The easiest way to measure how much money you’re saving (and then saving as much as you can!) is to track your savings rate.
Your savings rate is the total percentage of your income you’re saving in all of your accounts (retirement, savings, etc.).
There is a direct correlation between your savings rate and the years it will take you to retire early.
The savings rate math is simple. No matter how much money you’re making, here’s how long you have to work to save 1 year of living expenses.
Working Years To Save 1 Year of Living Expenses Depending on Savings Rates:
- 10% Savings Rate: 9 years of work (1-0.1)/0.1
- 25% Savings Rate: 3 years of work (1-0.25)/0.25
- 50% Savings Rate: 1 year of work (1-0.5)/0.5
- 75% Savings Rate: 1/3 of a year of work (1-0.75)/0.75
During my own financial independence journey my saving rate started at 40% and went as high as 82% some months. That might sound crazy, but it’s easier than you think.
I like to track my savings rate in both dollars and percentages. This is really easy to do using this savings rate calculator.
Years To Financial Independence
How to Use the Savings Rate Calculator
The savings rate calculator shows you how long it will take to retire based on how much you are putting away in your various accounts.
To get your rate, just plug in the following information:
- Annual Income: This should be your net income
- Financial Freedom Number: The amount you believe it will take to retire early
- Pre-Tax Investments: This can include 401 (k) plans, traditional IRAs, profit-sharing accounts, and other pre-tax investments. Click on the “Add” button to create a new row in the savings rate calculator.
- After-Tax Investments: This can be any accounts other than your traditional savings accounts, such as CDs, money markets, Roth IRAs, and taxable brokerage accounts. Click on the “Add” button to create a new row in the savings rate calculator.
- Annual Savings: This is where you include how much you have accrued in your traditional savings account(s).
Why Your Savings Rate Matters
Obviously, your savings rate is one of the most important – if not the most important – factors in when you can retire. And the good news is, you have control over that factor by deciding how much you need to save.
Using a savings rate calculator can give you a clear big picture and timeline for when you can retire. Seeing that allows you to then adjust your savings rate to achieve your goals, whether that be to retire early or have more money to live on when you do retire.