Retirement planning can be made endlessly complicated with terminology and complicated spreadsheets.

Many physicians get so intimidated by the alphabet soup of retirement planning that they often just throw their hands up and not do any financial planning.

I wanted to make a calculator that breaks down retirement planning into as few variables as possible, while maintaining its essential principles.

The Simple Retirement Planning Spreadsheet

With this spreadsheet, all you have to do is enter your age, current net worth, pre-tax income, post-tax income, annual spending, and expected investment returns.

As other calculators have done, you can adjust your investment returns based on average (4%), below-average (2%), or above-average (6%) market scenarios.

(If you’re reading this on your phone, it’s best to turn your phone horizontally and view the spreadsheet in landscape mode.)

The Big Questions This Spreadsheet Answers

This simple spreadsheet is designed to answer two important questions:

1. I want to have a certain lifestyle and spend $X a year — when will I have enough money to retire?

This is the typical way the retirement question is framed. A physician has a set income and spending lifestyle — this spreadsheet will tell them when they will be financially independent.

2. What kind of lifestyle can I have and still retire by age X?

While most physicians save too little, there are some physicians who probably spend too little and save too much. For them, this spreadsheet will explain how much they can “loosen the pursestrings” and still retire by a certain age.

Adjust the “Annual Spending” cell in the spreadsheet and see your FI age go up as you increase spending and vice versa.

If you’re a resident or medical student and are not sure what kind of lifestyle a certain amount of money will get you, see which one of these four hypothetical physician lifestyles fits how you’d like to spend your money.

Join the WSP Community and Download This Spreadsheet

I hope you like this simple retirement calculator. When I first made the spreadsheet, it changed my perspective on spending and saving for retirement. I hope it will do the same for some of you.

If you want to play with this spreadsheet offline, I can send you an e-mail so you can download it. You’ll also get new post notifications and the WSP newsletter.

What do you think? Do you like the spreadsheet? Have you ever made your own spreadsheets for retirement planning?


  1. Kudos WSP. It is a nice calculator. I am always curious as to how my spending will change with time and what my true retirement number will be. With a pension (if I work until 60), the math is really easy. If I try to leave my job early, the match becomes more complicated. Ah well…time will tell.

  2. Thanks for the calculator, this one simplicity speaks to me. I’ve tried many different retirement calculators but I like looking at my basics when I will hit my FI with low growth and high spending to look at the worse case. It does make one pause when spending money on needless things that could go towards my future.

    Am in need of a new cell phone and decided to get not quite the latest and greatest. Someone chastised me for not spending $200 more to get the iPhone X which would really be more like $300-400 more. I turned to them and said “I”m in investing that spare $200 and will be making money on it”. They gave me the strangest look but my $200 is going to keep on growing. Frugal lifestyle and investing wisely.


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