Retirement planning can be overwhelming at times. That’s why it can be helpful to take advantage of the many retirement tools that are available. Katie Ross, education and development manager for financial education nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling, said retirement tools can take some of the pain out of planning. “The readily available tools make it easier to complete many of the most basic and important tasks and can include things such as budgeting, creating legal documents, and more,” Ross said. “You can find tools for people nearing retirement or for ones just beginning to think about the whole process. Depending on the stage you are in you’re able to make more educated decisions about your retirement.”
Be aware that it’s not a great idea to be overly dependent on these tools. Lingke Wang, co-founder of life insurance startups Ovid and Ethos, said retirement planning tools should only be seen as a complement to retirement planning. You’ll ultimately need to speak with a professional. “I generally see retirement planning tools as a ‘gateway’ into thinking about retirement. However, engaging with a trained retirement planner should be the next step. The professional can help assess all facets of one’s situation,” said Wang.
Here are six retirement tools the experts suggest every retirement investor should know about.
AARP.org offers several retirement tools such as articles, retirement calculators, and social security calculators. Even though retirement tools are helpful, Levar Haffoney, wealth manager at Fayohne Advisors LLC, reminds savers that retirement planning tools only offer hypothetical scenarios. “They cannot provide accurate depictions of your retirement situation because your lifestyle needs and financial status may change,” Haffoney said.