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This page explains how each calculator on Sorted works. It includes details of the assumptions that have been made for each calculator and the methodology used to provide the results. 

Overview

The Sorted calculators, planners and quizzes ask you to enter some information about you and your money. They then do the calculations for you and present the results.

The calculators give you ballpark figures only – in other words, they'll give you a good idea of actual results but won't be absolutely exact. Please read Sorted's terms and conditions which explain that the calculators should be used as a guide and a starting point only, and do not replace seeking professional advice.

Adjustments for inflation

The results given by some calculators show the effect of inflation at 2%. The amount of 2% is the midpoint in the government’s long-term range for inflation of between 1% and 3%.

In calculators which adjust for the effect of inflation, the results shown are in today's dollars. This means that the actual dollar amounts that you pay or receive in the future are likely to be more than the figures shown, but the figures shown will have the same buying power as today. For example, if you could buy something worth $1000 now, in 10 years’ time, you would need $1220 to buy that same thing (assuming 2% inflation).

The calculators which include the effect of inflation in the results are:

  • Savings calculator
  • Retirement calculator
  • KiwiSaver calculator

In these calculators, you can see your results without the effect of inflation by toggling the 'Take inflation into account?' button so it turns off. You can include the effect of inflation again by reselecting the button so it turns on.

Saving your calculators

You can save the information you entered and your results once you have registered for a free, secure Sorted account. This means you can return later to make updates and to review progress.

Note: If you then select ‘Save’, you overwrite any work you've saved previously. To save various versions, simply rename your calculator.

Disclaimer

The results from Sorted tools are a guide only. They do not constitute investment advice to any person. Sorted recommends professionally licensed, independent advice.

Neither Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission nor its employees accept any liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of, or reliance on, the information provided in our tools, including, without limitation, any loss of profit or other damage, direct or consequential. Please read our website terms and conditions.

Budget planner

Note: This new budget planner is replacing the previous budgeting tool in the first half of 2024. If you have previously saved budgets, the new planner will transfer these automatically so you will be able to easily see them. Simply log into your Sorted account and open the new planner, then select to open any saved budget you have. It will open automatically with your data intact. As the older tool is winding down, your transferred budgets will only be available in the new planner.

What it does

The budget planner works out the difference between the money you have coming in and the money going out. It tells you whether you have money left over (a surplus) to save, invest and flow towards your goals; or whether you are spending more than you are bringing in (a shortfall). If your plan shows you don’t have enough, you’ll need to adjust your spending or find ways to increase your income. Spending more than you earn means you are probably relying on costly debt, so being able to earn more than you spend is key to managing your money well.

There is a toggle for each expense so you can indicate whether it is 'essential' or 'non-essential'. If you are looking to cut back on your spending, start by going through anything you've marked as 'non-essential' and are not getting that much out of. By paring back those items that you are not enjoying that much, you can cut things without feeling too deprived.

You can also indicate whether expenses are 'fixed' or flexible. By tallying up all your fixed expenses, which are more predictable, you can then create a separate bills account with a steady amount to be transferred via automatic payment each time you're paid. This way you can be sure that you're covering all the predictable expenses automatically.

Tool methodology

First you enter details of your current income and spending, assigning amounts to categories. Then the planner adds up all of your spending and deducts the total from your earnings to work out the difference between your income and spending.

Depending on whether an expense is marked as 'essential' or 'fixed', the planner adds these up and displays them so you can make adjustments more easily.

Your results

The budget planner shows whether you have surplus income or a shortfall, and how much. It also shows an overview graph of your outgoings broken down into your categories, and colour-coded as per your categories.

The planner gives you a list of all essential and non-essential items in your plan, as well as displaying the total of fixed expenses you have. If you're looking to trim your budget, start by reviewing the items you've marked as non-essential. If you've marked all the fixed expenses you have, consider creating a separate bills account that covers those fixed expenses and use an AP to automatically transfer money into it each time you're paid.

The budgeting tool results are shown without the effect of inflation.

You can save your budget to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review or update it. You can have multiple budgets saved, too. 

Have a go

Try our budget planner.

 

Goal planner

What it does

The goal planner helps you brainstorm goals; define their timeframe, dollar amount and motivation; and supports you as you track your progress towards each. The tool allows you to view your goals by short (1–3 years), medium (4–9 years) or long terms (10 years plus) and encourages you to have some in each time bucket. 

Each goal results in a statement: "We will have $x for x in x months" and emphasises your 'why' behind each. It encourages you to implement actions to achieve your goals in a systematic way. 

Your results

You can save your goal planner to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review or update them. You can also save your actions to your dashboard checklist. 

Have a go

Try our goal planner.

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Money personality quiz

What it does

Finding out your ‘money personality’ can be useful for anyone wishing to improve their money management and financial wellbeing. This light-hearted quiz gives you insights into your money life, how you handle money, and offers useful support as you make choices going forward. It is designed to:

  • Give you insights into your personality traits and your financial behaviours
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to financial decisions and money management.

The tool, developed for the New Zealand context, uses 17 questions to generate five distinct personalities.

It was developed in partnership with AUT’s Dr Ayesha Scott and Professor Aaron Gilbert, who analysed survey responses from 500 New Zealand adults using latent class analysis – a form of cluster analysis that allows us to consider a respondent’s traits, behaviours, and attitudes together rather than separately. Personality characteristics were identified based on patterns of responses to each question.

Tool methodology

The quiz's 17 questions include ones that measure:

  • Confidence and self-perception on personal money handling
  • Risk preferences, specifically for investing
  • Psychological factors, relevant to money management (i.e., materialism, impulsivity, extraversion, present orientation, neuroticism, and money-based emotions)
  • Money values, including giving, money’s relative importance, and status
  • Goal setting, as some personalities lend themselves to longer- versus shorter-term goals.

To identify your money personality, responses to each question are modified from the original study to be a binary scale (for most questions), and the tool assigns you a score representing the probability of that item for each money personality.

Your scores are added up across all 17 quiz questions and divided by the maximum possible score for each personality (defined as the most common response for all questions). You then have five scaled scores, one for each money personality, and are assigned a money personality based on your highest score.

Your results

The tool logic allocates quiz users into the following five personalities: the Enterpriser, Socialite, Minimalist, Contemporary and Realist.

  • The Enterprisers (28.6% of those we surveyed) are very future-orientated, enjoy looking after their finances and are proud of being wise with their money (e.g., not spending or giving when they cannot afford to). Their top goal is maximising their savings and making a return on their investments.
  • The Minimalists (33.7%) are conservative with risk, naturally frugal, and confident with their saving ability and money management. They tend to be saving for a shorter-term goal.
  • The Socialites (19.5%) enjoy managing their money and taking financial risks, having nice things and sharing their wealth with others. These are our most outgoing group. Their goals trend toward shorter-term objectives, rather than the longer-term.
  • The Contemporaries (10.4%) tend to identify themselves as spenders, engage in impulsive emotional spending, and are generous even when they cannot afford to be. This group do not enjoy managing money, preferring to ‘live for today’, but may be facing financial hardship – building financial resilience is their goal.
  • The Realists (7.9%) are very conservative with risk and value money highly but are not confident with their money handling. The most introverted group, Realists monitor their finances but do not enjoy money management. Their goals tend to be shorter-term savings and building financial resilience.

The tool displays key steps for each personality to improve their financial capability and wellbeing, as well as pointing to curated content for each personality type.

You can save your money personality quiz to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review it.

Disclaimer

The tool is not designed to replace more extensive personality testing in a research or clinical setting.

Most people have one clearly dominant money personality, although in some cases they can have multiple with similar probabilities.

We base our classification on the highest probability, acknowledging this will be an imperfect description for some people who bear hallmarks of more than one personality.

Have a go

Try our money personality quiz.

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Debt calculator

What it does

The debt calculator shows you how long it will take you to pay off your various debts and the total amount of interest you will pay. It collects details about any buy now pay later loans, personal loans, credit or store cards, car loans or overdrafts you have and charts your quickest method to repay them. You can also add other forms of debt to the tool.

The tool uses the avalanche method, in which the highest-interest debt is prioritised with any extra money you have to be paid down sooner. The resulting extra money is then funnelled towards the next-most expensive, and the process repeats until you are debt free.

The tool also spotlights the amount of interest you will be paying in the various scenarios.

The calculator features an interactive slider, which will increase the repayment amount as you slide the bar across. As it does this, you will see the time to repay, total interest and total you will pay all reduce. 

Assumptions

The debt calculator assumes your repayments stay the same each year.

Tool methodology

First, you choose the type of debt you want to find out about: credit card, hire purchase, car loan, or personal loan. Then the debt calculator asks you to enter the amount owed and the interest rate.

  • For credit cards you also enter the repayment amount. The results show the total you will pay and the time it will take to fully repay the credit card debt. The debt calculator starts with the amount owed, reduces it by the repayment amount, and adds interest each period using the interest rate, until the amount owed reaches zero. The final repayment amount is the minimum of the remaining amount owed and the standard repayment amount.
  • For car loans you also enter details of any interest-free period, start-up and other fees, the total term and repayment frequency. The calculator allows for periods of no repayments and no interest. It also allows for various types of fees.The results show the minimum repayment amount. 
  • For personal loans you also enter the total term of the loan and repayment frequency. The results show the minimum repayment amount.

Your results

For all types of debt, the graph results show:

  • The total amount you will pay – which is the sum of the repayments
  • The total interest you will pay – which is the total amount paid less the initial amount owed
  • The time to repay which is the number of years and months it will take to repay the debt.

You can save your debt calculator to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review or update it.

Results are shown without inflation.

What if?

If you choose an increased repayment amount, the calculator repeats the exercise and shows the savings you gain (calculated as the difference between the initial total amount paid and the new total amount paid) and how much faster you would pay off the debt.

Have a go

Try our debt calculator.

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Mortgage calculator

What it does

The mortgage calculator works out how much you'll pay each week, fortnight or month in order to pay off your mortgage by the end of the mortgage term. It can also show how long it will take you to pay off your mortgage based on the repayments you make. It also  can show you how to pay off your mortgage faster by increasing your repayments.

The calculator shows the total amount you'd pay with interest, and splits it into the amount that reduces the principal and the amount that pays off the interest.

The calculator features an interactive slider, which will increase the repayment amount as you slide the bar across. As it does this, you will see the time to repay, total interest and total you will pay all reduce.

Assumptions

The calculator assumes that your repayments stay the same for the term of the mortgage, and any increased repayments begin today.

Tool methodology

First, the mortgage calculator asks you to enter the mortgage amount, interest rate, repayment amount (if known), the repayment frequency (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and the term of the loan.

If your mortgage is split between fixed and floating, work out the fixed and floating amounts separately using split function.

The calculator uses the mortgage amount and the term of the loan to calculate the regular repayment amount needed for the mortgage amount, and interest to be repaid at the end of the mortgage term. You can then alter the repayment amount to see how this effects the total you will pay and the mortgage term.

The calculator adds the interest to the total loan amount, based on the interest rate and mortgage term entered, to show the total cost of the mortgage. This is visually separated into principal and interest.

Your results

The results show:

  • The amount of your weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments
  • The total amount paid – which is the sum of the repayments
  • The total interest paid – which is the total amount paid less the initial amount owed
  • The time to repay – which is the number of years it will take to repay the mortgage.

Results are shown without inflation.

You can save your mortgage calculator to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review or update it.

What if?

  • If you choose an alternative term, the calculator determines the repayment amount that will reduce the mortgage amount to zero by the end of the new term and shows your age at the end of the new term. It also shows you the total amount paid, which if you choose a shorter term will be less.
  • If you choose an increased repayment amount, the calculator shows the lower amount of interest you pay and how much faster you would pay off the mortgage.

Have a go

Try our mortgage calculator.

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Retirement calculator

What it does

Sorted’s retirement calculator helps you work out whether you are on track to achieve the retirement lifestyle you’d like. You can include your NZ Super, KiwiSaver, and any additional income or assets you expect to have when you retire. You can also include your partner in your planning.

You’ll need your estimated KiwiSaver balance at retirement – for this you can use our KiwiSaver calculator first. (Tip: If you sync your results from that tool, many of your details will appear automatically in the retirement calculator and save you time.)
All results are net of fees, taxes, and adjusted for inflation. So for example, the goal you set as a retirement income for your lifestyle is the amount you would receive in the hand.

Assumptions

The retirement calculator assumes the following:

  • Inflation is 2%.
  • New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super) begins when you turn 65 and continues throughout your retirement years.
  • If you choose to include your partner in the calculations, the retirement calculator assumes your partner starts receiving NZ Super when they turn 65.
  • The NZ Super rate shown in the retirement calculator is either the married rate (if with a partner) or the single rate.
  • The payments you receive increase with inflation each year.
  • Your total savings are used up during retirement, so that nothing is left over at the end of your retirement years. For a couple, this is the longer retirement time span from either partner. 
  • All investments in retirement are in a balanced managed fund which is a portfolio investment entity (PIE).
  • Your net return from your managed fund in retirement will vary depending on your type of fund and your PIE tax rate or prescribed investor rate (PIR).

The assumed returns are:

Fund type

28.0% tax rate

17.5%

10.5%

Balanced

3.5%

3.8%

4.1%

  • Regarding tax, each diversified fund has asset allocation assumptions. Tax is applied differently depending on the asset sector:

    • For some sectors we use an income assumption and deduct tax on just the income (e.g. NZ equity)
    • For some sectors we use the FDR tax method and tax on an assumed return of 5% (e.g. global shares).
    • For some sectors we use the CV method and tax the full return (e.g. NZ bonds).

    Of course, the tax bases themselves are just assumptions based on our understanding of typical tax treatment in the market; tax can and will vary based on investor circumstances.

Tool methodology

First, the retirement calculator asks you to enter your age and the age you’d like to retire at. (This needs to be 65 or older, when NZ Super and KiwiSaver become available.) You can also include a partner in your planning if you’d like.

To help set a retirement target, the tool then asks if you think you’ll be living in a city or in a rural area and suggests weekly amounts based on what retirees typically spend. You can also add your own weekly lifestyle goal instead. This is the amount you want in hand each week after any tax has been deducted.

You then enter your future KiwiSaver balance and any lump sums you expect to have at retirement, as well as NZ Super and any income streams you expect to be receiving.

Your results

The retirement calculator shows the amount of the shortfall below (or the surplus above) your desired retirement income. Where there is a shortfall, it shows the amount that of the ‘gap’ still to be filled to meet your lifestyle goal.

Results are shown with the effect of 2% inflation. You can de-select the inflation toggle to see your results without the effect of inflation.

You can save your retirement calculator to your Sorted dashboard so you can come back at a later date and review or update it. You can also sync your calculator inputs so that the information you entered – your age, salary and KiwiSaver balance – is available when you start another Sorted tool, which will save you time.

What if…

When you see your results, you can alter them for the better in a number of ways. Under the ‘Change your future’ tab, you can, for example, change your retirement goal, your retirement years, or the income and assets you could have when you retire. This can affect your forecast results significantly.

Have a go

Try our retirement calculator.

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KiwiSaver calculator

What it does

KiwiSaver is particularly designed for two goals in particular: saving and investing for retirement or a first-home deposit. Sorted’s KiwiSaver calculator forecasts how much you could have at retirement or for a first home, based on your continued contributions at the levels you have chosen, your fund type, and how far off your goal is. It also provides an estimate of the regular income that you could get in retirement from the total lump sum in your KiwiSaver when you retire.

Assumptions

The KiwiSaver calculator assumes the following:

  • Inflation is 2%.
  • If you select Employed, the KiwiSaver calculator assumes your pay increases at 3.5% per year and that your contributions increase in line with your pay. For example, $200 today will be $230 in 4 years’ time. The assumed pay increase of 3.5% is included in the calculations by applying a margin to the assumed long-term rate of inflation (2%).
  • If you select Self-employed or Not working, the KiwiSaver calculator assumes that your contribution amount increases each year with inflation.
  • You do not suspend your savings at all.
  • You receive the maximum government contribution of $521. These are included at the end of each member credit year which runs from 1 July to 30 June. (Note: To receive the full government contribution, you must be a KiwiSaver member for the entire year, from 1 July to 30 June. If you join KiwiSaver midway through the year, the partial amount you can get is prorated based on how long you’ve been a member.)
  • Your investments are in a managed fund which is a portfolio investment entity (PIE). Your PIE income is taxed at either 28%, 17.5% or 10.5%, depending on your total taxable income.
  • Your net return from the managed fund will vary, depending on your type of fund and your PIE tax rate or prescribed investor rate (PIR). The assumed returns are:

Fund type

28.0% tax rate

17.5%

10.5%

Defensive

1.5%

1.6%

1.9%

Conservative

2.5%

2.7%

3.0%

Balanced

3.5%

3.8%

4.1%

Growth

4.5%

4.9%

5.2%

Aggressive

5.5%

6.0%

6.3%

  • Regarding tax, each diversified fund has asset allocation assumptions. Tax is applied differently depending on the asset sector:

    • For some sectors we use an income assumption and deduct tax on just the income (e.g. NZ equity)
    • For some sectors we use the FDR tax method and tax on an assumed return of 5% (e.g. global shares).
    • For some sectors we use the CV method and tax the full return (e.g. NZ bonds).

    Of course, the tax bases themselves are just assumptions based on our understanding of typical tax treatment in the market; tax can and will vary based on investor circumstances.

Tool methodology

First, the KiwiSaver calculator asks you which goal you are saving and investing for – your first home or retirement – and how much time there is before you would like to reach it. The tool then asks for your age, your employment status, your salary, and how much you contribute to KiwiSaver. It then asks about your KiwiSaver account: your current balance, your fund type, and any additional contributions you make, either regularly or as a lump sum.

Any employee and employer contributions are added to any current value of your KiwiSaver accounts, as are the assumed investment earnings and any government contributions due each period. The amounts are added up each pay period until you reach the age of 65. This is your total.

Next, the KiwiSaver calculator works out the regular income amount that you could get from the total during your expected retirement period.

Adjusting for inflation

The total amount shown is the estimated buying power of the total amount, including inflation at 2%. For example, by the time you reach age 65 your KiwiSaver statement might show a total balance of $597,000. However, as the price of everything will have increased by that time, you would only be able to buy $271,000 worth of goods at today's prices.

Your results

The KiwiSaver calculator results show the total sum you would have in your KiwiSaver account at retirement and the regular income that you could get from that sum during your planned retirement period. If you are planning for your first home, it shows how a withdrawal of a certain amount at a given time will affect your retirement balance.

Results are shown with the effect of 2% inflation. You can de-select the inflation toggle to see your results without the effect of inflation.
Results are also shown with your retirement years, and the effect of drawing down your KiwiSaver regularly over time. You can turn this off or on as well.

You can save your KiwiSaver calculator to your Sorted dashboard so you can come back at a later date and review or update it. You can also sync your calculator inputs so that the information you entered – your age, salary and KiwiSaver balance – is available when you start another Sorted tool, which will save you time.

What if?

When you see your results, you can alter them for the better in a number of ways. Under the ‘Change your future’ tab, you can, for example, change your contribution rate, your fund type, or your retirement years. This can affect your forecast results significantly.

Have a go

Try our KiwiSaver calculator.

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Savings calculator

What it does

The savings calculator shows you either how much you need to save on a regular basis to reach your savings goal, or how much you will have if you save a regular amount over a period of time.

The calculator features an interactive slider, which will increase the savings amount as you slide the bar across. As it does this, you will see the interest and total amount increase. The savings term is fixed and will not be adjusted by the slider. If you are saving for a goal, the slider will increase the regular savings amount and interest, therefore reducing time to save.

Assumptions

The savings calculator assumes the following:

  • Your savings stay the same each year.
  • Your savings are added to each month by the amount of interest earned, calculated at a compound interest rate (1.06^(1/12)-1).
  • Interest payments are made at the end of each month.
  • Inflation of 2% is assumed. You can toggle this off under 'Take inflation into account?'. The tool also defaults to increasing contributions in line with inflation, which can also be turned off.

Tool methodology

This calculator starts by asking you whether you want to either:

  • Save for a goal over a period of time
  • Save a regular amount for a period of time.

Saving for a goal

If you are saving for a goal, the calculator asks you to enter your goal amount and the date you need it.

The saving calculator works out how much you need to save on a regular basis to reach your savings goal in the timeframe you specify. It allows for any amount you’ve already saved and the interest it earns, as well as the interest you will earn on your regular savings.

The results show you how much you need to save each week as well as the total interest your savings earn between now and your goal date. The graph can show different time periods of weeks, fortnights, months or years.

Saving a regular amount

If you are saving (or planning to save) a regular amount over a period of time, the calculator asks you to enter the amount and how often you save it (e.g. weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly). It also asks you to select an end date for your regular saving.

The savings calculator adds up the amount you save and adds interest to the balance each period until the end date.

The results show you how much you will have contributed to your savings at the end date, the total interest your savings are expected to earn, and the total of your savings (your contributions plus the expected interest).

If you choose an increased savings amount, the calculator shows you either:

  • How much faster you would reach your savings goal, or
  • How much more you would save during the selected period.

You can save your savings calculator to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review or update it.

Have a go

Try our savings calculator.

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Investor profiler

The investor profiler gives you your investor type, a typical mix of investments and the sorts of results you can expect. It also shows the dramatic difference that regularly adding to investments makes.

Tool methodology

The investor profiler has seven multiple-choice questions that gather your details. The questions are about how much time you have to invest, how much capacity you have to invest, and how much risk you are comfortable taking.

Your results

Based on your answers, the investor profiler identifies you as one of five investor types: aggressive, growth, balanced, conservative or defensive. These are terms generally used in the financial services industry, making it easier for you to discuss with a professional adviser.

For each type, a typical mix of investments is shown with the results you might expect. The investor profiler also displays graphs of a possible result and the range of results you could have.

You can use the dropdown selection box to compare your results with other investor types, too. If you save your investor profiler to your Sorted account, you can come back to it later and review or update it.

Assumptions

  • Each question and answer has been weighted in terms of importance (time questions: 40%, capacity questions 20%, personality questions: 40%).
  • Fees are estimated to be 1%.
  • Taxes are based on current PIR rates and depend on how the different kinds of investments are taxed.
  • Inflation is assumed to be 2% – the midpoint of the Reserve Bank’s inflation target of between 1% and 3%.
  • The projected returns are based on the investment outlook and analysis from Sorted’s actuaries. Results over different periods will vary.
  • The projected returns are only estimates and are no guarantee of investment performance. An investment’s past performance does not necessarily indicate how it will perform in the future.

Disclaimer

  • The information provided by the investor profiler is a guide only and is not intended as investment advice. We recommend that investors always seek professional advice.
  • The returns shown for the various mixes of investments are subject to risks and are not guaranteed. Returns will vary depending on the performance of individual investments.
  • We do not accept any liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of, or reliance on, the information provided on these pages including, without limitation, any loss of profit or other damage, direct or consequential.
  • Please also read our terms and conditions.

Have a go

Try our investor profiler.

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Net worth calculator

What it does

The net worth calculator works out how well off you are (your net worth) by taking into account everything you own (your assets) and everything that you owe (your liabilities). Ideally, your net worth will increase over the years as you own more and owe less.

Tool methodology

The calculator asks you for the current value of the things you own including your house, vehicle, shares, superannuation and other savings. You also enter everything you owe, including your mortgage, loans and credit card debt.

The calculator adds up everything you own and deducts everything that you owe. The result is your net worth.

If you wish to plan for or estimate your net worth in the future, you can enter figures for 10 years and 20 years’ time.

Your results

The net worth calculator shows your current net worth, and will also display your estimated net worth in 10 and 20 years’ time.

You can save your net worth calculator to your Sorted account so you can come back at a later date and review or update it.

Have a go

Try our net worth calculator.

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