While it’s important to know where you stand financially at any point in time, keeping track of your retirement money—brokerage accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s, and the like—can get complicated. Fortunately, there are a number of free or inexpensive online and mobile apps–or software applications–designed to help you monitor your retirement savings. Here are four of today’s best.
- There are numerous apps available today help you plan for retirement.
- Many are either free or modestly priced.
- Four of the best are Fidelity Retirement Score, Maximize My Social Security, Mint, and the retirement planner tool available with Personal Capital’s personal finance app.
Fidelity Retirement Score
You don’t have to have an account with online brokerage Fidelity Investments to use its Fidelity Retirement Score app. After answering six simple questions, including how much retirement savings you currently have, how much you save each month, and how you would characterize your investment style, you'll get an estimate of how much income you’re likely to have in retirement, compared with how much you may actually need.
The app then allows you to see how changing some of the variables, such as the age at which you plan to retire, or how aggressively you invest, would alter those numbers.
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
Social Security represents a major source of retirement income for many Americans. According to the Social Security Administration, nine out of 10 people age 65 and older receive Social Security benefits, and that money represents about 33% of their income in 2020. Maximize My Social Security can help you decide when and how to collect your Social Security benefits, to achieve the highest lifetime benefit possible, taking into consideration a long list of potential strategies.
Maximize My Social Security says it encrypts your data, and you do not have to enter your real name or Social Security number to use it.
When using apps, particularly those designed for finances, check what security features they have to protect your personal data.
Platform: iOS, Android, Online
Mint’s well-known 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 determine 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 VeriSign security scanning to keep accounts safe.
Platform: iOS, Android, Online
Robo-advisor Personal Capital offers a personal finance app with a robust retirement planner tool that uses Monte Carlo simulation to predict your future retirement savings under various scenarios. You’ll need to sign up for a free Personal Capital account to use it, but you aren't obligated to hold your 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 factors in Social Security retirement benefits. The app, which has a sophisticated dashboard, also allows you to model how major financial events, such as receiving an inheritance or buying a home, could affect your retirement planning.
Personal Capital employs multiple layers of security, including two-factor authentication, and says it encrypts user data.
The Bottom Line
A variety of apps can make staying on top of your retirement savings possible from almost anywhere at any time. The ones we've highlighted offer useful features and indicate that they take precautions to keep your financial data secure.