What Goes Into Your Goals

By Sallie Krawcheck

There are a lot of factors that make you “you,” and affect how and when you’ll reach your biggest goals. Ellevest takes those factors into account when coming up with your goal estimates.

There are a lot of factors that make you, ‘You,’ and we take them into account.

Here are the assumptions we make in calculating each of your goals, based on what we have heard from all of you:

Emergency Fund

Here we calculate 3 months of take-home pay (salary minus taxes, including Social Security and Medicare taxes) and get you there as quickly as we can.

A Place to Call Home

For your “home goal,” we help you invest for a down payment on a home. You tell us about your dream house, and we’ll use live Zillow data to estimate how much a house like that might cost. We then help you invest enough to have 20% of that as a down payment in six years.

Kids are Awesome

Our “kids” goal is for the extra expenses that come with raising a child; think summer camp, additional educational expenses, weddings*. We calculate 9 months of take-home pay, getting you to this amount in 6 years.

Start a Business

Most experts say to give a new business two years to see if it can work. So we target getting you to 2 years of take-home pay, over the next 5 years. If your business will have revenues immediately, or if you are freelancing, you may want to save less.

Retirement on My Terms

This is where we do so many calculations that the computers can start to smoke (ok, not literally). We calculate your pre-retirement salary (which is your estimated salary in the year before you retire, based on your gender and your salary curve — which is in turn based on your education level).

We then target getting you to 90% of that pre-retirement income. We estimate you’ll spend less than you do before you retire (no more costs of commuting, no more work clothes!), but not as much less as other firms (after all, many of you tell us you plan on traveling like a nomad when you retire).

Not to get morbid on you, but we also calculate how long you’re going to live, based on gender-specific mortality tables. For most women, it’s 87-years-old.

Build Wealth

This is a gift to “Future You.” We forecast it over 20 years. We start by estimating how much it could be if you begin by investing 25% of your investable assets and deposit 5% of your salary into the account on an on-going basis. That said, as we analyze your other goals and priorities, we may recommend different amounts.

Big Splurge

Over to you on this one. You tell us how much you need, and we work to get you there.

Wait, you may be saying. I’m married… or kind of married. Can you take that into account?

Yes. These are our starting points. You can customize these assumptions to what makes more sense for you as you put together your financial plan, such as increasing the amount of your Emergency Fund or Home goal or increasing the recurring deposits to take into account two incomes.

Questions? We’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to Support@Ellevest.com.

The “Kids are Awesome” goal is not a 529 college savings account, which we recommend being your first stop in college savings.

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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ellevest. Her life’s mission is to help women to reach their financial and professional goals.