Saving for your future and knowing how to save for your “golden years” is like anything else important in your life – it requires planning. That’s why the Choose to Save® (CTS) public education campaign was created in 1996: To promote the idea that saving today is vital to a secure financial future, and to help all individuals achieve their goals. The CTS Web site (www.choosetosave.org) provides consumers with a wide variety of free savings tools and information to help them plan for all aspects of their financial security. Choose to Save® is sponsored by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute Education and Research Fund (EBRI-ERF) (www.ebri.org) and one of its programs, the American Savings Education Council (ASEC) (www.asec.org).
All the informational services, publications, tools, and quizzes present a valuable assistance to the readers on the retirement preparation guidelines. However, one of the sections of the site is focused specifically on the retirement planning. The tools, offered in the section, are presented below.
Retirement Preparation Assistance
- Want to know how much you should save for retirement?
The Ballpark E$timate® is an easy to use interactive tool which helps you to quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. It is a simple, two-page worksheet that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. The Ballpark E$timate takes complicated issues like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand. Complete the worksheet online and let the computer do the math. Or you can print out clean originals to share with family, friends and co-workers (in PDF format), which you can fill offline and calculate yourself the outcomes, based on your personal data. A special version has been also created for Federal Government Employees, Employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), CSRS-Offset, or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) who plan to retire under the voluntary age and service rules.
- A central question to retirement planning is, how long will I live?
It is important to consider because you do not want to outlive your money. Try taking the following longevity calculator Living to 100. The calculator asks you 40 quick questions related to your health and family history, and takes about 10 minutes to complete. After you get the basic answer to the question on your life expectancy, you will also receive a personalized feedback for each of your answers, a personalized "To-Do" list for you and your physician, and a list of things you can do differently and how many years you will add if you do so.
- What will be the impact on my take home pay if I increase my contribution to my 401(k) plan?
Use this payroll deduction calculator to determine the impact of changing your payroll deductions. You can enter your current payroll information and deductions, and then compare them to your proposed deductions. Try changing your withholdings, filing status or retirement savings and let the payroll deduction calculator show you the impact on your take home pay. This calculator has been updated to use the new withholding schedules included with the 2009 Stimulus Bill.
- When it comes to retirement planning and saving, what kind of person are you? Are you a planner, saver, struggler, impulsive, or denier?
Take the Retirement Personality Profiler quiz and find out. Determining your personality type may help you flag some action items that, up to now, you may have neglected or overlooked. In addition, it provides some resources to point you in the right direction and help you get started. Quiz consists of two parts of evaluation: financial attitudes and retirement planning attitudes.
- So you think you're preparing well for your retirement, but are you really?
Use this quiz to determine your Retirement Readiness Rating (R3). Your R3 is an indicator of how good a job you're actually doing in financial preparation for retirement. It may help you flag some action items that, up to now, you may have neglected or overlooked. And if you have, it provides some resources to point you in the right direction and help you get started!
Site offers additional financial planning tools, which are not limited to the retirement planning, for example, Tips for Financial Budgets, Balancing your Checkbook, Buying new Home, and much more.