6 Great Online Retirement Tools and Software Packages

A screen grab from retirement software package J&L Retirement Planner.Planning for retirement is serious business, and there's a great array of tools on the internet than can help you work out exactly how you should save. For more comprehensive planning, there's also a wide range of software available that can help you map out your retirement in detail. In this article we list some of the best choices in both categories.

CNNMoney.com's Retirement Planner Calculator

Plug in your goals, income, savings, portfolio type and results into this online calculator and it will let you determine how likely you are to make your savings goal by retirement age. Adjusting a wide range of parameters will help you plan for many different contingencies. The interface is simple but comprehensive enough to get a broad sense of the direction in which you need to be travelling.

Kiplinger.com's Retirement Tools

Personal finance site Kiplinger.com provides a suite of retirement tools that can be used free of charge. These include 401(k) calculators, tools that help you work out the tax on your savings under various schemes, and the effect of inflation upon your savings.

Wells Fargo Retirement Tool

This is a simple, two-step calculator that makes a quick calculation of whether you are likely to meet your savings plans by retirement. While it does not provide a comprehensive overview of the different options out there, it's a good choice if you just want a very quick overview of your current savings status.

J&L Retirement Planner

This retirement planning shareware package is well regarded and allows you to plan out both simple and complex retirement scenarios based on a wide array of factors. You can examine the effect of a range of scenarios on up to 50 accounts, including investment, tax free, retirement, asset and equity accounts. These results are then presented in easy-to-understand line and bar graphs. Various US tax law assumptions relating to 401(k) and IRAs are built into the software. The software allows you to easily create a comprehensive personal financial plan.

Still River RW2 for You

This is the individual version of Still River's RetirementWORKS II software, which is used by financial professionals helping clients plan for their future. The company boasts that it addresses all of the different financial situations that retirees are likely to face, yet remains simple to use. The questions it seeks to answer are the sorts of problems faced by retirees in the real world. The software asks the person in charge of household finances a series of questions, which should be relatively easy to answer. The software is web-based and is reasonably priced, especially in comparison to the professional version. The license to use the software needs to be updated on an annual basis, but the cost of renewing is just half the cost of the initial fee.

Brentmark Retirement Plan Analyzer

A sophisticated commercial program that allows you to consider various strategies for retirement, taking into account traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Roth 401(k)s and other tricky elements that impact upon your retirement savings. The program is able to factor in events such as additional contributions to retirement accounts, insurance premiums and death taxes. Reports can be issued in a variety of formats, including as PDFs, spreadsheets and word documents, or otherwise can be printed directly.

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