These days you’ll find that many retirement plan providers as well as a number of financial planning service providers have added online tools to their mix of services to better help their customers plan for retirement. Some of these are quite helpful and a number of them will even prod users into increasing the amount of money they save, diversifying their investments and even examining fees.
While different 401(k) providers generally offer different types of tools (and these tools are usually only available to people that have an account) you will find that most providers follow suit when a good one is offered and offer one of their own. As a bonus to you, our readers, all 3 of the tools we review today are absolutely free. Enjoy.
Fee Analyzing Tool
Want to know if you’re paying a fair amount in fees, paying too much and, more importantly, how much these fees are eating into your retirement nest egg? If you do the 401(k) Fee Analyzer Tool from Personal Capital Corp. out of San Francisco will tell you. Using their tool you can find out if you’re paying less than 1% a year in fees (the green zone), 1% to 1.99% (the yellow zone) or if you’re paying 2% or more (the red zone). You can also find out exactly how much those fees will take away from your retirement money as well as show you the earnings you have lost to said fees.
Once all of a person’s variables are entered into the mix, including their age, the amount they’re contributing and their predicted age of retirement, the tool will show the impact across your career that the fees will have. Personal Capital’s chief product officer, Jim Del Favero, sees high 401(k) fees as “a huge problem that nobody talks about” and says that people who use the Fee Analyzer are usually shocked when they see the numbers in black and white.
Future medical costs predicting Tool
If you’re keen on knowing how much of your future monthly income would be needed to cover medical costs when you retire, the Health Cost Estimator Tool from Putnam is the way to do it. What their tool does is breakout insurance premiums and also out-of-pocket expenses including the cost of medications and copayments. Once this is done there’s also a way to determine how to close any possible gaps that you may have such as postponing your retirement, increasing your contributions or changing the mix of investments that you have.
Using data such as pre-existing health conditions, a person’s gender, where they plan to retire and other factors, the tool uses cost models that rely on actuarial data to determine your numbers. It also assumes that there won’t be any retiree medical benefits included. One drawback to the tool is that it doesn’t have a way to estimate what the potential costs of long-term care would be, but besides that it is definitely a worthwhile tool to help you plan for the medical necessities that will undoubtedly crop up during retirement.
Tool to see a complete view of your savings and investments
Using their Portfolio Manager Tool an investor working with Jemstep Inc., a Los Altos, California online investment advisor, will be able to see a complete overview of all of their savings, investments and so forth. What this does is allows an investor to make sure that all their money is working in concert to provide the best returns over time. Signing up with Jemstep gets you access to their tool but there are a number of services that they offer that you need to pay for.
Jemstep has a large database of all investment options that are available in the retirement plans at a number of very large employers including Apple, Google and more. Of the more than 10,000 investors who are now using this tool, almost 1 out of 5 has made an investment decision based on their recommendations.
If you need help with retirement planning or financial planning in general, please let us know and we’ll be sure to get back to you quickly with answers and options.