?

 
If you have other questions about using the model or taking the next step in your retirement planning, contact Laurence Dresner at the Church Pension Group (CPG) at (800) 223-6602 x1803 or ldresner@cpg.org.

Shouldn’t I be 100% confident that I won’t outlive my savings?

Pensions, annuities and Social Security pay you a certain amount each month or year, no matter how long you live. The entity providing those benefits takes on the investment risk and the risk that you might live much longer than expected.

Because of the uncertainties around how long you may live and how much you may earn (or lose) on your investments, it’s impossible to be 100% certain you’ll have what you need when it comes to your savings and investments unless you don’t spend anything at all. It’s important to strike a balance between a high level of confidence in your money lasting as long as you need it and allocating a reasonable amount each year to spend.

Where do I include my spouse’s retirement savings?

You can add your savings and your spouse’s savings together and put the total into the calculator. Throughout the tool, you can combine your and your spouse’s savings or income and expenses to get a complete picture.

Why does it only show 3 years of payments?

The results show just 3 years because it’s important to come back and revisit the tool regularly. Financial situations can change dramatically in a short period – your anticipated expenses may change, you may have additional special circumstances, you may alter your investment strategy, etc. – and this tool is designed so that you can come back regularly to update your results.

Can you show me how much I should save for retirement?

Visit PlanAhead For Retirement (link opens new window) for help in determining how much to save for your retirement.

How can I find out my Social Security benefit?

If you’re not yet receiving Social Security, you can get an estimate of your benefit by requesting a statement at www.ssa.gov (link opens new window). Under the Your Social Security records heading click on "Your Statement" then "Need to request a statement?"

Why can’t I include my fixed income?

This tool is designed to help you determine how much you can spend each year from your savings and investments – the portion of your retirement income over which you have control. On the Putting it TogetherPutting it Together  page, you can enter your fixed income so that you can compare your total income to your expenses and adjust your assumptions, if necessary.

I’m younger than 40, why can’t I use this tool?

This tool is designed to help those nearing retirement to determine how much they can spend each year from their savings and investments. The closer you are to retirement, the more accurate your assumptions will be about your retirement years. If you want help determining how much you need to save for retirement, visit PlanAhead For Retirement (link opens new window).

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