A tool to check if you are on track to retire early

Published: February 25, 2016 at 9:18 am

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Here is a simple tool to check if you are on track to early retirement. It is also suitable for normal retirement and will work on Google sheets as well. Users can enter the current value of the corpus from online portfolio trackers.

It is basically an Excel retirement calculator, with a focus on tracking. The entries that will change with each retirement plan have been segregated.

Therefore, once a user enters the inputs for the first time, the effort required for tracking progress to retirement will take very little time.

I have been using this sheet integrated with the Automated Mutual Fund & Financial Goal Tracker. If you have been this tracker, you can also do the same by inserting the sheets in this tool inside the tracker and making suitable changes.

I had earlier written about my progress to financial independence: Retirement Planning: My Story So Far. Upon review, I found a big mistake, but thankfully on the side of caution. As I went about correcting that mistake, this sheet came into being.

The retirement tracker tool integrates the following calculators:

The low-stress retirement calculator  (this is a basic retirement calculator with asset allocation explicityly factored in)

Inflation-protected Income Simulator (here the retirement is assumed to grow in different buckets of varying risk. First time users who are not familiar with the idea of bucket strategy can consider reading: Generating an inflation-protected income with a lump sum

EPF Corpus Calculator with Contribution Schedule (this calculates EPF corpus with all necessary details. There is talk about changes in EPF rules – can anyone please let me know if that is true and what they are?)

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Please note tracking a retirement corpus is serious business and therefor setting up the sheet for the first time will require about 15-30 minutes depending on your comfort level. However, once you have done that, tracking becomes quite simple.


The green cells have to updated with current values each time the retirement plan is reviewed.

The progress can be tracked from the outputs (marked in red). The monthly investment amount should always be manageable with each review.

Once the percentage completion of corpus targets head close to 60%, 70%, the inputs in the bucket strategy sheet can be reviewed closely. As of now, the inputs are reasonable and conservative.

Do give this a try and let me know if you can suggest improvements.

Download the early retirement tracker

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About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the author and owner of freefincal.com.  He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras since Aug 2006. Pattu” as he is popularly known, has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management.  He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. Pattu publishes unbiased, promotion-free research, analysis and holistic money management advice. Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with numbers based analysis on topical issues and has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates  and associations(see details below). Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, TamilNadu Investors Association etc. Contact information: freefincal {at} Gmail {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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  1. Dear Pattu,

    The EPF rules are on the lines of withdrawal only. It should not impact the corpus calculation. The interest rates are as before declared every year. There are no changes in the calculation process.

  2. years in retirement is not right. for the inputs born in 1965 retiring in 2017 number of years you expect to live =90 ..the answer for years in retirement comes to 55. which is wrong. in 2017 , a person born in 1965 would be 52..and if he expects to live to 90, his years in retirement would be 38 not 55. the addition of -17 is wrong. will let you know if i see other bugs.

      1. My most sincere apologies. By ‘bugs’ I mean only something that is not giving expected results. it is not meant in a disparaging tone. You are doing yeoman service and what ever we are getting is free.
        I also must say that compared to your analysis and excels the others comparable products seem positively childish.
        Again Sincerest Apologies and I shall try to use the right words in the future…please keep the good work going.

  3. also i am somehow getting…

    Total Corpus required with constant post retirement return 54,023,845
    Total Corpus required if the bucket strategy is used 10,961,220

    how can this be…

    Can you please double check. but the idea is very very good. to have a retirement tracker….

    1. The bucket strategy corpus should be about 20-30% lower. If it is more, you need to check ALL the inputs. I have not got weird results so far. So cannot do much.

  4. My quick rule of thumb is just to multiply your monthly expenses by 300. If you have this much invested in various ETFs (well diversified and medium risk allocation) you are all set!

    For me, the number works out to be pretty close to one million dollars (family of four expenses). You can accelerate this quite a bit if you plan to hold a small part-time job instead of retire 100%!

    1. One million dollars is about 690 lacs or 6.9 cr. this divided by 300 comes to about Rs 2.3Lacs p.m as monthly expenses.
      This does seem a bit excessive for a family of four. Probably you have included a rent (say Rs 50000/- pm in mumbai) and extensive foreign holidays.
      If i consider a more conservative spend of Rs 1L p.m for a family of 4 , this would then come to Rs 300,00,000/- or Rs 3 Cr.
      If I consider a frugal estimate of Rs 50000/- p.m , maybe not Mumbai or Delhi , but a second level metro, this comes to about Rs 1.5Cr.

      Are the above estimates correct ?


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