Retirement calculators have totally come of age. Even though most are still sponsored by financial planning and investment sites, many of the calculators nowadays can be downright informative, amusing and sometimes depressing ways to while away the work day. Here are 10 of our favorite calculators to fool around with.
1. What will you look like?
Using age-morphing technology and behavioral research, FaceRetirement shows you what you may look like in retirement. The idea is to connect you to your future (older) self -- so that you'll care less about spending for the now-you and more about saving for the future-you. You take an online photo and then the fun begins. The Merrill Edge site also gives you information about how much you need to save for retirement.
2. How long will your nest egg last?
Answer a few questions to see a long-term projection. Then try making a few changes to view the impact on your results on this Vanguard site.
3. How long will you live?
The Wharton School has a calculator that can estimate, based on your health and family history, how long your retirement savings will need to last. Yes, a longevity calculator. If your tastes run to the morbid, there's always the Death Clock which allows you to watch your minutes tick away.
4. For when you are close to retirement...
If you're within five years of retirement or already retired, this Fidelity calculator will yield a printable report based on how your retirement expenses will stand up against income sources, such as Social Security, pensions, and part-time work, and your assets. It will also do a series of what-if scenarios in case you have a longer lifespan or excessive health care expenses. It takes about 30 minutes to complete.
5. How much do you need?
The Boston Center for Retirement Research at Boston College's Squared Away project says you will need 75 percent of your working income in retirement. Squared Away offers you a way to itemize those expenses. If you're a spreadsheet kind of nerd, this Vanguard worksheet lets you figure it all out.
6. How much will you get from Social Security?
Accurate, free, and with no financial advisor asking for your email, the Social Security website can tell you precisely how much you would get if you retired at various ages. No more need for guessing.
7. Just the facts, Ma'am.
For a simple-to-use, straight shooting calculator, try this one on for size.
8. What will health care cost you?
This is the big bugaboo, the budget-wrecker and one-way ticket to the poor house. AARP's health care costs calculator might help.
9. Thinking of moving to some place cheaper?
Sperling's Best Places allows you to compare the cost of living between cities.
10. What about the unforeseen?
T. Rowe Price's retirement planning calculator is a goodie. It takes about 10 minutes to use and you can fiddle with it to show outcomes based on different scenarios like inflation or serious health care costs.
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