Viewer Request: How do I calculate dates in the future?

Today’s lesson is my answer to a viewer’s question: “How does Excel calculate a date in the future?”

The viewer wrote me because they were having trouble writing a formula that would return a date “N-Months” in the future. Or “3 years in the future” from a specific starting date.

I am asked this question frequently. In this short Excel video lesson I demonstrate how you write the formula.

Here are the steps to follow in this Excel Training Video:

  1. Use the AutoFill feature and Options to increment your “Starting Date.” I recommend using your “right-mouse button” to AutoFill because it automatically brings up a Menu of Options when you release the Right-Mouse Button.
  2. In response to the viewer’s question, we will choose “Fill Months.”
  3. Remember that we are using a “Hard-Coded” date as our “Starting Date,” so each value is really a “constant value.” This may not be the optimal result that we are seeking.
  4. In order to provide flexibility (with your starting date) you need to learn how to construct a formula that will increment (in this case the MONTH) our values.
  5. Use the “DATE() Function.
  6. For each of the “Arguments,” use the YEAR(), MONTH() and DAY() functions.
  7. To answer my viewer’s question we use MONTH(A2) +1 in the “Month Argument.”
  8. To “Increment the Year,” we use YEAR(A2) +1 in the “Year Argument.”
  9. Finally, write a “Formula” to verify that Excel is properly accounting for “Leap Years.”

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  1. I am having a terrible time finding an answer. Can you help me?
    I need to know when each employee will turn 65 in detail like the month, day and year. I have tried everything and am so frustrated.

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