Here is the most in-depth analysis of quite a few retirement planning calculators I have ever seen. If you are like me, you are always looking for a new calculator to validate what you might know already; and another calculator is always welcome. I was aware of most of the calculators in the review, so I think I have covered most, if not all of the calculators known to man. It’s a great list of calculators if nothing else.
And I even create my own spreadsheets too, in case I have a better understanding of money than Fidelity, Vanguard or Schwab… And I run the projections daily, or more often, in case something has changed in the past few hours.
Here is what was evaluated
- Economic Security Planner/Basic (2 versions)
- Pralana Retirement Calculator (2 versions)
- Flexible Retirement Planner
- Ultimate Retirement Calculator
- SmartMoney Retirement Planner
- T Rowe Price Retirement Income Planner
- CNN Money Retirement Calculators
- AARP Retirement Calculator
- MSN Money (CalcXML) Retirement Calculator
- Charles Schwab Retirement Calculator
- Vanguard Retirement Income Calculator
- Vanguard Nest Egg Calculator
He doesn't evaluate Fidelity Income Planner or Quicken Lifetime Planner. Whether that was intentional (i.e. they out-shined his tool?) , or it was outside his scope, I am not sure. He is trying to sell his calculator and has a free version too.
I have been playing around with his free calculator. It is a bit cryptic and has a few things that are not as intuitive as some of the other calculators, but it is another validation. If I only knew how long I would live, it would make the planning a lot easier… And I am very optimistic in my life expectancy.
Spoiler Alert: I like FireCalc as another method of validating a plan, but FireCalc is not the comparison favorite.