What’s the best tool out there to help you plan for retirement? That depends – are you a Boomer, a Gen X-er or a Millennial?
According to a recent survey from the American United Life Insurance Company, the preferred resources for retirement preparation rely heavily on age. Here’s a breakdown of which tools various age groups prefer, along with a few recommended starting points for each.
For Planners 30 and Under: Mobile Apps
Unsurprisingly, 20 to 30-year-olds were more than twice as likely than older generations to find mobile applications helpful for the retirement preparation process. With the tool loaded on your smartphone or tablet, you can plan for your retirement from virtually anywhere. Here are a few top-rated retirement apps.
Ballpark E$timate is an app built by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Washington DC that focuses on retirement issues. One of the better-looking retirements apps on the market, Ballpark E$timate lets users approximate how much they’ll need to save to live comfortably during retirement. You’ll also be able to take factors such as Social Security, inflation and earning assumptions into consideration.
RetirePlan is an iPad app that helps users answer a variety of questions including, “When can I retire?” “How much money do I need to save every year?” and “How much money will I get every year in my retirement?” Results are formatted in easy-to-read charts and tables.
For Planners 30-50: Retirement Calculators
Online retirement calculators were especially popular amount the middle-aged. There are plenty of free options available around the web to help you predict what you’ll need and how certain events or adjustments might affect your retirement outcome. Here are some of the most popular web-based retirement calculators.
The Motley Fool has a number of calculators available for retirement and other categories. The best part is that you can start the process by identifying plain language questions that you want to answer, for example, “How advantageous is increasing my savings?” or “What if Social Security no longer exists?”
The FlexibleRetirementPlanner.com has a great user interface and a lot more intricacies than your standard retirement calculator. You can experiment with “what if” scenarios and adjust details on a year-by-year basis.
For Planners 50 and Over: Articles
The previously mentioned retirement planning study indicates that those over 50 consider good old-fashioned articles to be the most helpful resource for their planning process.
The retirement section of USA.gov’s website is stocked with dozens of text-based resources for retirement planning. Topics range from general to niche, and many of the articles are written in an easy-to-read FAQ format.
If it’s up-to-the minute news you’re looking for, the Wall Street Journal’s retirement planning section has a steady stream of articles and op-eds on legislation, trends and other news. Another consistently updated resource is Forbes’ Retirement Guide.
For more retirement resources, stay tuned for the rest of our retirement planning series.