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A Comprehensive List of Retirement Planning Tools and Calculators

By JLP | July 26, 2007

Today’s Wall Street Journal Cranky Consumer column was about Calculating Your Retirement Nest Egg. They tested the following five online retirement calculators:

To their list, I would like to add:

TIAA-CREF:

    T. Rowe Price:

    • Retirement Income Calculator How much will you really need once you’ve retired, and what are your chances of meeting your goals? The Retirement Income Calculator shows how market uncertainty affects your retirement income strategy.
    • Retirement Planning Worksheet This worksheet gives you a quick estimate of amount of money you’re likely to need for retirement.
    • Rollover IRA Distribution CalculatorBased on information you provide, the T. Rowe Price Distribution Calculator shows the cost of taking an immediate cash distribution versus keeping your money in a tax-deferred account.
    • Company Stock ToolUse this tool to compare the tax consequences and long-term value of rolling over company stock to a Rollover IRA versus taking a distribution of stock into a taxable account.
    • Small Plans Contribution CalculatorBusiness owners can calculate contribution amounts to SEP-IRA, Individual 401(k) and Keogh plans.
    • SIMPLE IRA CalculatorBusiness owners and employees who participate in a SIMPLE IRA plan can use this tool to calculate contribution amounts and tax savings.
    • 403(b) Contribution CalculatorUse this tool as a guide to determine the maximum amount you can contribute to your 403(b) account.

    Vanguard:

    The Scottrade Retirement Center:

    Beneficiary Planners

    • Beneficiary Options Calculator – Review the options available for all types of beneficiaries to determine which will best assist you in maximizing tax deferrals and minimizing RMDs.
    • Payout Projections Calculator – The RMD Projector is designed to assist beneficiaries of deceased IRA holders in projecting future required distributions from the decedent’s IRA.
    • Beneficiary Payout Calculator – The RMD Calculator is designed to assist beneficiaries of deceased IRA holders in calculating required distributions from the decedent’s IRA.

    Early Payout Planners (IRC Sec. 72(t))

    • Comparison Projector Calculator – Use this tool to compare the three basic “substantially equal periodic payment” structures authorized by the IRS for avoiding the 10% early distribution penalty.
    • Distribution Calculator – After you’ve selected a payment method, use this tool to structure your substantially equal periodic payment plan.

    IRA Eligibility Calculator

    IRA Selector Tools

    • Basic Comparison Calculator – This straightforward tool helps you compare Traditional and Roth IRAs on the basis of projected (after-tax) retirement income.
    • Legacy Planning Calculator – This tool helps you measure the potential wealth accumulation implications of selecting a Traditional or Roth IRA (for you and your beneficiaries).
    • Breakeven Analysis Calculator – Unsure of what your tax rates will be in 20 years? This unique tool helps you look at IRA selection from the standpoint of breakeven analysis (e.g. what if my effective tax rate in retirement is 30% rather than 25%?).

    Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Planners

    • Comparison Projector Calculator – The RMD Projector is designed to project future required distributions.
    • Distribution Calculator – The RMD Calculator is designed to calculate required distributions.

    Rollover Planners

    • Plan Participant Calculator – Receiving a lump sum distribution from an employer-sponsored retirement plan? This tool will help you identify the tax options available to you and compare the retirement income implications of your various alternatives.
    • Beneficiary Rollover Planner – Are you a beneficiary receiving a lump sum distribution from an employer-sponsored retirement plan? This tool will help you identify the tax options available to you and compare the retirement income implications of your various alternatives.

    Roth IRA Conversion Tools

    • Basic Conversion Calculator – This straightforward tool helps you quantify the potential benefits of a Roth IRA conversion on the basis of projected (after-tax) retirement income.
    • Legacy Planning Calculator – This tool helps you meaure the potential wealth accumulation implications of selecting a Roth IRA conversion (for you and your beneficiaries).
    • Breakeven Analysis Calculator – Unsure of what your tax rates will be in 20 years? This unique tool helps you look at a potentional Roth IRA conversion from the standpoint of breakeven analysis (e.g. what if my effective tax rate in retirement is 30% rather than 25%?).

    All of the above calculators can be found here.

    TD Ameritrade:

    • Disability Income CalculatorSee the effect disability can have on your financial future.
    • Early Payout PlannerView how much money you would net, after tax and penalties, if you cashed in your retirement savings plan early.
    • IRA PlannerAnalyze whether a Roth or traditional IRA may be best for an individual’s unique circumstances.
    • Life Insurance CalculatorCalculate how much life insurance you may need based on your current financial situation.
    • Personal Net Worth CalculatorFind out how much you are worth with this simple net worth calculator, which will help you tally your assets and liabilities, and calculate your debt ratio.
    • Required Minimum Distribution CalculatorCalculate the amount of mandatory withdrawals from IRAs after age 70 ½.
    • Retirement PlannerCalculate a retirement savings goal based on current income and the amount to be invested each year to pursue that goal for a given rate of return.
    • Savings Gap CalculatorEvaluate whether or not your savings are on track to meet your retirement income needs.
    • The Cost of Waiting CalculatorCalculate how much more you’ll need to contribute each year to reach your retirement goal if you put off saving for retirement.
    • Time Value CalculatorCalculate the value of compound returns for different time periods and rates of return.

    I plan to add to this list as I find new calculators and tools. If you know of any that I have missed, please let me know and I’ll add them.

    Topics: Calculators, Retirement Planning | 13 Comments »


    13 Responses to “A Comprehensive List of Retirement Planning Tools and Calculators”

    1. Retirement Calculator Says:
      July 26th, 2007 at 3:36 pm

      I’ve used the retirement planning at money-rx antell u that I’m very happy with them.

    2. Tom Says:
      July 26th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

      WOW! Now this is a good list. I’ve been to a few retirement planning websites and this is perfect.. everything in one place. Thanks for doing this :)

    3. kitty Says:
      July 27th, 2007 at 10:19 am

      One problem I noticed with TD Ameritrade retirement calculators: when calculating gap in retirement accounts they only ask you to include money in your tax deferred retirement accounts totally ignoring that you may have other savings. It’s not like other savings are going to disappear at retirement, so this seems silly. Other calculators I’ve seen ask for all of your savings.

    4. ciwood Says:
      July 27th, 2007 at 4:02 pm

      Try http://dinkytown.net/java/RetirementPlan.html
      it is an excellent free simple planner that you can copy to Excel and modify. I use it for my students.

    5. Nancy Says:
      July 27th, 2007 at 5:28 pm

      Very comprehensive list..thanks JLP
      I hope your readers will also visit http://www.retirementthink.com

    6. Neith Says:
      July 27th, 2007 at 9:48 pm

      The Vanguard calculators also include one for calculating the cost of borrowing from the plan.

      One major problem with the Vanguard calculators (and some other ones I have seen online) is that they assume that if you are looking at the calculators, you are nearing retirement. For example, when figuring how long your retirement savings will last, the calculator only allows you to choose a current age (for self and for spouse) of 50 or higher. This can have serious implications if you are a younger investor trying to calculate what your retirement might look like.

    7. Morgan Edge Says:
      July 30th, 2007 at 9:29 am

      I think the 100% income replacement is too high. For me at least, I am living on much less than my income today. I have a house payment that is 20% of income and savings (retirement, college, and other) is another 20%. With a paid off house and kids out of college, I know that I can likely live on a 70-75% number comfortably.

    8. Matt Says:
      August 21st, 2007 at 12:45 am

      While Fidelity clearly heads up the pack, there are some key flaws in their tool, including:
      - if you have international funds in your portfolio, they suggest you sell them and invest domestically (Hello? Diversification?)
      - they use a replacement rate of income to calculate your needed retirement income. This approach has largely been discredited by independent financial advisors as an inaccurate way to forecast needs.
      - They run an insufficient number of Monte Carlo simulations (“at least 250″ which sounds a lot like “we do 250″) Most planners do at least 1,000.

      Also, you left this tool off the list:
      http://beta.boulevardr.com

      It’s been developed by a startup based in San Francisco.

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    12. Connor Bell Says:
      May 25th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      i am saving money for my retirement because i want to enjoy most of my time as an old man.`–

    13. Shower Radio  Says:
      October 13th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      i always save money for my own retirement, i would also like to invest on some stuffs`:,

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