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.