Retirement calculators are essential for planning your retirement. A perfect online retirement tool helps to make excruciating decades of numbers and assumptions comfortable and less stressful. The best tools help you to understand the assumptions that are being made and to change them easily.
The way we approach and utilize money is being influenced by technology as this is evident in the manner in which Robo-advisors approach money. They now have an automated method of saving and investing money.
This also calls into question the value of high-cost investment advisors. Especially since several start-ups automate the financial planning industry. This they do by building tools that help individuals to become their Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
In the same vein, technology is also influencing retirement and planning.
Several companies have come up with different free retirement calculators and tools for future retirees. These tools assist with virtually everything you need to know about retirement savings.
Ranging from determining how much to save to understand how much retirement income your savings can generate. However, this post contains eight of the best online retirement calculators that are easy to use, understandable and mostly free.
8 Useful and Free Online Retirement Calculators for Saving Money
1. CNN’s Retirement Planner
CNNMoney’s Retirement Planner is like creating an online financial plan. Probably the best thing about this tool is that it’s effortless to use. It requires a couple of minutes to input your data and see the results immediately.
Unlike some other retirement calculators, the retirement planner also allows data input for both couples and singles.
It gives room for estimation of retirement needs in dollars or as a percentage of current income. It also factors in social security benefits and evaluates it based on your income. The results you get will include an estimate of the likely amount your nest egg will grow to meet your needs.
Check the tool here.
2. Personal Capital
Personal Capital has launched a Retirement Planner as part of its free financial dashboard. It makes this list of best retirement calculators for several reasons.
First, once investment accounts are added to the financial dashboard, the Retirement Planner takes all of the available data and runs 5,000 investment scenarios automatically without requiring data entry.
Second, the underlying assumptions (e.g., inflation, life expectancy, social security) can be easily adjusted per time. Finally, the results are displayed with both attractive graphs and in table format.
This free financial dashboard from Personal Capital offers some tools that help retirement savers. In addition to a 401k fee analyzer and an asset allocation evaluator, it also provides a proprietary algorithm that calculates a Financial Sustainability Index (FSI).
The FSI estimates how much monthly income your current nest egg will generate and starts immediately.
Lastly, the calculator also adjusts for inflation and market performance. Users that link their investment accounts to Personal Capital get their FSI is updated in real-time.
3. BlackRock CoRI
CoRI by BlackRock takes a unique approach to retirement planning for those between the ages of 55 and 64. First, it calculates what BlackRock calls the CoRI Retirement Index Level.
Based on your age, this index shows how much you need to be saved today for each dollar of annual income starting at age 65. The younger you are, the lower the index as you have more time to let compounding work its magic.
Using your current savings as a premise, CoRI also gives an estimation of your retirement income. Finally, based on your projected retirement income needs, CoRI recommends several asset allocation plans. These plans usually range from conservative to moderate.
Check it online here.
4. Flexible Retirement Planner
For those that want to spend hours with a retirement tool, the Flexible Retirement Planner is the perfect tool of choice. The tool allows for very detailed inputs.
For example, you can set your taxable portfolio, tax-free portfolio (i.e., Roth accounts), and tax-deferred portfolio. You can even configure its Monte Carlo simulator’s sensitivity analysis and the asset allocation of your portfolio.
The result is a graph of future retirement fund values and the probability of the success of your retirement portfolio.
Follow their web address here.
5. Fidelity’s MyPlan
Fidelity’s MyPlan Retirement Quick Check is a more detailed retirement planner. It uses Monte Carlo simulation to estimate how much money you will have during retirement.
Monte Carlo is a mathematical model that recognizes that the stock market doesn’t produce the same rate of return each year. That is, one year it could be up 25%, the next it could be down 15%. This consideration is crucial for new retirees.
If the market drops 20% in your first year of retirement, the loss can increase the odds you’ll outlive your money. Therefore, Monte Carlo simulation looks at thousands of possible market returns over a period and produces a range of results. After which it then evaluates these results to determine the odds you’ll meet your retirement goals.
Fidelity’s Retirement Quick Check is available to Fidelity clients or those that register with Fidelity. And if you want to understand Monte Carlo retirement calculators better, check out The Retirement Calculator from Hell by William Bernstein.
6. The Ultimate Retirement Calculator
With the Ultimate Retirement Calculator, you can enter typical data such as retirement savings and annual contributions. Few things, however, set this calculator apart.
First, it allows you to account for leaving a certain amount in your estate at your death. It also enables you to enter one-time benefits that you expect to receive, such as an inheritance. You can also register your pension or Social Security income while setting an annual cost of your living adjustment.
Lastly, the results are given in table format, and you can email the results to yourself or another person for later analysis.
7. Vanguard Retirement Income Calculator
Vanguard offers two free retirement tools: The Retirement Nest Egg Calculator and the Retirement Income Calculator. Together, both devices provide powerful retirement planning. As the name suggests, the nest egg calculator is an easy way to check if your retirement savings will last.
Even though it is easy to use the calculator, don’t be fooled by its simplicity as it uses a Monte Carlo simulator to examine about 5,000 simulations to produce its results.
The second calculator helps you estimate just how much income you will need when you retire. While rules of thumb may be helpful for long-range planning, Vanguard’s income calculator enables you to refine these estimates based on specific circumstances.
Look it up here.
8. MarketWatch Retirement Planner
MarketWatch’s Retirement Planner offers a quick and visually compelling way to see if you are on track to retire. Although it is very easy to use and takes just a few minutes, it offers some compelling analysis.
It can automatically optimize savings between retirement accounts with matching, other retirement accounts, and taxable accounts. It also shows account balances by age 90.