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Not sure if this is the best board or not please point me elsewhere if you think it would be better.

Does any one know of an online retriement calculator that you trust and that gives step by step instructions for what are reasonable guesses for things like inflation, investment returns, etc.

My problem is that whenever I use any of the tools I will either live like a king if I keep saving like I am or will die int he gutter penneyless the day after I retire.

I could set up a spreadsheet my self but am having some problems with setting realistic guesses for some items. If anyone has suggestions on these please chime in.

1. How much should I assume that I will need to live off of in retirement? 100% of todays, expenses some other value?

2. Is 4% yearly inflation reasonable? Should I use a higher value to account for increased health care?

3. So far i tend to use 8% invesment returns. Is this a good guess, it is what my accounts have averaged over the last 10 years.

4. I am only 38 retirement is a long way off. Things like inflation and investment returns have a big impact on the value of my protfolio at retirmeent. Any ideas how I calculate some type of confidence intervall arround the final number.

5. should I count on Social Security or not.

What I am really trying to do is make sure that I am saving enough. THe quick and easy answer is that I should be maxing out my 401k. But is that really enough?
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