Can Running a Calculator Really Make You Better Prepared for Retirement?

The following is a guest post from Paul Trevino and Synaptic.co.uk

There are dozens of different calculators available on the internet, whether you wish to calculate your earnings on a specific investment, your mortgage repayment or even the interest you will pay on a loan. Every calculator serves a purpose and, if used properly can make your life easier. People who use calculators regularly are already more adept at planning for the future and looking after their finances. The latest research shows that using a calculator will make you better for retirement:

Savings

Calculators such as the AARP retirement are designed to help you calculate how much you need to save to ensure you have the right amount of money available for your retirement. Many of the settings in this calculator are already completed, although it is possible to change them. It does take into account your retirement age, expected length of retirement, the social security benefits you will be entitled to and any pension you will have.

Economic Security Planner

Many calculators will work on a set of assumptions and these may be biased towards saving more; after all this is safer than not having enough. If you wish to have a more accurate, un-biased picture then this calculator is an excellent choice. The Economic Security Planner requires you to enter specific details if where you currently are financially. It will then calculate forward to advise you of the most you are able to save and what this will mean for your future retirement plans. This calculator is exceptionally good as it does not require you to live like a pauper now.

Asset Allocation

Allocating Assets

There are an increasing number of pension plans which allow you to control where your pension fund is allocated. In effect you will be able to control its growth. However, this is too complicated and important a decision for anyone to simply guess at and hope! Programs created by companies such as Morning Star or Financial Engines help guide staff through the complicated process and safeguard their funds.

Bank Rate

Bank Rate is an asset allocation calculator which will allow you to see the generalized trends regarding what you should be investing in at different stages of your life. It will not help you to decide which fund your money should be in but it will give you a good idea of the average investments and returns.

Fidelity Income Strategy Evaluator

This calculator is designed for anyone who is either retired or due to retire soon. You will need to know what your expenses will be in retirement and the details of your current investments and the ongoing strategy. It will then calculate how much you are likely to receive taking current and predicted market variables into consideration. You can then see if you have enough to live on or not!

Social Security Administration Tools

Social Security Administration Tools will give you an estimation of the benefits you will receive during retirement. The closer you are to retirement the more accurate the calculator will be. A few simple details will allow you to obtain a personalized estimate.

The AARP Social Security benefits Calculator

The AARP Social Security Benefits Calculator is designed to give you a quick overview of your current situation and whether you should aim to start taking retirement benefits at 62 or 70, or anywhere in between! You only need to input a few details to get the answer!

Financial Calculator

Live to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator

Almost every calculator will ask you to estimate how long you expect to live. Whilst it is possible to generalize this depending on family and lifestyle, this calculator will give you a more definitive figure! Simple enter the information from you latest medical visit and answer a few simple questions. Not only will this calculator tell you your life expectancy, it will also give you tips on how to live longer!

Bottom line is, using a calculator to help you prepare for retirement is an excellent idea. These tools will keep your finances organized, while at the same time facilitating money management. Live comfortably in your senior years and choose the calculator that best fit with your financial needs.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.

2 Comments

  1. I actually read an article recently that many of the financial calculators online were too simple and understated what you needed in retirement. I think overall it’s good to use calculators because they can be a general guide. They are no replacement for some intense financial planning (especially anyone nearing retirement), but I think they are a good place to start.

    • Agreed that they can be useful as a good starting point. I sometimes plug the same information into different calculators to note the similarity and differences between the results.

      For detailed analysis I turn to a calculator I developed myself over the course of three years. As I became more knowledgeable about how various factors interacted with one another and the various shortcomings of other calculators, I tweaked mine until it works perfectly for me.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

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