If you’re like most working people, you have only one major source of income: your job. Once you hit retirement, however, that changes, and you are likely to have several different sources of income. While it’s important to know where you stand financially at any given point in time, keeping track of your retirement money – brokerage accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s and the like – can be quite burdensome. Fortunately, modern technology is here to help: There are a number of free or inexpensive online and mobile apps designed to help you keep track of your retirement money. Here, we take a look at four of today’s best.
The CNNMoney Portfolio app automatically syncs with your brokerage, IRA and 401(k) accounts so you can see all your investments in one place. The app supports 60+ U.S.-based brokerages, including big names like Ameriprise Financial, Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, E*Trade, Janus, Merrill Lynch, Scottrade, and TD Ameritrade. The app’s colorful charts and graphs show your real-time account performance, risk, allocation, and dividends, and you can run 100+ tests to get personalized advice for improving investments and reducing the fees you pay. The app, powered by SigFig, uses 256-bit SSL encryption, and all information is read-only, so nobody – including you – can use the app to move your money.
SigFig Investment Optimizer
SigFig can be used to track all your investment accounts for free, or it can invest for you in a low-cost automated ETF portfolio. SigFig pulls your investment accounts from more than 80 U.S.-based brokerages into a single dashboard so you get a real-time look at all your stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and options, plus your 401(k) and IRAs. You receive summaries of account performance, news that impacts your portfolio and alerts that concentrate on your best (and worst) performers. The app examines your portfolio to locate hidden fees, overexposure to single stocks/industries, and risk levels. For a fee, you can optimize your returns with automated investing: SigFig can optimize your portfolio, keeping daily watch to make sure your investments are on track with rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and tax efficient strategies. The app's 256-bit SSL encryption provides the same level of security used by banks and brokerages.
USA TODAY Money Portfolio Tracker
The USA TODAY Portfolio Tracker app lets you view all your investment accounts in one place, including stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, 401(k)s and IRAs. The app syncs with 60+ U.S.-based brokerages, including E*Trade, Fidelity, Scottrade, and Vanguard. Use the app to track account performance, watch real-time quotes and news, and evaluate asset allocation, dividend yields, and risk. The app, also powered by SigFig, uses 256-bit SSL encryption for bank-level security, and sensitive information, including account numbers, is unidentifiable. Your portfolio is password-protected, and all information is read-only, so nobody (including you) can trade, withdraw or transfer funds.
Maximize My Social Security
Cost: $40 annual household license
According to the Social Security Administration, 9 out of 10 people age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits, and those benefits represent about 38% of the income of the elderly. As such, it’s important to include an app that focuses on this income source. Maximize My Social Security helps you decide when and how to collect your Social Security benefits to achieve the highest lifetime benefit possible, taking into consideration the following potential strategies:
- Delayed retirement to earn larger benefits
- Sequencing and timing of retirement and spousal benefits
- File-and-suspend strategies for married couples
- Start/stop/restart receipt of benefits
- Early retirement to enable child’s benefits
- Early widow(er) start when decease started benefits early
You can also use the software to apply any number of what-if scenarios to your maximized results to account for various contingencies. Your data resides in a secure SSAE 16 Type 2 data center, and you do not have to enter your real name or Social Security Number to use the app.
The Bottom Line
During retirement, you may have various sources of income to keep track of – from stocks and bonds, to IRAs and 401(k)s and beyond. Fortunately, a variety of apps make staying on top of your retirement money something you can do from almost anywhere at any time. That way, you will know where you stand financially, which can help you make decisions today, plus help you get where you want to be in the future. (For more on managing your retirement portfolio, see Measure Your Portfolio's Performance and Managing Income During Retirement.)