Everyone looks forward to the freedom that comes with retirement, but it can sneak up on you. If you’re getting ready for retirement—or even if you’re already retired—it’s important to stay ahead of the game financially. The following six apps are handy tools that can help you manage your retirement.
SmartMoney Retirement Planner
Truefinancialplanning.com says, “The purpose of a retirement plan is to help you understand how much money you will need to save and invest in-order to live the lifestyle you want during retirement.” The SmartMoney Retirement Planner app is a useful tool that takes into account all elements you must consider when forming a plan for retirement.
Some of what it incorporates includes demographic information such as your expected retirement age and life expectancy; your current assets and salary; expenses expected during retirement; social security income; and important assumptions like inflation and investment returns.
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This app is along the same lines as the SmartMoney Retirement Planner. It also figures in data and assumptions to help you draft a sound plan for your retirement. RetirePlan gives you insight on how much you need to save every year, how much money you can expect each year of your retirement, and how long your retirement fund will last.
Mint.com Personal Finance
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This is an app for everyone—from the people who think they’re too young to think about retirement to those whose last day of work is already locked away in memory. First sign up for a free account at Mint.com so you can use the mobile app. Choose financial accounts that you want Mint.com to keep track of, and every time you log on, the information is automatically updated.
What makes Mint.com’s app so desirable? It makes it easy to get an overview of your financial situation, from bigger things like savings and investment accounts to your everyday spending habits. It can also send you alerts about things like late fees and rate changes, and you can opt to receive a weekly summary of your financial activities via email.
One issue with Mint.com’s app as listed in a review at investorjunkie.com is that the investment section is fairly simple. If you’re interested in doing investing that goes beyond the basics, familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of equity-indexed annuity guarantees and other investment options. Talk to a financial advisor about how these may affect your retirement. Based on your chosen investments, you can decide if Mint.com is a suitable app for you.
The purpose of the ING Retire app is to give you an easy way to view—and maybe even manage—your retirement plan on the go. The options available to you on this app vary depending on what retirement plan you’re participating in through your employer. It’s possible that the app will allow you to view current balances and balance history; your personal rate of return; and your contribution history, among other things. Some retirement plans you can even manage via the app by changing contribution rates or transferring money between funds.
Since this app tracks sensitive information, it uses standard encryption to keep your data secure. You can also set it up so whoever opens the app must answer security questions—a comforting protection if your mobile device disappears.
This app is for investors who like to get into the details. It can sync with all your investment accounts—stocks, IRAs, and 401(k)s. The charts give you a convenient overview of risks, performance, and allocation. It also has an “investment advice engine” designed to help you manage your portfolio wisely. Be careful. A free app is still no comparison to advice from a seasoned financial expert, especially when it comes to your retirement.
Security is important with SigFig so it encrypts data and protects your information via a unique PIN. It doesn’t allow for trading, withdrawing, or transferring funds, so if your phone gets lost, no one can play with your money.
Retirement Countdown does what the name implies—it counts down the time you have left before that day when you walk out of the office for the last time. You can choose to count down real work days, or calendar time. Sure, this app sounds like it’s just for fun, but seeing the time melt away until your retirement is a good reminder to stay on top of your financial plans for your future.
Whether you’re looking forward to an exciting retirement full of travel and new experiences or you just plan on cozying up with your family and loving the little things of life, you have to prepare. Using the above apps can help you keep your finances in line for the long term.
Also, make sure to check out this Scottrade Review over at Frugal Rules if you’re interested in online trading.
Author Bio: Joy Nelson is a professional freelance writer in the Seattle, WA area. She wants to plan a leisurely retirement for herself.