Long-Term Investing Calculator
Quickly estimate investment growth for a wide range of scenarios. There are many options for this calculator - click "Show Tips" for more information.
For goals like saving for an emergency fund or a down payment for a home, try our Short-Term Savings Calculator.
Using this Calculator
Adjust the sliders to show savings estimates based on monthly deposit, the number of years saved, plus more. If you aren't sure what an item means, hover your cursor above it (or press it if using a phone or tablet).
In addition to calculating a final balance, it's also possible to set a final balance and try different ways of reaching it:
- Click the radio button beside Monthly Deposit.
- Adjust the Final Balance slider to your savings goal.
- The Monthly Deposit figure now shows how much you'll need to save to reach that goal.
- Adjust the other fields to see how it affects your Monthly Deposit amount. For example, increasing your Expected Return will decrease the monthly deposit required.
In addition to Monthly Deposit, you can also "lock down" Years and Expected Return to find other ways of reaching your savings goal.
So what's a realistic Expected Return? Many experts suggest that 6% or 7% is reasonable for the stock market as a whole, though returns from specific years can be much higher or much lower. There are no guarantees when investing in the stock market.
The Expense Ratio is also an important factor. If you invest in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, typical fees range between 0.2% and 1% - though fees are sometimes higher. Be sure to note the difference 1% can make over 40 years!
A Note on Inflation
This calculator estimates how your dollars grow, but it doesn't estimate the buying power of those dollars. Because of inflation, each dollar tends to buy a little less each year. So, as the movie character Austin Powers realized after waking up from a decades-long sleep, "one million dollars" (see movie clip ) isn't what it used to be. Assuming 2% annual inflation, $1,000,000 today will have the buying power of approximately $820,000 in 10 years, $672,000 in 20 years, $550,000 in 30 years, and $453,000 in 40 years.