Rooting Out a Uncomplicated Retirement Calculator That Meets Your Need
It seems like every investment advisor and 401(k) company has been rolling out a new and complex retirement planning tool every week while forgetting the need for a basic and simple retirement calculator.
It appears that whenever you go to a bank or financial planning company's website, they're offering some kind of new and simple retirement calculator.
The idea is to be as precise as possible when helping you estimate the size of your nest egg, but so many are getting lost in the numbers.
And yet, despite their increasing sophistication, they're still producing inaccurate results and diverging responses. One site will give you one piece of advice while another will tell you something completely different.
One may account for higher inflation rates with health care (typically double the national standard) while another will not.
And if you don't understand the results - or get the right ones - it could put your retirement at risk.
Underestimating how much you need to save could leave you with a retirement shortfall, while overestimating can cut into your money now - meaning you have to sacrifice expenses like college tuition or extra payments on your mortgage.
However, there is a way to get the most out of simple retirement calculator tools. To learn how, keep reading.
Use Multiple Calculators
Don't just depend on a single online retirement calculator to base your entire retirement future on. Instead, try several and pay close attention to which ones ask questions that are more pertinent to your current financial situation.
Merge Your Results
By looking carefully at the questions each calculator asks you and how it arrives at certain conclusions, you can start to understand it better and even merge and combine the different results. For example, one site might tell you to start saving 60 percent of your income while another will advise you to start saving 30 percent. That's a big difference, but by understanding the results and how they were achieved, you can more likely find the balance.
You Want Features, Just Not a Laundry List
Being able to customize a retirement calculator to your exact financial and familial situation is great. However, with that personalization and customization comes complications and a loss of simplicity. The calculator at choosetosave.org is powered by the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
It allows you to input extra income sources and potential expenses like travel or lifestyle choices that could affect your savings needs. At the same time, it's simple and easy to follow.
Consult With a Professional
Yes, a financial advisor will charge you fees and commissions, but if you're having doubts they can be your best bet. Most people wouldn't leave the fate of a mysterious illness in the hands of WebMD (as helpful as it is), so why would you leave the fate of your entire retirement in the hands of a simple retirement calculator?
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