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That said, I've been trying to figure out what number I should use for post-retirement expenses. I actually have a written budget, and it starts with our total needs, and then does some calculations based on today's tax laws to figure out how much I need to withdraw including taxes. So which number would you use in the Fidelity calculator? Would you use the number that does or does not include the taxes? It seems to make a significant enough difference that I'd like to know which I should be using.

If you are using Fidelity's "Retirement Income Planner" tool that does the Monte Carlo simulations, there appears to be some income tax already accounted for, and they don't ask for income taxes in the detailed budget information. When you get to the 'Analysis' page, there is a link at the bottom that says "See key assumptions and an explanation of all concepts represented in the results." If you click on that link, it will take you to a presentation on "Detailed Methodology" that says Certain income taxes have been assumed and estimated by the tool but may not reflect all taxes applicable to your specific situation. While reasonable efforts are made to use and maintain the most current actual rates, income tax brackets, and other tax rules for estimating taxes, there may be a time lag between when new actual tax rates, brackets, and other rules become effective and when the tool is updated to reflect them. See Tax Calculations and Assumptions for additional details on how the tool calculates estimated income taxes. on the Overview page.

Whether you are comfortable with their income tax assumptions is, of course, the question. You may want to adjust your estimates to something between your with and without tax estimates, but I would say that at least some of the taxes should already be accounted for.

If you are using a different tool on the Fidelity website, you may want to look for the documentation on that tool to see if it considers taxes.

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