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Have you figured out what your income needs will be when you retire? Have you figured in other sources of income such as pensions, social security, and sources like income on rental property? From those you can estimate the income you need from investments.

You can then use the compound interest formula to calculate what those investment income needs will at retirement after the affects of inflation. I would use a number of 3 to 4% in this calculation.

The Foolish 4 to 5% payout from investments guideline then gives the amount of investment $$ you need at retirement.

Next use the compound interest formula to figure out if your present investments at reasonable rates of return will produce the needed value. If so you are home free if you manage your investments right. If not you know you must increase your rate of saving somehow. A spreadsheet can be used to calculate how much additional must be saved each year to reach the goal.

These are all straight forward calculations. Most can be done with a calculator (with log functions). All can be done in any spreadsheet program like Excell.
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