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What Repaying Your Debt Will Cost You in Retirement – Calculator

This calculator demonstrates the future retirement financial loss you may experience when electing to repay your debt with an extended repayment program offered by creditors, credit counseling, or debt settlement rather than intervene on your debt with solutions like bankruptcy, which terminate the debt quickly and allow you to resume saving again for retirement.

How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement by Age

The amount you have saved varies by age. Fidelity Investments recommends these goalposts for consumers for a safe retirement.

  • 30: Your annual salary
  • 35: 2x your annual salary
  • 40: 3x your annual salary
  • 50: 6x your annual salary
  • 55: 7x your annual salary
  • 60: 8x your annual salary
  • 67: 10x your annual salary

Do Your Calculations

The calculator solves two problems.

Cost of Payment Plan in Retirement Dollars: This is the value of the retirement funds that you could have invested rather than repay your debt through an extended repayment program.

Future Lost Retirement Value: This is the amount you will lose in retirement from entering into a repayment plan to deal with your debt.

If you want to see the amount lost from the payment plan, leave the “Monthly Payment After Payment Plan” box at 0.

Here is an example:

Current Age: 25
Monthly Payment: 300
Monthly Payment After Payment Plan: 0
Length of Payment Plan: 5
Rate of Return: 10
Estimated Retirement Age: 70

Cost of Payment Plan in Retirement Dollars = $23,231.12
Retirement Cost of Payment Plan = $1,247,526.55

If you elected to pursue some other solution, like bankruptcy, to discharge your debt quickly, you would not make monthly payments into an extended repayment plan. Those funds could instead be used to save towards retirement.

In this example, if our 25-year-old debtor decided to enter into a credit counseling or debt settlement program, they would repay their debt. Still, that plan would cost them $23,231.12 in retirement funds that would be worth $1,247,526.55 when they eventually retired.

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The purpose of this calculator is not to talk you out of credit counseling or debt settlement but to assist you in making a more informed decision about the future costs to you.

It’s Time to Learn the Painful Truth

Debt Repayment Impact on Retirement Calculator
Current Age:Length of Payment Plan (Years):
Monthly Payment:$Rate of Return (%):
Monthly Payment After Payment Plan:$Estimated Retirement Age:


Current Age: Enter your current age.

Monthly Payment: Enter monthly payment of debt plan.

Monthly Payment After Payment Plan Enter any payment you expect to make monthly into your retirement plan after getting out of debt. Leave this as 0 if you want to see the future cost of lost retirement from a repayment plan.

Length of Payment Plan: Enter the number of years the repayment plan will take.

Interest Rate Enter the return rate you anticipate your retirement plan to have. This is the average stock market return.

Estimated Retirement Age Age: The age you anticipate retiring at.




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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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