I’m terrified of my retirement. It’s not the book clubs and bridge games that terrify me – it’s whether or not we will enough money to retire and maintain our current lifestyle. Yes, we are saving here and there, but we have no idea how much it is all going to add up to. The reality is, we probably are not saving enough. (I’m pessimistic when it comes to money, which is part of the reason I’m such a big saver.)
What tools are you using to plan for retirement?
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We have several options to plan for our retirement.
- We can go to a retirement planner. There are three types, which boils down to how they earn money from working with you. I prefer a fee-only retirement planner, because there is no conflict of interest. However, we are already working with a finance guy for part of our stock portfolio. I have to inquire what type of financial planner he is.
- We can rely on AARP. There are a lot of good tools and articles on retirement on the AARP site, which is not a huge surprise. I see articles on how much money you need to save, things that are cheaper in retirement, and plenty of other stories. But what seems to be missing – and maybe it’s there and I haven’t found it – is a tool that gives us a holistic view of how our monthly savings right now are going to add up in several decades.
- We can dive deeper into online tools. I found this page on CNN to be useful. The Savings Interest Calculator lets me see how different accounts are going to grow. We also these these retirement calculators. However, I’m still at a loss for how all these small accounts we have are going to add up. What’s the big picture?
- We can save here and there and hope it adds up. While this isn’t a well thought out strategy, and it keeps me up at night! On the bright side, BargainBabe.com writer Dacia Daly found saving $5 on coffee can turn into $17,000!
Dear reader, I need your help. Do you go to a retirement planner? Are you relying on DIY financial tools? How do you suggest we get a holistic view of all our savings accounts – our 401ks, life insurance, and IRAs (here’s how my ROTH IRA is different from a traditional IRA)? I can add up the balances in them, but that doesn’t seem to tell the whole picture.
Our goal is to save $2 million for retirement, and while we are actively saving, I have no idea how it’s all going to add up.
MS Barb says
Dave Ramsey’s web site has a new book coming out in January (I’ve already pre-ordered it) called “Retire Inspired” by Chris Hogan! There are several good articles on retirement on Dave’s web site.
Mrs. Groovy says
Hi Bargain Babe, are you sure you need $2M? If you track your expenses and figure out what you spend on a yearly basis, having 25x that amount in savings or investments is a good barometer for how much you’ll need.
You might benefit from a tool where you can list all your accounts and see an overview of all of them – the big picture you mentioned. I don’t use it, but many people swear by Mint. Also, reading the forums at Mrmoneymustache and Bogelheads can be of great help.