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Cheap and Free Retirement Planning Tools – The Best Alternatives to Protect Your Future Finances Without Spending a Fortune18 min read

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Besides determining how you can build a nest egg, you need to start your retirement planning and prepare today to meet those financial goals you have set for your golden years.

However, that whole process can be a bit complicated for some people. From calculating your expenses based on your annual income to finding the best options to invest your retirement savings, there are many aspects to consider! Therefore, you may need help to create a retirement plan that really benefits your future financial goals.

Do you know where you can find everything you need to get started? Don’t worry! Some retirement planning tools can become your best allies, and many are free, so you don’t have to spend a penny if you use them!

For many years, many have used an online retirement calculator to determine if they are saving enough, estimate how much they need to have peace of mind during the golden years, or know the best age to retire. If you want to be one of them, you have come to the right place! Here are the best alternatives you can find.

Suggested Reading:  Best and Worst States to Retire to.

Table of Contents

Personal Capital Retirement Planner: One of the Most Popular Options

If you are looking for a free but full-featured tool, Personal Capital’s retirement planner is all you need. Actually, this is one of the best alternatives you can find in the market.

With this complete retirement planner, knowing how close or far you are from your projected retirement savings has never been easier! In addition, thanks to its multiple management features, this retirement calculator is the best option for people who want to track their investment accounts, which is key to successful planning.

Key Features of Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner

Do you want to know if the Personal Capital complete retirement planner is for you? It’s time to check its features! Get to know the most important ones below:

  • Reports on spending and savings habits

  • Tracker for progress over time

  • Accounts for large expenses

  • Monte Carlo analysis with multiple calculations for a better outcome

  • Recession simulator

  • Large one-tine savings allotments

  • New home acquisition and college education studies simulator

  • What-if scenarios

  • Tracker for multiple variables, including taxes, spousal retirement, inflation, withdrawals, social security benefits, and more

  • Access to iPad for those who prefer mobile experiences

What You Can Do With Personal Capital Retirement Planner

Thanks to its well-thought-out features, this free retirement planning tool can help you perform the following tasks:

  • Know your current retirement savings and spendings habits for better planning (most retirement calculators give estimates, but the Personal Capital alternative allows you to know your real savings and spending behavior)

  • Automatically track your retirement goals as years go by

  • Identify potential big expenses and how they affect your savings for better planning (with this retirement calculator, you can calculate how much money you should put toward college, home buying, and more)

  • Better manage your retirement savings, considering other expenses you may have over time

  • Add liquidity events, such as obtaining an inheritance or exercising stock options, as inflows to better estimate retirement income and understand their impact on your future finances

  • Run multiple calculations under Monte Carlo analysis (investing involves risk, and this retirement calculator uses this method to allow users to quantitively account for risk when making decisions or forecasts)

  • Consider other variables, such as savings increases, taxes, or Social Security benefits, to better estimate retirement savings and expenses, helping you plan smarter

  • Know what would have happened to your balance or your retirement income in tough periods that can affect people’s finances (you can select your age, run a simulation, and find out if the previous market drop would have impacted your plans for retirement)

Why Choose Personal Capital Retirement Planner

This free retirement calculator stands out among other tools due to its multiple features and comprehensive service. Those who want to track their investments and know if their finances will be solid in times of uncertainty can benefit from this planner.

In addition, this alternative not only assists you during the process of planning your retirement but also allows you to organize all your retirement accounts in one place, which can help you save a lot of time and make better decisions.

Personal Capital services may also be for you if you want a retirement planning tool that you can use on your phone or any other mobile device! While other retirement calculators offer interesting and useful features, only the best retirement planning tools use Monte Carlo simulations to help you determine the possible financial results you could have in the future.

Betterment’s Retirement Savings Calculator: A Great Robo Advisor Service

Savings Calculator

Since its creator is one of the best robo advisors, Betterment’s retirement savings calculator comes in second on this list. In addition to helping you make some investments, this retirement planning tool allows users to take a more comprehensive look at their financial picture to make better decisions and achieve their long-term financial goals.

If you want to use Betterment’s retirement calculator, just go to their website and follow these steps:

  • Put your age

  • Set the income your household receives before taxes

  • Enter your retirement savings

  • Enter your average household retirement savings

  • Get an estimate of how much you can spend each year to be able to make a better retirement plan

Features that the Betterment Retirement Planning Tools Offer

If you use a retirement savings calculator and planner by Betterment, you can do the following:

  • Analyze different variables, including your social security benefits and retirement age, to find out how much you need to save for retirement

  • Estimate the total money you need for retirement

  • Get advice on how much money you should put into your retirement savings

  • Calculate how much you really require to meet your spending needs and save for your retirement

  • Learn which retirement accounts you should prioritize according to your situation and goals

  • Obtain a complete report on your finances, including information on your external accounts

  • Use tax-saving tools to save as much as you can the next time you have to pay your taxes

  • Change your retirement plan as you face changes in your life

  • Add other goals like a new property or college major

  • And more!

Why Could You Benefit From Betterment for Your Retirement Plan?

Betterment is a robo advisor that uses different algorithms to help users manage their portfolios through different automatic options for easy access. In other words, it’s a “set and forget it” platform.

In addition, Betterment uses those algorithms to give advice on the best investments and the steps you should take to reach your financial goals in the future.

Do you want to know if you are on the right path for your retirement? This platform analyzes several aspects, including your initial deposit and monthly savings, to determine if it is possible for you to achieve those goals that you have set for your golden years.

Betterment allows you to choose between different investment strategies and helps you optimize your portfolio for the best possible performance. However, even though it is affordable, you must pay a fee to use all the advising and retirement planning options this platform offers. In other words, this tool can be very useful if you hope to keep your retirement goals on track and are willing to pay a low fee for first-class features.

Stash’s Retirement Calculator: Cheap Option With Free Tools

Do you want to have a bigger picture of how much you should save to have peace of mind during your golden years? If so, the Stash retirement calculator is all you need! You only have to enter some data to be able to use this tool and its amazing features.

This alternative is perfect for those who want to organize their income before taxes, savings, and the amount they will need in the future. However, it also has options worth checking out if you’re looking for a tool that gives a more complete view of your future finances. If you use this retirement calculator, you can incorporate various assumptions in order to obtain estimates in different scenarios. Do you want to give this tool a try? This is what you should do:

  • Enter the website

  • Write your current age and projected retirement age

  • Enter information about your current savings

  • Define your income before taxes

  • And that’s it!

What Benefits Can I Get By Using Stash Retirement Calculator

Stash is a platform for retirement investment and planning that only requires a minimum of $5. Therefore, if you want to use it, you don’t have to pay a fortune. However, it also offers a free retirement calculator that can help you take a broader view of your current retirement and finances versus what you need in the future. Some of the data that you can know when using this tool are:

  • How much of your current income should you put into your retirement account?

  • Rate of return on your investment

  • If you’re on the right track with your retirement savings

  • How your retirement savings can behave in periods of inflation

If your retirement savings aren’t on track, Stash offers advice on whether you should delay retirement, increase the amount of your monthly savings, or spend less in retirement.

Features You Can Enjoy If You Choose the Paid Version

Do you want to invest that $5 to try the paid version of this retirement calculator? These are some of the features available in that case:

  • Diversification analysis tool to keep track of your investments and compare your current assets with recommendations based on your risk level (this includes multiple ETFs and stock options)

  • Investments in fractional shares for those who do not want to hold a complete share in their portfolio

  • Asset and investment custody by Apex Clearing Corporation, a trusted third-party SEC-registered broker-dealer and FINRA/SIPC member

  • Educational resources in various formats, including mobile and desktop material

  • Investments in autopilot with times for programmable deposits

  • Access to different retirement accounts, including Roth and Traditional IRAs

  • Custodial accounts for people aged under 18

  • Budgeting tools for those who want to organize their savings or expenses in order to meet specific goals

  • Dividend reinvestment plan options

  • And more!

Charles Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator: The One With The Most Experience On The Market

When it comes to discount stockbrokers, Charles Schwab has almost 50 years of experience! However, the most important question is: Can this tool help you with your retirement planning?

Charles Schwab has a free retirement calculator available to all Internet users. If you use this tool, you can determine your finances’ current position and know what you need to be able to achieve your goals in the future.

In order to use Charles Schwab’s calculator, you only need to open the website and enter a few details about your current financial situation, plans, and risk tolerance. After that, this tool promises to do everything for you.

However, you should keep in mind that despite having been on the market for almost half a century, this retirement planning calculator may be a bit outdated!

What Does Charles Schwab Retirement Calculator Offer?

Like most planning tools reviewed here, the Charles Schwab retirement calculator promises to help you figure out if your retirement savings are healthy. However, these reports can go a little further.

With this retirement planning service, you can learn about the adjustments you can make to your portfolio to have investments that can benefit your retirement income or overall retirement plan. In addition, this calculator can help you estimate your savings based on your annual contributions!

If you want to find out if you’re saving enough for your golden years, Charles Schwab’s no-cost retirement planning tools can give you a big picture of where you stand today and show you what you can do to make your expectations come true. Moreover, this retirement calculator has functions to test how your financial results may vary in different scenarios.

How to Use This Retirement Calculator

Do you want to use Charles Schwab’s retirement planning tool? If so, you only have to open the website, enter your current age and the age at which you plan to retire, define your investment style, put information about your retirement plans, and that’s it. After that, you can get a complete retirement analysis with the key aspects you must improve to obtain better results.

CountAbout’s FIRE Widget: Interesting Budgeting Tool for a Retirement Plan

Budget Planning

If the tasks related to budgeting and personal finances have become the most difficult part of your retirement plan, CountAbout’s FIRE widget could be for you.

This alternative was designed to focus mostly on monthly budgets. However, it’s one of the few retirement planning tools that can help you monitor your spending. Also, CountAbout’s FIRE widget is not the best choice for you if you are looking for free options, as basic accounts cost $9.99 per year!

The name of this tool, FIRE, is short for Financial Independence and Early Retirement. Can you get an idea of ​​the goals it could help you achieve? You’re right! That’s why it helps you monitor your monthly spending and spot any potential passive income sources.

What CountAbout’s FIRE Widget Offers

All the financial tools that CountAbout offers have been designed to build a budget that helps you reach your money goals.

Its retirement planning services offer a budgeting widget that can be synced with your bank accounts to help you track your spending. However, its most important feature is that it allows you to create a budget in real-time whenever you need it.

As long as you have internet, you can use CountAbout retirement planning tools! In addition, this widget helps you keep track of your progress so you can make better decisions and benefit your future finances.

Among other features that make this widget an excellent option, there’s the way it works. You can use CountAbout’s budgeting tools even without downloading any software or app.

Why CountAbout’s FIRE Widget Might Be For You

Knowing if you have enough retirement savings and determining how much you need to spend each month in order to retire early can be tricky, don’t you think? However, CountAbout’s Fire Widget might be for you.

Besides helping you monitor your monthly expenses and find sources of passive income, this tool can compare the potential amount you have derived from your investments to your spending budget to determine how financially independent you are.

Also, if you use this widget, you can set your retirement rate and calculate your potential passive income from your assets to get a bigger picture of what your golden years will look like in terms of finances.

Vanguard’s Retirement Nest Egg Calculator: Helps You Know Your Savings Position

If you want to build your retirement nest egg, which refers to the savings you do not touch until the long-awaited period arrives, Vanguard may be the ideal tool for you.

Most financial plans have a retirement nest egg as their goal. Is it one of yours? Vanguard offers a useful calculator that can help you know how long that amount can last until you retire.

Also, although it’s a stockbroker with a wide mutual funds and ETF collection, the Vanguard retirement planning calculator is the tool you need to know how much your investments can grow or define the changes you can make to obtain better results.

What Does Vanguard’s Retirement Nest Egg Calculator Offer

With this retirement nest egg calculator, you can get a long-term projection of your finances and how long your savings will last when you are no longer dependent on a fixed salary.

When using this tool, you only have to enter key information, such as how many years you think your savings should last, your current balance, or how much you say you spend annually.

Vanguard’s retirement nest egg calculator also helps you monitor where you have your savings (whether in cash, stocks, or bonds) and run a simulation to see how your investments will perform and how long you’ll have that money available.

However, this platform does not only offer a retirement nest egg calculator. Vanguard’s website has multiple retirement planning tools for users.

One of them is a retirement income calculator that can help you understand where you are in relation to your retirement goals if that period is on the horizon and determine better ways to get closer to your future financial goals.

Another helpful tool you can find on Vanguard’s website is a retirement plan loan calculator. It’s an option worth considering for those who want to determine the loan’s true cost or know if there is a better alternative to obtain funds without affecting their retirement finances.

Fidelity’s myPlan Snapshot: A Complete Glimpse On Your Future Finances

Another retirement planning tool to consider is Fidelity’s myPlan Snapshot. It’s one of the most popular online brokers you can find on the Internet. In addition, its website offers a free retirement calculator that you can use to plan your future finances and enjoy the golden years you have always dreamed of.

Fidelity myPlan Snapshot’s calculator is the perfect option for those looking for useful planning tools, as it has features that can help you know if you are on the right path to retirement.

While the myPlan Snapshot isn’t a complete retirement planner like the one offered by Personal Capital, its calculator can give you a quick glimpse into your financial future, which is essential at any stage of the journey before you retire.

How to Use Fidelity’s myPlan Snapshot

If you think this tool is for you, just go to its website and enter some information, such as your current age, annual income, current saving strategy, your investment portfolio’s value, and your planned retirement age. After that, this calculator can help you figure out your projected retirement savings or future assets’ dollar value. This way, you can build a better retirement plan!

What Does Fidelity’s myPlan Snapshot Offer?

Fidelity myPlan Snapshot is one of the retirement calculators that give you a complete glimpse of what your future finances will look like based on your planned retirement age, annual income, and other aspects. However, this tool has something different: It gives users a “Fidelity Retirement Score,” which lets them know where they stand in relation to their retirement plan and if they are considered to be in a secure position before they retire.

With the Fidelity Retirement Score, you can know how close or far you are from your financial goal in the future, so you understand what you need to do in order to improve your saving practices before you reach your retirement age.

Furthermore, this calculator offers all the features other planning tools have but is completely free! You don’t even have to register or create an account to enjoy all its benefits!

New Retirement’s Retirement Planner: One of the Most Comprehensive Retirement Planning Tools

Does planning your retirement make you anxious? Don’t panic! That happens to everyone as their retirement age approaches. Fortunately, this retirement planner can help you have peace of mind while you’re down that road. With this platform, you can build a completely personalized retirement plan. In addition, NewRetirement offers tools to keep your finances on track and help you be sure you’re on the right track.

This platform was designed to offer affordable planning tools. Besides that, it provides educational content and access to a community full of like-minded investors where you can learn everything you need to protect your wealth in the future.

NewRetirement Plans You Can Choose

One of the advantages of this retirement planner is that it offers a free plan that you can use to find out where you stand in financial terms and determine if you are ready for retirement.

In addition, there is a PlannerPlus plan that costs $96 a year and is perfect for those who want to create a budget to keep their savings and expenses under control. If you choose this option, you can also analyze taxes and other aspects, such as social security benefits, and link your account to find out the best withdrawal strategies.

The second plan that you can find there is the PlannerPlus Live. It’s available for $396 a year and offers multiple features, including two Zoom sessions with a retirement planner.

If you think one of these two options is for you but don’t want to spend a fortune, you can take a look at their trial versions. Both plans offer trials for 14 days. It’s the perfect opportunity to find out what they offer before you put your money there.

Does NewRetirement Offer A Free Retirement Calculator?

Yes! NewRetirement has a free retirement calculator available for users who want to find the answers to all of their retirement financial questions. If you want to discover the best retirement age, monitor how much money you have right now, or determine the basics to create a better savings strategy, this tool may be perfect for you!

On the website where you can access NewRetirement’s calculator, you can also find some tips on how to build a complete financial plan and a detailed explanation of some inputs that can impact projections, helping you better understand the results you get.

Final Thoughts: How to Choose the Best Retirement Planning Tools?

While there are many retirement planning tools on the internet, one of the best you can find is Personal Capital’s planner. It not only has multiple features that you can leverage to determine your current financial situation but also helps you monitor your investment accounts, which is useful if you want to meet all the goals set in your retirement plan. Also, its free calculator doesn’t just give estimates. Since it analyzes various aspects, including your social security benefits, it gives you a complete picture of how your current actions could affect your future finances.

However, you can find many benefits in all of the retirement planning tools listed here. Some even offer investment advisory services! Therefore, you just only have to carefully review each alternative to know which one best suits your needs!

About 

Edwin Cannon has spent his entire career in the financial industry and specializes in alternative investments and surviving marketing turbulence. He started My Retirement Paycheck to help educate consumers about retirement investment options that aren't typically introduced by advisors.