Best Retirement Planning Tools & Software

When you’re young, retirement can seem light-years away. Tax laws, Roth IRAs, Social Security benefits, investment returns, annuities, Monte Carlo simulations, and estate planning might be the last things on your mind.

But time has a funny way of creeping up on you.  If you wait too long to plan, you could someday find yourself staring ahead at retirement with far less than you need in the bank and not enough time to make up the difference.

The best time to start getting serious about retirement is when you first join the workforce. Fortunately, planning for retirement is easier than ever, thanks to the abundance of tools and software solutions on the market.

Keep reading to learn the best retirement planning tools for 2024.

9 Best Retirement Planning Tools

Here are the top 9 retirement planning tools you can utilize today:

  1. Empower Retirement Planner
  2. Schwab Retirement Calculator
  3. Fidelity Retirement Score
  4. Stash Retirement Calculator
  5. Betterment Retirement Savings Calculator
  6. MaxFi
  7. Quicken
  8. Titan
  9. The Complete Retirement Planner

1. Empower Retirement Planner

The Empower (formerly Personal Capital) Retirement Planner is a bit more comprehensive than other retirement planning solutions on the market.

This app can perform various functions — like analyzing spending and savings. It can also help budget for various scenarios — like taxes, savings increases, and Social Security distributions.

The app is also easy to use and available for Android or Apple devices.

Empower offers many opportunities to help you reach your retirement goals, including Personal Strategy®, a portfolio built around your goals, and risk tolerance. They also have investment services that cost 0.89% of assets under management for the first $1 million invested.


2. Schwab Retirement Calculator

Schwab is known for its powerful financial planning tools. One of their best services is a retirement calculator that helps you determine what you must have stashed away to enjoy a good life.

The way it works is simple. Head over to Schwab’s calculator and go through the steps. Tell Schwab about yourself by providing basic information like your age, when you plan to retire, and your investment style (i.e., high, medium, or low risk).

Then, proceed to the next screen and explain your retirement plans — like household income, how much you have saved for retirement so far, and when you plan to retire, as just a few examples.

In the end, Schwab provides a retirement analysis explaining whether you’re on track to reach your target goal.

Consider signing up for Schwab’s retirement accounts if you need a broker. Schwab is one of the most well-known and trusted brokers on the market.


3. Fidelity Retirement Score

Fidelity is an excellent choice if you need a broker. You may want to sign up for their services after getting a sense of how easy they make it.

If you’re looking for more of an interactive experience and visual aid, Fidelity’s Retirement Score planner is an excellent software package to consider.

The process is very similar to Schwab, requiring you to enter basic information like your age and annual income. But the result is a sliding scale that you can adjust to visualize your chances of retiring at a certain age and make a good guess at your net worth.

For example, suppose you’re 35 and making $100,000 per year with $60,000 tucked away in savings.  According to Fidelity’s chart, you’ll have an 84% chance of retiring at age 65 — as long as you put $1,500 per month away into a retirement account. However, if you drop down to $500 per month, you’ll only have a 49% chance of retiring at age 65.

Play around with the chart and enter different variables to see what you need to do to adjust your retirement planning.


4. Stash Retirement Calculator

Stash offers a similar retirement calculator that’s easy to use. Simply plug in some basic information, and Stash tells you how much you need to save.

Stash offers stress-free savings with automated portfolios, making it easy to save for retirement. After answering a few questions, they’ll build a portfolio that will help you reach your retirement goals.

If you’re a more hands-on investor, they offer self-directed investing with personalized advice, dividend reinvestments, and automated investments. Plus, if you get the Stash Stock-Back® card, you can earn ‘stock back,’ versus cash back on your purchases.


5. Betterment Retirement Savings Calculator

Betterment is a leading financial advisor and investment provider offering a great retirement calculator.

As with most other retirement calculators, enter your basic information and check out Betterment’s analysis. Then, consider starting a retirement plan through Betterment if you like the experience.

Betterment was one of the first robo-advisors to hit the scene, and they offer robust services that help you reach your retirement goals including expert-built portfolios, 4.75% APY on cash balances, and upgraded FDIC insurance coverage up to $2 million.

With Betterment, you don’t have to worry about day trading or stalking the market. You create a portfolio once and let Betterment do the rest, allowing you to reach your retirement goals without stress.


6. MaxFi

MaxFi is yet another program offering a robust retirement analysis program.

This solution has been around for over twenty years, making it one of the more well-known providers. The software is easy to use and is available on any internet-enabled device.

What sets MaxFi apart from other retirement planning tools is its algorithm. It doesn’t only tell you how much you must save to reach a specific retirement goal. It goes as far as telling you how much you can afford to spend each year in retirement based on your current savings goals. This helps you better understand what life will look like in retirement.

It also always works in the background to help you find more money, whether by maximizing your Social Security benefits, playing around with your retirement withdrawal dates, or optimizing the use of Roth and traditional IRA accounts.


7. Quicken

You can’t go wrong with Quicken for a great retirement planning solution.

This great platform can bring all your retirement accounts to one centralized location. As an added bonus, Quicken can connect to more than 14,000 financial institutions.

Quicken’s Lifetime Planner helps you see how choices would affect your 401K, retirement age, or how much money you’d have in retirement. You can manage your allocations, play with different scenarios, and evaluate your investment portfolio all in one place.


8. Titan

The Titan Retirement Calculator helps you forecast how much money you need for retirement. You can play with different contribution amounts and the age you plan to retire to see how it changes things.

If you aren’t on track, Titan is an investment manager who currently works with 50,000+ investors. They actively manage your funds, using their in-house analysts who help you with their sophisticated lineup of investments.

With Titan, you don’t have to worry about being banished to a computer. They offer ongoing access to human advisors to help you reach your goals.


9. The Complete Retirement Planner

The Complete Retirement Planner takes the overwhelm out of planning for retirement, even if you don’t have $1 saved yet. It helps you create a plan to save for retirement and how to use your money during retirement.

Like most retirement planning tools, you must answer questions about your income, assets, plans, and risk tolerance. You enter everything by year so the planner can provide accurate advice.

You’ll get a full report on how much you need to save to reach your goals, how much money you can spend during retirement, and it covers all the what-if scenarios.


Tips for Picking a Retirement Planning Tools & Software

With so many retirement planning solutions on the market, it can be difficult to select the right one.

Here are some tips for choosing the right platform.

Watch Out For Fees

Watch out for services that charge ongoing management fees. Small fees can add up to large amounts over time, even if they initially seem tiny. It’s typically better to use free apps and services to pump more money back into your retirement accounts.

Security is Key

If you sign up for retirement software, make sure that you opt for a well-established company with a great reputation.

It’s critical to read reviews and know who you’re doing business with in advance. The last thing you want to do is download an unknown app and start plugging away personal data or connecting it to your personal accounts.

This is an easy way to lose money — or possibly even risk identity theft. Whatever you choose, the company should demonstrate a clear commitment to data security through encryption and multifactor security, to name just a few examples.

Make Sure the App Offers Support

When it comes to any software solution, you’ll eventually have a question requiring support. When this happens, you’ll need access to a live agent.  Determine what types of support options are available before using a platform.

Often, companies restrict support, making it difficult to resolve issues. If customer service isn’t a top priority, move on to another provider.

Methodology

When choosing the best retirement planning tools, we looked at many factors, including:

  • The ability to play with the numbers to see different scenarios
  • Low cost or free services
  • The option to invest and/or get guidance on reaching your retirement goals
  • Bank-level security with encryption
  • Adequate human support

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