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Retirement Withdrawal Calculator

Created by Tibor Pál, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Cipra T. Financial and Insurance Formulas; 2006
Last updated: Sep 29, 2023

If you've ever asked yourself, "How long will my money last in retirement?", you've come to the right place — the present retirement withdrawal calculator will help you find the right answer for sure.

There are two potential concerns when thinking about retirement:

  • How long will my money last in retirement?
  • How much money can I withdraw during retirement?

We designed the retirement withdrawal calculator to find the answer to these questions. What's more, you can follow the progress of your balance in a dynamic chart or a withdrawal schedule to help you to make a retirement plan with withdrawals.

Moreover, if you read further, we will show you some useful retirement withdrawal strategies by explaining how to withdraw money from a retirement account.

If you are specifically interested in a 403b retirement plan, check our 403b calculator.

Retirement withdrawal strategies: How to withdraw money from a retirement account?

Since Social Security benefits are not always sufficient to keep up the living standard you are used to during your post-income-earning stage of life, you may decide to obtain a retirement account to provide additional income supplements. If you happen to put aside such savings or consider opening an investment account devoted to your retirement, it is essential to ensure that your money will last long enough. A smartly chosen early retirement withdrawal strategy can support you in such a situation. Let's explore what are the retirement plan withdrawal possibilities.

  • The 4 percent rule

    The 4 percent rule withdrawal strategy suggests that you should withdraw 4 percent of your investment account balance in your first year of retirement. And from then on, you should increase the amount to keep pace with inflation.

    For example, if you have 300,000 dollars in your account, you would withdraw 12,000 dollars (1,000 dollars monthly) in your first year of retirement. If there is 2 percent of inflation (which is the target rate of inflation in the US and most countries), you will withdraw 12,240 dollars in the following year.

    The advantage of the 4 percent rule is that it's a simple approach, and your buying power keeps up with inflation. If you want to learn more about the price level change and its effect, check our inflation calculator.

  • Fixed-dollar withdrawals

    Fixed-dollar withdrawals involve taking the same amount of money out of your retirement account every year (or other intervals) for a set period. For example, you may decide to withdraw 1,000 dollars every month for the first five years of retirement and then re-evaluate.

    The advantage of fixed-dollar withdrawals is that you have an expected annual income and can determine the amount to withdraw based on your budget in the first five years of retirement. However, there are certain drawbacks. If you don't increase your withdrawal amount and the inflation rate is high, you can lose buying power over time. Besides, if you set your fixed-dollar amount too high, you risk running out of money in retirement.

  • Fixed-percentage withdrawals

    As its name suggests, this strategy implies withdrawing a fixed percentage of your account balance each year, for example, taking out 3% or 4% of your total balance every single year. With this approach, the amount you withdraw will adjust to the changes in your investment account balance.

  • Systematic withdrawals

    Systematic withdrawals keep your principal invested through the whole period of your expected retirement. You withdraw only the earnings your investments produce from interest or return. This strategy's primary benefit is that you cannot run out of money in your retirement account. However, your initial balance needs to be considerably large to produce a sufficient amount of earnings.

  • Buckets

    When you choose a buckets strategy, you have three separate sources of retirement income:

    • A savings account that holds approximately three to five years' worth of living expenses in cash;
    • Fixed-income securities, including government and corporate bonds or certificates of deposit; and
    • Equity investments.

The method is the following. You withdraw from your savings account to cover your expenses and channel this bucket from the other two. You do so either by selling stocks if the market is favorable or selling your fixed-income securities if they perform well. If both stocks and bonds are down, you continue to draw from your savings.

How to use the retirement withdrawal calculator

Follow the below steps to prepare your retirement plan withdrawal:

  1. As the first step, you need to select what you would like to know.

    • How long will my money last in retirement?

    • How much money can I withdraw?

  2. Specifications

    • Balance at the beginning of retirement — set the amount you expect to start your retirement with.

    • Your age now — set your age at the moment.

    • Planned years in retirement — set how long you want to make withdrawals during retirement. Will it be early retirement withdrawals or rather for a longer period?

    • Planned age to retire — the expected age when you plan to retire.

    • Withdrawal amount — the amount you plan to withdraw monthly.

    • Annual interest rate — the average rate of return on your balance.

    • Inflation rate before you retire — the expected average inflation rate before retirement.

    • Inflation rate after you retire — the expected average inflation rate during retirement.

    • Payment frequency (advanced mode) — the interval between the regular withdrawals.

    • Compounding method (advanced mode) — the frequency of adding interest to the balance. If you give the APY as the interest rate, choose yearly since APY is already adjusted for greater than yearly compounding.

    • Timing of withdrawals (advanced mode) — will your retirement plan withdrawals be at the end or beginning of the periods?

  3. Results

    After setting the above parameters in the retirement withdrawal calculator, you can immediately read the result and check your balances in a dynamic chart or a withdrawal schedule.


You should consider the retirement withdrawal calculator as a model for financial approximation. All payment figures, balances, and interest figures are estimates based on the data you provided in the specifications that are, despite our best effort, not exhaustive.

For this reason, we created the calculator for instructional purposes only. Still, if you experience a relevant drawback or encounter any inaccuracy, we are always pleased to receive useful feedback and advice.

Tibor Pál, PhD candidate
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Balance at the beginning of retirement
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Inflation rate after you retire
You can withdraw $600.25 at the beginning of each month to deplete your expected balance by the end of your retirement.
chart of balances
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