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Use these worksheets to help you manage your financial life and begin your savings fitness plan. Take your time. If you are logged into your account you have the option of working on a worksheet and then saving and resuming later on. You may want to fill out one or two sections and then spend some time gathering the information you need for the rest. Don’t get stuck on the details. Guessing is okay and you can always come back later with more accurate or up-to-date numbers and information. If you are married, remember to include your spouse’s information when filling out the worksheets.

The information you enter will be saved for this session only. However, if you want to save it for longer, you can register and create an account. That way, it'll all be here when you come back another day, for up to a year. If you update the worksheets regularly you can track your progress and plan next year’s budget to help you reach your goals. If you are using a shared or public computer, after you are done going through the worksheets and have saved or printed out your results, close the Internet browser to be sure all your data is removed from the worksheets.

Worksheet 1 - Goals and Priorities

Enter your goals, listing both short-term and long-term goals. Then number them in order of priority. Think about what you need to do to accomplish each goal, including cost, how much you have set aside already, and what you are willing to do to reach the goal. Remember to make saving for retirement a priority!

SHORT-TERM GOALS (5 years or less)

Priority What is your goal? By when? How much will it cost? What money do you have
saved for this goal?
What are you willing to do?
Add New Row

LONG-TERM GOALS (longer than 5 years)

Priority What is your goal? By when? How much will it cost? What money do you have
saved for this goal?
What are you willing to do?
Add New Row

Worksheet 2 - Financial Documents Checklist

To help you fill out the worksheets that follow, gather together recent copies of the documents and statements listed below. You can get many of these documents from your employer, financial institutions, and insurance companies. You can get your Social Security Statement with an estimate of your retirement benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement. To get a free credit report every twelve months, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. The Resources section has additional websites, publications, and information to help you find and understand these documents.

Retirement Planning Documents and Statements

Tax Planning Documents

Financial Documents and Statements

    Investment-Related Documents and Statements

    Loan Documents, Statements, and Credit Reports

Insurance Documents and Statements

Worksheet 3 - Balance Sheet to Calculate Net Worth

Use this balance sheet to calculate your net worth, which is the total value of what you own (assets) minus what you owe (liabilities). Your goal is to have a positive net worth that grows each year.

First, add up the approximate value of your assets, including your checking and savings accounts, investments, and property, such as your home if you own it. Then add up your liabilities (debts), including any amounts you currently owe on a home mortgage, auto or student loans, credit card debt, and other outstanding amounts owed. Finally, subtract your liabilities from your assets to get your net worth.

ASSETS VALUE
Cash Reserves
SUBTOTAL
Other Cash Reserves
Home or Condo (if owned)
Retirement Accounts
SUBTOTAL
Other Retirement Accounts
Personal Investments
SUBTOTAL
Other Personal Investments
Other Assets
LIABILITIES VALUE
Credit cards
Other Debt
SUBTOTAL
TOTAL ASSETS
TOTAL LIABILITIES
NET WORTH
(Total Assets minus Total Liabilities)

Worksheet 4 - Retirement Saving

Worksheet 4 can help you figure out how much you need to save each year towards your goal of a secure retirement. It estimates how much you should save as a percentage of your current salary to give you a savings goal. You can save through a retirement savings plan at work, on your own, or both. While the worksheet does not take into account your unique circumstances, it will give you an idea of how much to save each year and a clearer picture of your retirement goals. The sooner you start saving, the longer your savings have to grow.

As you fill out the worksheet, think about your plans including when you might retire, what savings you have, and how many years you hope to enjoy in retirement. Of course, your plans and circumstances may change, so update this worksheet periodically to reflect any changes.

Start by entering the number of years until you expect to retire. On the second line, enter your current annual salary – this is your total pay before taxes or other deductions. You can probably get this from your pay statement.

Next, enter the number of years you expect to live in retirement. People are living longer on average which means you could need retirement income for 30 years or more. Planning to live well into your 90s can help you have a secure retirement and avoid outliving your income.

Finally, if you have already started saving for retirement, enter the amount of your current retirement savings. The result is your target saving rate, or the percentage of your salary to save to reach your goal.

For example, if you expect to retire in 35 years, live for about 30 years in retirement, currently earn $50,000 a year, and have $2,000 saved for retirement, your target saving rate is 9.5%.

Number of years until retirement 35
Current annual salary $50,000
Number of years in retirement 30
Current savings $2,000
Target saving rate 9.5%

What goes into the estimate

A 7 percent rate of return is used to keep it simple: remember investing involves risk, so investment returns, even assuming a diversified mix of stocks and bonds, go up and down and cannot be guaranteed. The worksheet, which uses a 3 percent inflation rate, increases your salary 3 percent each year but does not include any other increases.

The worksheet estimates how much savings you will need in addition to Social Security. On average, people need to replace about 80 percent of pre-retirement income for living in retirement. According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security retirement benefits replace about 40 percent of an average wage earner’s income after retiring. This leaves approximately 40 percent to be replaced by retirement savings. However, keep in mind that this is an estimate and you may need more or less depending on your individual circumstances.

In retirement, while your investments will continue to grow, the cost of retirement likely will go up every year due to inflation – that is, today’s dollars will buy less each year because the cost of living usually rises. The worksheet estimates how much savings you will need, taking into account the growth of your investments and inflation through your retirement, which could be 30 years or more. It also takes into account how much your current retirement savings will grow by the time you plan to retire.

The target saving rate

The worksheet estimates your “target saving rate” or how much to save each year as a percentage of your salary. Saving this amount will help you reach your retirement goals.

The target rate includes any contributions your employer makes to a retirement savings plan for you, such as an employer matching contribution. If, for example, you are in a 401(k) plan in which you contribute 4 percent of your salary and your employer also contributes 4 percent, your saving rate would be 8 percent of your salary.

Remember that the worksheet only gives you a rough idea, a savings goal. Some may face higher expenses in retirement because of personal circumstances and choose to save more. Some may have other sources of income in retirement such as a defined benefit traditional pension or money from selling a home that would lower the target rate.

You can compare your results with what you are currently saving after you complete Worksheet 5. If you are currently saving less, don’t be discouraged. The important thing is to start saving, even a small amount, and increase that amount when you can. Come back and update this worksheet from time to time to reflect changes and track your progress.

Worksheet 5 - Cash Flow Spending Plan

Use the first two columns of Worksheet 5 to create a budget, sometimes called a cash flow spending plan or a guide for how you expect to spend your money. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the information. You can make a guess now and fill in more specific information later.

Start with your monthly income. If you know your annual gross income, enter it and the worksheet will calculate the monthly amount. Most pay statements or pay stubs list your total (or gross) income and your deductions, along with your net take-home pay. You can find your net take-home pay by subtracting your deductions from your gross income. List all taxes, including federal, state, and local income taxes, plus Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Next, enter all of your monthly expenses. You can find an average for expenses that are different or don't occur each month, such as heating or car insurance, by adding up the bills for the year and dividing by 12. Once you enter your monthly income and expenses, the worksheet will calculate your annual cash flow spending plan or budget. If you are spending more than you earn, page 10 of the publication has ideas on how to cut expenses, increase income, or both.

Return to this worksheet at the end of the year to see how you did in following your budget. Use the last two columns to track your actual spending and click the calculate button to see how it is different from what you planned to spend. If what you spent is more than you planned, you will see a plus sign and if it was less, a minus sign. This will make it easier for you to add up the differences for the year and find ways to spend less, if you need to. Each year you can review your cash flow plan and make changes for the next year’s budget to help you reach your financial goals.

Add up your total retirement savings, both at work and on your own. If your employer also contributes money to your retirement savings plan, in a 401(k) plan for example, enter that amount in the row labeled employer match and add it to your retirement savings to get the total retirement savings. The worksheet will divide the total retirement savings by gross income (the first line in the worksheet) to get your current retirement savings rate. You can compare it to the results from Worksheet 4, which is your target saving rate.

1 - Your current monthly and annual budget 2 - Tracking how your income or spending varies from what you planned
Monthly Annual Actual Income/Spending Was it more or less than planned?
INCOME:
Gross income (total pay before deductions)
Deductions
Retirement contributions
Health, dental, vision insurance
Disability, long-term care insurance
Life insurance
Taxes
Other deductions
Net take-home pay (gross income minus deductions)
Other income
TOTAL NET INCOME
EXPENSES:
Savings and investing
Retirement (outside of workplace plan)
Cash reserves
Down payment for a home
Education
Other
Housing
Mortgage (including condo fees)
Rent
Maintenance
Food (at home)
Utilities
Electricity
Heat
Internet/cable
Phones
Water/sewer
Clothing
Taxes
Real estate
Other property taxes
Other taxes
Insurance
Homeowner or renter
Car
Life (if purchasing outside of work)
Disability, long-term care(if purchasing outside of work)
Loan payments
Car
Credit card
Education
Other
Caregiving
Child care
Elder care
Personal care
Haircut
Dry cleaning
Gym
Other
Transportation
Car repairs and maintenance
Gas
Parking
Public transportation
Health care – out-of-pocket spending
Health, dental, vision insurance (if purchasing outside of work)
Doctor visits
Hospital
Medicine
Over-the-counter medicine
Noncovered items
Travel/vacations
Entertainment
Eating out
Hobbies
Movies/theatre
Charitable contributions
Other
Gifts
Membership dues
Pet-related costs
TOTAL EXPENSES
TOTAL NET INCOME – TOTAL EXPENSES
Subtotal retirement savings (Workplace plan contributions + saving on your own
Employer match
Total Retirement Savings
Current retirement savings rate as a percentage of gross income (total retirement savings ÷ gross income)
Target savings rate (from Worksheet 4)

Worksheet 6 - Debt Reduction

This worksheet will help you organize your debt so that you can plan how you will pay down each debt and track your progress. Money that goes to pay interest, late fees, and old bills could be saved and invested to earn more for retirement and other goals.

In Worksheet 6, list your home mortgage first, if you have one. Then list your auto loans, student loans, any credit card debts, or other money that you owe. In the final column, write down which debts you will pay off first, second, and so on. Generally, you may want to pay off the debts with the highest interest rates first. However, if you have a debt with a small balance, you may want to pay it off to get it off your list. The Resources section provides websites and publications on how to get a copy of your credit report, repair your credit, calculate how long it will take to pay off credit card debt, and other information.

Priority Creditor Interest Rate Balance Required minimum
monthly payment
Planned payment
%
%
%
%
%
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