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, there are a number of free or inexpensive online and mobile apps designed to help you keep track of your retirement savings. Here are four of today’s best.
You don’t have to have an account with online brokerage Fidelity Investments to use its myPlan Snapshot app. By answering six simple questions, including how much in retirement savings you have and save each month, and your investment style, the app will estimate how much you’ll need each month in retirement and rate how on target you are to get there—complete with graphs and charts.
- There are a number of apps available to help you plan for retirement and many are free.
- Four of the best are myPlan Snapshot, Maximize My Social Security, Mint, and the retirement planner available with Personal Capital’s personal finance app.
The app doesn’t require you to input any personal information, such as your name, birth date, etc. so online security is not an issue.
Maximize My Social Security
Cost: $40 annual household license
According to the Social Security Administration, nine 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:
- Delaying retirement to receive higher benefits
- Work longer, earning more to increase benefits
- Sequence and time spousal and retirement benefits for grandfather under prior law
- File/suspend/reinstate retirement benefits
- Early retirement to activate child or disabled-child benefits and child-in-care spousal benefits
- Start widow(er) benefit before full retirement when deceased spouse took retirement benefits early
- Take retirement benefits before taking non-covered pension to delay activation of Windfall Elimination Provision
- Delay retirement benefits to raise widow(er) benefits for surviving spouse or ex-spouse
When using apps, particularly those designed for finances, it’s imperative to make sure they have sophisticated security features to protect your personal data.
You can also use Maximize My Social Security to apply any number of what-if scenarios to your maximized results to account for various contingencies. Your data is encrypted and you do not have to enter your real name or Social Security Number to use the app.
Platform: iOS, Android, Online
Mint’s popular budgeting app also allows you to track your retirement savings. After downloading the app and completing a simple sign up process you can link all of your financial accounts, including IRAs, pension plans, and 401(k)s. To help stay on top of retirement planning, Mint users can set up retirement goals and a budget to reach them. If you are deciding between opening a traditional and Roth IRA, Mint will also help you choose which one makes the most sense.
Mint’s interface is easy to use and features detailed, eye-pleasing graphics and charts. It uses multi-factor authentication and security scanning to keep accounts safe.
Platform: iOS, Android, Online
Robo-advisor Personal Capital offers a personal finance app with a robust retirement planner that uses a Monte Carlo simulation to project potential retirement savings outcomes. You’ll need to sign up for a free Personal Capital account to use it, but aren't obligated to hold investments there.
Easy to set up, the app syncs with your financial accounts so you can see all of your investments in one place. It supports more than 14,000 financial institutions and also factors in Social Security retirement benefits. The app, which has a sophisticated dashboard, also allows you to include major financial events, such as an inheritance or buying a home, and how they impact retirement planning.
Personal Capital employs multiple layers of security, including two-factor authentication, and encrypting your data and online interactions.
The Bottom Line
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.
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 and help you get where you want to be in the future.