Retirement Planning Software – How It Helps You Plan Your Retirement

If you are about to retire and have been diligently saving your money, investing in 401Ks, and actively taking control of your retirement funds – you are in the distinct minority. Well over 90% of retirees are totally unprepared when the time comes. As a result, they end up living their retirement years in far different circumstances and environments than they had envisioned.

No one is going to take responsibility for your retirement except you. The people that end up satisfied in retirement are the ones that figured that out early on If you don’t plan for it, you could easily find yourself destitute when you reach your sixties.

One way to begin planning for retirement is to use retirement planner software. These types of software can make retirement planning a snap. But what do you look for in a retirement planning software tool? First, the software should be user friendly. Experts will tell you that if a piece of software is hard to use, it won’t get used. Secondly, you should look for software that is well supported and, preferably, with a history. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’ve spent hours and weeks entering all of your financial data into a program only to find out that the company has gone out of business and no longer supports the software. Sometimes, it’s worth paying a little bit more for a piece of software in return for having the support of a substantial company behind it.

Thirdly, an essential feature in a retirement planning software tool is for it to be able to track stocks, bonds, 401ks, IRAs, and other common financial investment instruments and including them in the retirement calculations. It should be able to extrapolate how much a regular series of payments over a specified time frame at a specified interest rate will result in at the time that the person retires. And it should be able to work backwards as well. For example, assuming that you are 35 years old. The tool should be able to take your desired income requirements at 65 years, and determine how much you will have to save each year in order to reach that goal.

You don’t have to use software to plan out your future. Plenty of people, especially if they have the money, are more than comfortable with leaving their retirement planning services in the hands of a professional. But, even in these cases, it doesn’t hurt to use retirement planning software to get an idea of the possibilities available to you. You can then take these broad suggestions to your financial planner for implementation of the finer details or simply for a more informed feedback of the desirability of your plans. But also, keep in mind that financial planners aren’t gods. And they are dealing with multiple clients. It’s very possible that your tool may discover something that they missed in putting together you financial portfolio.

For a lot of of the baby boomers who are already at retirement age, it’s too late to implement a long term retirement plan. But even they, can make use of software to ensure that the funds that they have accumulated provide for them as long as possible. As, for those in their thirties, forties, and even fifties, the best time to start thinking about a retirement plan is now. The younger you start, the less painful are the financial sacrifices that you have to make.

Florida- A Nationwide Retirement Solution

For nationwide retirement solutions the state of Florida has some of the best retirement communities in the world, both because of its non-existent income tax, as well as its magnificent beaches and great climate.  Florida boasts a great number of retirement communities, each with its own flavor and atmosphere.  Depending on the region of Florida in which you choose to live, you will encounter different attractions.

Central Florida has allure of of the theme parks, and experiences a strong tourism based surge every year.  If you are partial to the active city lifestyle, or have grandchildren that may want to visit, central Florida is the place to be.  Lake Ashton is one of the most prominent Florida Retirement Communities in the central Florida region.  Lake Ashton is settled on 1200 acres of waterfront ranch land.  The community features health and fitness centers, as well as a full featured clubhouse.  The community even has a private bowling alley, and a boat ramp.  A great 18 hole private golf course and tennis courts make Lake Ashton one of the most fun filled retirement communities in all of Florida.

Old Palm Golf Club features some of the best golfing in the United States, located in South Florida.  The fairways are beautiful, strewn with lakes, oak, and pine trees.  The service is always quick and professional, ensuring that members always have a game ready for them.  Homes at the Club are built in magnificent Mediterranean style, while also rated to withstand hurricanes.  Home construction is sturdy and high quality, with custom cabinetry, marble bathroom floors, and granite countertops.

The Parkland Golf & Country Club is another premier resort of the South Florida region.  Parkland has 790 acres of gated land, and an 18 hole golf course designed by golfing figure Greg Norman.  Homes can be purchased in a variety of styles, from Spanish, Tuscan, and Italian Mediterranean.
The city possesses a great deal to see and do, including the Equestrian Center at Temple Park.  The city also has great shopping, such as at the Heron Lakes Shoppes.

Located in northern Florida, the Costa Verano homes are surrounded on all sides by great attractions.  As a part of Jacksonville, the community is located near the arts and business center of the city, while also nearby the coastal regions.  With nearby St. Augustine, the Lost Keys community is just minutes away from the oldest architecture in the country.  The community has a private theater, pool, and an extensively equipped health and fitness center as well.

The Lost Key community in the Florida Panhandle is settled among natural preserves, and features a beautiful 18 hole golf course.  The natural vistas offered in the Panhandle make this one of the most beautiful retirement communities in the world.  The community has a wonderful tennis court and exercise center, as well as a premier golf course.

Florida has some of the most well regarded retirement communities in the country, with each region of the state offering a distinct experience.

Why Should You Be In A 401K Plan?

One of the great safety net in modern times is the Social Security system. It’s a fantastic retirement income system that has enabled many retirees to live out their golden years in a dignified manner. But Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of income for retirees. It was only meant to be a supplementary source of income to a person’s pension payments and other investments. Recognizing that people were not saving their money as diligent as they perhaps should, the government began to create incentives to help them save. The 401k plan came about as a way  to encourage people to save money for their retirement years by giving them certain financial incentives.

But, what is your 401k plan. It’s a retirement plan designed for workers in a company. The plan is set up so that both employer and employee can contribute to it, but it’s managed by the company. The necessary, but enormous, advantage of a 401k plan is that it allows you to invest your money before it is taxed. All monies that you earmark for the 401k are placed into the plan pretaxed. Not only that, the monies are also allowed to interest, also untaxed until the time when you begin to withdraw it – usually at retirement. But even then, only the monies that you withdraw from the fund is taxed. And presumably, since you’ll be at a lower income level when you retire, the amount of money that you will be taxed will be lower as well.

The best piece of the 401k program is that it compounds your money tax free. The compounding effect can catapult your ultimate retirement income earnings upwards of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars more than if the identical investment had been placed in a normal taxed investment vehicle. Assume, for example, that you’re in the 25% tax bracket, have $1000, and you invest it in a venture that is pays you 8%. At the end of the year, you have earned $80. But after taxes, you have netted only $60 – effectively giving you a real 6% return on your investment instead of 8%. If your investment vehicle had been a 401k, however, you would have paid no taxes at the end of the year. Thus you would have netted the full $80.

Now eventually, of course, you’ll have to pay taxes – but in the meantime, you have the full use of all profits derived from your investment and are able to let them compound unencumbered. If you invest more than $1000 a year in your 401k plan, which many people do and if your investments average more than 8% a year, you could realistically come out thousands of dollars ahead when your retire.

Some employers entice workers to join their company by touting their generous 401k packages. In better economic times, it was not unusual for a company to match the employee’s contribution with an equal amount of their own. For example, if you gave $100 to your 401k plan, they would match it with $100 from their pocket. A great way to make money on your investment.

In the current recessionary economy, however, those generous packages have become harder to come by. In addition, fewer companies than ever are offering pensions to their employees, making it even more important that you take control of your own retirement plans. So even if your company has a 401k plan, but no matching program in place, you should still definitely take advantage of it. When you retire, you’ll be glad you did.