Planning for retirement can be tricky. Many financial websites offer retirement calculators so you can figure everything out. But, with countless numbers of tools available, it’s hard to know which of the retirement calculators are the most accurate, which ones mirror your situation, and which ones don’t require a mathematical brain to understand.
We reached out to a few financial professionals and asked for their suggestions on suitable retirement calculators, tested their recommendations for ease of use and results, and did some deep-dive research of our own. These calculators give you a good starting point, but they’re not a substitute for talking with a professional financial planner.
Retirement Savings Calculators
Kevin Smith, CFP, at Wealthspire Advisors, likes the Charles Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator. This calculator quickly summarizes your retirement plan and tells you if you’re on target with your current savings strategy by inserting a few numbers.
If you’d like to modify your finances, you can adjust different categories in the analysis. Those changes might include retiring at a different age, increasing your retirement contributions, or reducing what you plan to spend in retirement.
The New Retirement’s Simple Retirement Calculator, also mentioned by Smith, is easy to use and allows you to go deeper by plugging in different scenarios to see how the numbers crunch. This tool combines the income and expenses for both you and your spouse. Then, it lets you know how the dollar amounts will change if you buy a smaller home or continue to work part-time for three more years.
When you sign up for free, you’ll get even more information. You’ll have access to a 2-minute version and an 8-minute version of this site’s retirement calculators.
Personal finance expert, Laura Adams, MBA, favors a calculator found at Dinkytown.net. Their Retirement Planner Calculator has in-depth definitions for each item requested in the calculator, so there’s no confusion about the numbers entered. This calculator shows you how many years of retirement income you’ll have.
Carter Seuthe, at Credit Summit, recommends the suite of retirement calculators available from Fidelity. He says they are very accurate and provide you with measurable data and a progress report on your retirement preparedness.
Reverse Mortgage Calculators
If you’re contemplating a reverse mortgage to eliminate the expense of monthly mortgage payments in retirement, a calculator exists for that, too. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) has simplified the process, so you only need to enter four numbers. Their reverse mortgage calculator reveals how much upfront cash you can receive, the maximum line of credit available, and the amount of a monthly advance you can expect.
You can also use the Finance of America Reverse (FAR) calculator.
Tried and True Retirement Calculator
You’d expect AARP, the all-things-retirement site, to provide a decent retirement calculator, and they do. The AARP Retirement Calculator asks for:
- Marital status
- If you’re currently saving enough to retire in your current lifestyle
- If you plan to live by more modest means or lead a more extravagant existence
This tool computes your IRAs, 401Ks, expected pensions for you and your spouse, and Social Security income.
You’ll want to include your Social Security income in your retirement planning. Use this benefits estimator to get the most accurate information concerning your benefits.
Retirement Quiz and Resources
FAR offers a fun personality type quiz when you need relief from all the numbers. Find out if you’re a dreamer, neighbor, or something else.
While it’s not technically a calculator, the Thinking Ahead Roadmap was created through a combined effort by Stanford University, the University of Minnesota, and AARP. It’s designed to assist you in your retirement planning.
Calculators can be a great starting point as you map out your retirement journey. Be sure to think through your options and consult with professionals to get the best guidance.
This article is intended for general informational and educational purposes only, and should not be construed as financial or tax advice. For more information about whether a reverse mortgage may be right for you, you should consult an independent financial advisor. For tax advice, please consult a tax professional.