The Best Free Online Tools for Retirement Planning


Whether you’re 25 or 45, there’s no time like the present to talk about retirement planning. And with so many free online tools at your fingertips, there’s no excuse not to. We’ve compiled a list of the best free online tools for retirement planning to help you get set for the future.

How long will you live?

Yes, it’s a little morbid to think about, but it’s a key component to consider when starting your retirement planning process. Try this life expectancy calculator to give you a better idea of how long you want your retirement savings to last. Or you can use this simpler calculator that will estimate the probability of you and/or your spouse living to a specific age.

How much will you need to maintain your lifestyle?

Most people will need about 75% of their current income to maintain their lifestyle in retirement. However, you may want to consider what kind of retirement you want, e.g. if you’ll be traveling, moving to another state, spoiling your grandkids, etc.  The Squared Away calculator can help you figure out how much you’ll need. Or try the Ballpark E$timate, which also has an app available for iPhones and Androids.

How much will you get from Social Security?

This Social Security Benefits Calculator will tell you how much retirement income you can expect to receive at different claiming ages, so you can determine the best age to claim your Social Security. You can also use the Retirement Estimator on the Social Security website. They can’t provide your actual benefit amount until you apply for benefits, but they can give estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record.

How much will your health care cost in retirement?

This is a factor that often gets underestimated or forgotten. Use this tool to predict your future health care costs and make sure you’re saving enough.

Will you have enough to retire?

If you’re looking for a straightforward, no-nonsense calculator, check out CNN’s retirement calculator to see if you’re on the right track with your retirement savings. If you prefer something more in-depth, but no less easy to use, the Financial Mentor’s retirement calculator is a more comprehensive planning tool.

What if?

Although we can never truly expect the unexpected, you can at least use this retirement planning calculator to model future uncertainty under a variety of circumstances. Another solid financial planning tool that uses Monte Carlo simulation is the Flexible Retirement Planner, which allows you to create certain “what if” scenarios to see the effects of rare events.

Keep in mind, these types of tools won’t guarantee your financial security in retirement, but they will help prepare you for what’s ahead so you can plan accordingly. What other free online resources have you found useful in your retirement planning? Let us know in the comment section below!

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