Hugh's Mortgage and Financial Calculators


Hugh's Pick Your Price Financial Advice Service
to help me keep this site running indefinitely!


Hugh's Views

  • Hugh's Personal Finance Myths

  • How I improved the St. Louis economy

  • Five Reasons to Die Without a Will

  • How much house you really should buy

  • Hugh's financial common sense guide

  • Hugh's comments on pre-paying your mortgage versus investing

  • Hugh's recommended reading list


  • Latest Additions

  • Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") State and County Premium Database - On October 1, 2013, the healthcare.org allowed people to find out the premiums for all the plans managed in the 34 states where the federal government is managing their healthcare marketplaces. Unfortunately the site hosting the database has been overwhelmed and people cannot find the information too easily. I have taken the massive spreadsheet distributed by the federal goverment and dissected it into easily manageable pieces for all 34 states. Enjoy!
  • Middle Class Income Calculator - Using Pew Research Center data I created a calculator that defines the "middle class" income (as defined as 2/3 to 2x median income) for all metropolitan areas and states in the United States. You can compare your own income to see where you would stand in different locations.
  • JUMBLE Puzzle Word Guesser - UPDATED! I still have my old JUMBLE descrambler that just prints out all 720 possibilities for a combination of any 6 characters. But now I have a version that does search the dictionary and shows matches in RED. I also now have one that only does dictionary matches, both in English and in Spanish too!
  • Income and Wealth Percentile Calculator (2001 to 2010 version) - This takes recent data about the drops in household income and wealth from 2001 to 2010 to see how you have moved percentile wise among US households.
  • Glenn Hubbard Refinancing Proposal Calculator - For some reason this proposal is not very well known but it makes a lot of sense: to allow not just those whose mortgages are under water to refinance easily, but to allow anyone with a higher rate mortgage refinance at current record low rates and with reduced closing costs. It makes a lot of sense to me.
  • Retirement Asset to Salary Ratio Calculator - This is an idea from an e-mail message I received from TIAA-CREF. They figured out how many times your income you should have at different ages to retire with either 70% or 90% of your current income. That sounded like a fun project to develop into a calculator, so here it is. I just love writing these things!
  • Household Income Percentile Calculator - (1979 to 2007) Using Congressional Budget Data from their October 2011 report, this calculator shows the percentile for any income amount from 1979 to 2007 (showing percentiles for 1979, 1986, 1993, 2000 and 2007.) This shows how $170,000 put you in the top 1% in 1979, but put you only in the top 4.4% in 2007. On the flip side $15,000 in 1979 put you in the bottom 23.5%, but if you still are making only $15,000 in 2007 you are then in the bottom 20.2%.
  • Cat (Feline) to Human Age Converter/Calculator - I was reading a book with a big chart of cat to human ages in it and decided it had to become an online calculator. So now I can calculate how old my lazy cat is while he sleeps away his life on my sofa. He is equivalent to a middle-aged human which makes a lot of sense since he is a total spud.
  • Local Retail Versus Online Calculator - With ever increasing gasoline prices and lots of great shopping deals online, the big question remains: "Should I buy from a local retailer or from an online store on the Internet?" Compare the costs to see which one will save you the most money!
  • "Get Back" Calculator - After the unpleasant market drops of the last few years, people want to know what types of returns would be necessary to "get back" to the market peaks of long ago. This calculator lets you enter how much your portfolio has dropped, and then calculates the return you need to "get back to where you once belonged"
  • 2010 Refinance Calculator - My latest refinance calculator figures out when a new refinancing would start saving you money compared to just taking the closing costs money and using that to pay down your mortgage balance. I had been thinking of refinancing down our 4.91% loan (as ridiculous as that sounds) to see what the best option is for us. Try it out an see what you think!
  • Metrolink Restoration Schedule - This lists the stops on the Blue Line only from Shrewsbury to Grand Station during the weekdays. This shows the times when the restoration occurred on Monday, June 28, 2010. You can also find the full PDF on the MetroStLouis.org site, but mine is easier to read if you are a daily Blue Line commuter like me.
  • BMI and BMR calculation - Body Mass Index and Basal Metabolic Rate calculations that also act as metric versus US convertors for height and weight. All in one handy, dandy PHP prgram that lives on my site!
  • MortgageSum Calculator Download - Another satisfied customer has purchased my handy, dandy standalone Windows based mortgage calculator application. Let me know if you want me to write something for your site too!
  • The Money Book Calculator. This is a book for freelancers and part-timers who want to learn to better save and spend their money. My calculator allows you to find out how much discretionary income you will have each month after paying yourself first (emergency, tax and retirement accounts) and then all your mandatory expenses.
  • FICO Credit Score, LTV Interest Rate Adjustment Calculator. I found the numbers for this calculator from a library book I read about mortgages by Dale Robyn Siegel, so I thought I would turn it into an online calculator. You enter your home value, down payment (or home equity), FICO credit score and the current market interest rate, and the calculator will estimate what rate you would really end up paying on a mortgage in your situation.
  • Cholesterol level and ratio calculator. First this takes finds the missing value amongst your total blood cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride level numbers, and then reports on the desirability of each one as well as three ratios that help identify some possibly problems. I must be getting old to start putting in health related calculators!
  • Propostion A Sales Tax Calculator. St. Louis County has put a 1/2 cent sales tax on the April 2010 ballot again to support public transportation in the city and county. I have written a calculator to show people how much it will cost them compared to how much money they give MODOT each year for the roads and streets via the gasoline tax.

  • Stock Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) Calculator A request from someone at a bank in Canada who wanted a calculator to demonstrate how DRIP plans worked. Low stock prices are actually good for DRIP plans since you are regularly buying shares both when prices are high (like a few years ago) and also where they are quite low (like NOW!)

  • Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan Calculator Many people do not fully understand how Obama's plan to slow down foreclosures works to help people. It is not simply a foreclosure "bailout plan". Here is a calculator to help people make sense of it better.

  • Buy Hugh's House Calculator - Yes, believe it or not we were trying to sell our house in this lousy economy -- and it sold within the first month! Here is a calculator showing how my buyer is going to get a great deal using the federal tax credit and also Missouri's nice program for first-time buyers, to buy a lovely house (at a very nice price) and live the American Dream. Plus I again have the American Dream of owning ONE nice home, not two!!
  • Is Your Retirement on Track?.Yahoo! Finance had an article telling people how to see if they were on track for their retirement. Unfortunately, it requires perusing a large table and performing a few calculations to solve. I am doing the math for people, using a simple PHP program and copying their large table of numbers since that is what I love to do! So here it is and you can see how well your retirement savings look without having to do the math yourself.
  • RetirementCalculators.org downloadable calculator - Here is another customized calculator I wrote for somebody that people can download and run on their Windows PCs. This one is based on a retirement income calculator I had written. I love writing this stuff!
  • MortgageCalculator.org downloadable calculator MortgageCalculator.net downloadable calculator - I customized my downloadable calculator for some websites, and they have them on their sites. I can write one up for anybody for just a small fee! Contact me for details.
  • Fixed versus COLA Pension Comparison - This simplified calculator allows you to compare a fixed pension with a larger initial payment with a COLA pension with a lower startin payment but which increases each year. This can help you decide which one to choose.
  • Generic Loan Schedule PDF Generator - This is the same as my old Generic Loan Calculator, but now it writes the output to a PDF file so that you can save and print the schedule much easier.
  • Aspect Ratio AJAX Calculator - Which has a taller screen, a 17" standard monitor or a 20" widescreen monitor? Here is a calculator to compare screen dimensions. Plus it is written using AJAX so it submits calculations without a click! Cool...
  • Income Numbers Calculator Simple calculator to quickly see how what an income amount is as an hourly, daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly and annual basis. It also allows you to specify a percentage of income to display for each period
  • Gourmet Muffin Calculator - Yet another savings calculator, but this one is a personal one for Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, a columnist who interviewed me and shared her secret passion for gourmet muffins and how much she spends on them.
  • Password Generator - My own password generator! This uses my favorite technique for generating unguessable, secure passwords that are very easy to remember. Just think of an eight word phrase that you can remember that no one else would and you are set!
  • Savings Comparison Calculator 2006 - Many of my "wealth" calculators had old numbers, but I found some new statistics from a 2006 survey on how much people have saved up for their retirement. The numbers do not look promising for many people to say the least, but you can see how you compare. I know many financial planners tell everyone they need $500,000 or $1 million or more to retire, and it looks like if that is true, very few folks will be enjoying their golden years. Be prepared to be a Wal-Mart greeter in your 70's!
  • Booze/Beverage Savings Calculator Here is an idea sent to me by yet another viewer. Calculate how much you can save by skipping overpriced drinks at restaurants and drinking refreshing, cool water. Just think that instead of having two drinks, you may very well be able to order an appetizer instead, which is likely to be much more satisfying. Aren't all Diet Coke's or Bud Lite's basically the same anyway? Water is better for you and doesn't conflict with the tastes of your food too. Drink water and save!
  • HELOC Cost Calculator Another idea sent to me to calculate how much you "save" in taxes by paying tons of interest to some financial institution while watching the debt dependent on your home equity grow without end. The e-mailer told me some folks use their HELOC's like credit cards, throwing just about anything on it under the guise of "tax savings". No wonder our country is so debt crazy! Used correctly, HELOC's can be great borrowing products; used poorly they just put you more in debt.
  • Gas Cost vs. Cable Bill Calculator. Here is an idea someone e-mailed to me. Compare how much more you are paying in gasoline compared to your cable bill. In 2004 the average US cable bill was $50.98, and I bet most people are not paying that much more in gas prices (compared to a year or two ago) unless they have a long commute or drive a Hummer.
  • Gas Guzzling Calculator. Hey, I was curious so I had to write it for myself. Luckily, my 9 year old Geo is pretty economical and my commute is not too long at about 17 miles round trip daily. But others may not be so lucky
  • Change Counting Calculator. Here is a simple JavaScript calculator for counting up change like after a big garage sale. You can even download it to your PC so you do not have to be online for it to work.
  • I read a book called Rational Simplicity by Tim Covell which is a great little book and also has some fun things to calculate. One describes his Two-Step Housing approach to build wealth slowly by buying, fixing up and reselling homes. The second is a calculation to determine your Real Wage you earn from your job and how many hours things cost that you buy.

  • Mortgages and Loans

  • This describes how to calculate mortgage amortizations by hand

  • This describes how to set up mortgage amortizations on an Excel or Lotus spreadsheet, including sample spreadsheets. Use this if you make irregular prepayments.

  • Pay off or Keep a loan? - Did Granny leave a bundle and you can't decide whether to pay off the mortgage or keep it and invest it all? Look here for help!
  • Blended Rate Calculator - Calculate the effective rate of multiple loans.
  • Monthly Payments per $1,000 borrowed Realtors and mortgage brokers used to have to use these tables all the time to figure out what your monthly payment would be (before the time when everybody had computers). It is still a useful table for some.
  • Conventional Loan with initial Interest Only Payments This program allows you to have low interest only payment for the first few years of a loan before it rolls into a conventional amortized loan with higher payments.
  • Interest Only Loan with fixed Pre-Payment Pay off an interest only loan quicker by paying a fixed principal payment with each interest payment. In this case the interest paid each period will decrease.
  • Interest Only vs Amortized Loan Comparison Okay, I have answered one too many e-mails on interest only loans! Here is a calculator that can answer all your questions.
  • Loan/Refinancing Comparison This provides a very generic and flexible interface to compare two loans especially now when the rates are so low that refinancing can take place in a variety of ways (i.e. you can increase your loan balance and still pay less interest each month!). I have been getting lots of refi questions lately so I have made this comparison as flexible as possible.
  • Generic Loan Amortization - It seems people want to see weekly, daily, quarterly, you name it amortizations. Okay, I will make a generic loan amortization where you specify the number of periods per year. Works exactly the same using PHP!
  • What's Missing? Loan Calculator This simple program finds the missing loan variable (loan amount, monthly payment, interest rate or number of months).
  • Here's a simple little JavaScript calculator that shows you the after tax interest rate of your mortgage. It also shows the after-tax return on your investment income. Taxes do weird things to rates!
  • E-Mail amortization Forms -- Straight Amortization or Prepayment
    Some people complain that their browsers crash when pulling down an amortization schedule. Well, now I will e-mail you one! You can either use a full schedule without any prepayment, or start with your current loan amount and enter any monthly payment amount you want. Having it as e-mail makes an easier permanent record for printing, importing or just to fill up your mailbox!
  • Rule of 78 Loan Calculator A few people have asked me about this one, so I researched it out and wrote it up. Boy, these loans are weird!
  • JavaScript Amortization Spreadsheet Here is a spreadsheet all written in JavaScript that calculates the nitty gritty of your amortization and lets you change any variable anywhere (rate, payment, etc) This is good to track non-uniform principal prepayments, and also ARM's where rates change. Note that this is for 60 months (5 years) only.
  • JavaScript Mortgage Payment Calculator Here is a simple JavaScript example for an interactive calculator. It just takes a few inputs and figures out your monthly payment. Like all JavaScript, the source is embedded in the HTML. (Requires a JavaScript capable browser.)
  • Income Qualification Calculator - UPDATED I calculated the numbers right but explained them out wrong! I don't want people to think they can buy more than they can really qualify for!
  • Prepayment calculator - UPDATED Take your current balance and look at your loan reduction. Does biweekly mortgages too. Now it allows input of your originating loan values.
  • APR Calculator #2 - Find the APR of a loan given points, and other included costs.
  • Simple Loan Calculator - Only three inputs, loan amount, interest and length of loan, calculates the monthly payment for any type of fixed payment, fixed period amortized loan (mortgage, car loan, etc).
  • UPDATED Canadian mortgage payment calculator - Now both calculates loan amount or monthly payment
  • FHA vs. Conventional 95 LTV loan calculator - This shows two very popular plans for first time buyers and how much house you can afford with your cash and income levels.
  • Prepayment vs. Investment -- which is best for you? If you have an extra amount you can pay each month should you pay down your loan or invest it.
  • APR/Front End Calculator - See what that loan REALLY costs you
  • Balloon Calculator - 5/25 and 7/23 Balloon Convertible Mortgages analysis
  • Lease Calculator - Car leasing payment calculator to compare against loan payments
  • Mortgage Duration - Calculate how long a loan will last with a set payment, or find how much to pay to end your loan at a certain time period.
  • Monthly Payment table generator - Generates a table with variable loan amounts and interest rates.
  • Information on biweekly mortgage companies

  • Full Loan Amortization Schedule with Prepayment

  • Read more articles on Home Loans at Mortgage Loan Place.



    Retirement Planning

  • Updated Retirement Calculator This replaces my old future/value annuity calculator with a more interactive calculator with a field for social security/pension income. It shows a table for both the accumulation and withdrawal phase.
  • Special calculator for readers of "The Record" - Yikes, they put me on the front page! And no that isn't my real calculator..
  • Minimum IRA withdrawal calculator How come so many places talk about the 70 1/2 withdrawal requirements but don't show you the numbers? The reason is because it is complicated! Here are the minimum withdrawal requirements for a single life (i.e. no beneficiaries) IRA. Note that even though you must withdraw the amounts from your IRA (or suffer a penalty) and pay tax on the distributions, you don't have to spend it!
  • Roth IRA Conversion Calculator - My version, and I don't even sell my own mutual funds!
  • Retirement Payout Calculator - a modification of "duration.cgi" to show the fixed payout out of an annuity in a perfect world.
  • Updated IRA/401K/403B Calculator This takes old annuity calculator and adds the under 59 1/2 penalties and the minimum withdrawal requirements. Note that this follows current "standard" IRA laws, whereas the new "Roth" IRA's will actually follow my older calculator. And remember when you take withdrawals from your Roth IRA's you PAY NO TAX! They are really too good to believe. I hope you rolled over your present IRA's in 1998 while you could get the special 4 year deal too!
  • Retirement Calculator - Enter required income, number of years, and inflation and this will tell you how much you must put away.


  • Taxes and Tax Planning

  • Mortgage Deductibility after the tax cut - Wow, with these low rate loan you can save a ton of interest. And it is all deductible, right? Well, theoretically that is true, but the actual tax savings is based on your total itemized deductions over the standard deduction. Now that the standard deduction has become quite large (due to new tax cut) you may be surprised to see how little if any income tax you are really saving from your mortgage interest. I just calculated mine out and I will not save from itemizing for the first time since the year we bought our first house.
  • Estate Tax Calculator Updated! Estimate your total taxable estate and how much estate tax you would pay! Updated to reflect new tax "cut" bill. The estate tax is now a very funny little creature indeed. Die before 2011 or you lose!
  • Calculate your AMT Tax (Alternative Minimum Tax!). With too many exemptions you may have to recalculate your income tax!
  • Minimum IRA Distribution Comparison Updated!. I changed this to follow new IRS laws that require your IRA custodian (brokerage, fund family etc) to withdraw a specific minimum as specified by IRS law. This makes this whole "minimum withdrawal" effort much less complicated.
  • Minimum Required Distributions - A reader wanted to see a chart for distributions from an inherited IRA, which is slightly different than if the beneficiary is a spouse. Note that an inherited Roth IRA distributions are tax-free if the IRA was held for five years.
  • Penalty-free IRA withdrawals before 59 1/2 - Did you realize there is a special IRS rule that let's you make regular withdrawals before 59 1/2 without paying the 10% penalty? You must make "substantially equal" withdrawals over a minimum 5 year period. I did have my own calculartor but the IRS has recently changed rules significantly look at the 72t.net site for more info


  • Saving and Investing

  • Break the Starbucks habit - Save a ton by brewing your own, contributing to the office coffee pool, or just stop drinking the stuff. Is it really worth it? An idea from Erika Lim from the heart of Starbucks-land, Seattle.
  • Two Income vs. One Income Calculator - Hey, I had forgotten I had written this but then someone asked about it. This is based on calculations from the now out of print book Shattering the Two-Income Myth by Andy Dappen. Very thought provoking book on the subject.
  • Average Return Calculator Here you enter up to 20 annual returns and it finds the "average" return three ways: the simple numerical average, the cumulative return divided by the number of the years, and also the single rate that would build to that cumulative amount over that time period.
  • Investment/Savings Comparison This allows you to compare a variety of investment options with two side by side saving/investments cases you can modify.
  • How much house can you afford? Updated! - This has been changed to allow higher debt ratios for expensive housing markets.
  • Save a fortune by not smoking, Similar to my "lunch" calculator this lets you see how you can buy a nice vacation or even a new car if you stop smoking cigarettes every day. A suggestion from RF of Richmond, VA.
  • Lunch Savings Calculator - It's amazing to see people who go out to eat lunch everyday, spending $4 to $10 for five days a week to eat. I wonder what would happen if I calculated the savings over making your own $2 lunch every day...
  • What's a Million? Let's see how long it takes to reach a financial goal, say a million dollars, but then let's see how much that will be worth then!.
  • Compound It! This simple JavaScript does a monthly compounding on a fixed balance as well as contributions.
  • What's Your Yield? Find the long term yield of your investments given start and ending amounts and how much you contribute each month.
  • Simple Savings Calculator - Given a beginning balance and a monthly deposit, watch you money grow!
  • Tuition Savings Calculator - As a full-time university employee, one great benefit is free tuition for my kids! It's frightening to think how much it would cost otherwise.
  • Compounding Yield Calculator - Calculate Annual Yield of an Investment
  • Nominal and Effective Interest Rate calculator

  • Statistics and Numbers

  • Your Home Value versus the Median - With all those multi-million dollar "McMansions", your $300,000 home puts you in the middle of the pack, right? Think again!
  • Means and Medians - Calculate the mean and median of a set of numbers. For example use to calculate mean and median home prices, incomes or whatever numbers you like.
  • New EPI/RON Wealth Indicator as taken from Thomas J. Stanley's book, Millionaire Women Next Door. Another measure of how well your income and net worth stacks up.
  • Medical Savings Account Calculator - Calculates your tax savings by participating in an employer sponsored or self-directed medical of "flex" savings plan (or a similar child care savings plan).
  • Wealth Percentile Score - Using a chart from Scott Burn's site, I did some interpolation so you can compare how your net worth stacks up to everybody else's in your age range.
  • CPI/Inflation Muliplier Remember back when you could buy a car in 1972 for $2,500? Has inflation inflation really made that car cost $20,000 now? Well, I grabbed the U.S. CPI (consumer price index) information from the Labor Bureau for 1913-1999 to see how inflation has really increased. Neat stuff.
  • Wealth Calculator This uses the formulas and discussion from Stanley and Danko's best-seller The Millionaire Next Door so you can see how wealthy you really are.

  • Number/Math Games

  • Grid Game - Math game where you compete against the computer to find numbers with the lowest sum of factors of numbers in a grid. Try it out to understand it better.
  • Dice Game - Math game $2: Here you place 11 "bets" on where you think the dice will fall and the computer picks 11 guesses too, then you and the computer both roll and remove your picks as the rolls are made. The first one with all their picks gone wins!
  • Game of Pig - Math game #3! You roll dice against the computer again, trying to add up to 100 with your rolls. You can roll as many times as you like, but it you roll a one on either die you go back to zero! So you must stop wisely. Give it a try and see.
  • Multiplication Bingo - Math Game #4: Two players select 4x4 BINGO cards and then they must pick the product of two integers (written for third graders!). The first with a row, column, diagonal or 8 numbers wins!

  • PAY HERE Information on my Expensive Licensing Fee Karl's Java version of the Mortgage Calculator
    Now estimate up to 8 car insurance quotes simultaneously with CarInsuranceCalculator.info.   Available in all states of the US. Contact me, Hugh Chou, at : huchou@gmail.com
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