- It Depends on You
Interactive Tool Provides Flexibility
Find the best calculator planning retirement.
There may be more that one retirement savings calculator that you should use. Here is a review of the retirement savings calculator at VestingPoint.com for your consideration.
The creator of this calculator, Ehud Israel,
says since every person's financial situation is different, he wanted to develop a calculator that would give each person the power to the information they needed without having them bogged down with lots of data entry.
He presented an interactive format so that the user could play around with their situation to determine what they should do to improve their chances of success. He wanted this tool to get people to think out their financial plan.
VestingPoint.com Retirement Calculator is available for free for a 7-day trial period. For continued use, the cost is $18 per year.
Here are some of the features of the VestingPoint.com Retirement Calculator:
- It uses Monte Carlo Simulation which allows it to develop a percentage indicating the likelihood of the user having enough money for retirement. Random values are generated for the stock market value and the inflation rate for each year. Many prefer this type of simulation for a calculator planning retirement.
- One-time expenditures, such as a major trip, can be included. Multiple expenditure for certain years, like 4 years of college expenses, can be applied for those specific years.
- One-time incomes can be entered in much the same way. If you sell a business or receive an inheritance, it can be placed in the calculation.
- Social security income can be included for oneself and spouse in the years they begin. If one does not know the expected income, just go to the Social Security Benefit Calculator at the IRS website to determine it.
- It allows you to enter house and real-estate investments. You can provide for adjustments to their values for inflation and account for real-estate income.
- One unique feature allows for the user to determine how the calculator should handle the disposition of their house. Since the home usually represents a large portion of one's net worth, it should be evaluated. You can sell the house and rent or sell the house and downsize by buying another and determine how much you will receive for your home sale. Other options are available. If you are using a calculator planning retirement, this feature could have an impact on your results.
- Another feature allows the user to vary the asset allocation during retirement, rather than keeping it constant.
- Federal taxes including adjustments for inflation are included as the plan moves into the future.
- The user can vary any of the input numbers at any time an see the result in a percentage representing the percent chance of having enough money for all of your years in retirement from start to end.
Overall, I liked the VestingPoint.com retirement calculator. You have the option to make it as detailed as you want it to be right down to a line item for each expense during retirement. Adjusting the spending feature can give you various scenarios that may be needed to have enough money to last your entire retirement period.
The demo version included in the 7-day trial period gives you the percentage of success answer, but does not provide any specifics regarding that calculation. You cannot save your results for a different scenario. However, when you open the calculator up again, your last results are visible.
The data is to be input in Annual amounts, rather than monthly. This is stated in the written description to the right of the calculator, but it could be a bit more prominent which could ensure accurate results, before one gets used to using the calculator.
The paid version provides the result in the same manner, without graphs or tables. The creator, Ehud Israel, says that his intent was to keep the answer for the user simple and direct -- "Am I OK?" He wanted to deliver a straightforward, clear user interface that provides a single answer. The users can run the calculations as many times as they want and see how small changes in each field can impact the percentage of success results. He plans to add a PDF financial plan that can be downloaded and printed in the next phase of development.
This calculator may be helpful to you for trying various cases and if you are working to develop a retirement plan. It may be worth the cost of $18 per year, especially if you see your situation changing. The goal of VestingPoint.com Retirement Calculator is to provide a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use tool delivering a concise answer to the user.
UPDATE: As of 2012, VestingPoint.com Retirement Calculator is no longer accessible online.
Please give us your views on any of the retirement calculators.
Want a calculator planning retirement? Try several and find the one that you feel best fits your needs.
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