Ballpark E$timate

EBRI's Ballpark E$timate® (patent pending) is a calculator that can help you to estimate your future savings and spending for your retirement.

About EBRI

Founded in 1978, EBRI is a private nonprofit research institute that focuses on health, savings, retirement, and economic security issues. Its mission is to contribute to and enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education. Read more about EBRI and our programs at

About Ballpark E$timate

Sponsored by RRF Foundation for Aging and designed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the Ballpark E$timate is an easy-to-use calculator that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to live a comfortable retirement. Factoring in the complicated issues such as Social Security benefits, inflation and earnings assumptions, and spending in retirement the Ballpark E$timate presents calculated results in an easy-to-understand format. Ballpark E$timate was originally sponsored by the American Savings Education Council (ASEC).

About Retirement Profiles

The four retirement profiles (Struggling, Average, Comfortable, and Affluent) used in this Ballpark E$timate are based on spending quartiles from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Consumption and Activities Mail Survey (CAMS) data.

Helpful Hints

Additional Savings Per Year — These numbers indicate the additional savings per year in current-year dollar terms and as a percentage of current-year salary needed to move up to a higher spending profile.

Retirement Age — The retirement age must be at least one year older than the current age.

Pensioners — Individuals expecting to receive pension income should enter their projected annual benefit into “Additional Annual Income in Retirement.”

Below Struggling — Some combinations of inputs may result in the display of a Struggling (lowest spending) profile with needed Additional Savings Per Year, meaning that the projected income will not cover the projected spending of the lowest spenders. Anyone in this situation would likely be in poverty and be eligible for government assistance.

Social Security benefits — These are based on the current law benefit formula.

Taxes — Expenses include taxes. The figures in “Spending E$timate” indicate the share of expenses that taxes represent for each profile.


These calculations are hypothetical and do not represent actual savings in retirement. Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as educational tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide financial planning or investment advice. These tools help you see which factors are most important to consider in making a particular financial decision, and they illustrate the relative impact of each factor on the projected outcome.

All examples in these tools are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. We cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy of the results or their applicability to your individual circumstances.


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