Retirement planning tool and practical tips

Retirement planning tool Most web sites that offer 'tools' for retirement planning are really offering financial planning help. You want to remember that although yourfinances are important, money is not the only important area that needs planning as you think about your retirement years.

But right now, you are thinking of your finances. You have ever so many number of choices for your planning. You will see a list of options below AND I offer a few 'cautions'. Many people offering help with a Retirement planning tool, just want to sell you one of the financial instruments from their company - this may or may not be the best thing for you. Buyer beware.

Retirement planning tool and planning tips

Here are some practical tips that you may find helpful when you are in the planning stage:

  1. Shop around and get advice from several different sources. Make note of the areas where 'everyone is saying the same thing'. You can get a lot of free advice . Often investment firms, insurance companies, individual brokers and others offer workshops - sometimes 'a free dinner and a workshop' as a way to market their services. Many bring their own Retirement planning tool and give you demonstrations. I attended some of these - and learned a lot.
  2. If you make a follow-up individual appointment after you attend a financial presentation or if you go for a consultation about financial planning, always asked the person how they will be paid - especially if they are offering me their advice for free.

    Listen to information presented but NEVER make a decisions during the meeting. A good ending is, "OK... thank you for this information. I do need to think about this before I make any decision." .... and I always asked for print out of the suggestions and advice so I could read them at my leisure.

    When you go home, look up any fund the person mentioned in Lipper Ranking of Mutual funds or Morning Star Ranking or Forbes Magazine Annual Review of Mutual Funds to figure out how these funds rate with other funds in their category. Sometimes the recommended funds may be among the highest ranked in their class but far more often you will find that funds are not highly ranked funds at all.

  3. Remember that here are individuals who have studied retirement planning and they have become Certified Financial Planners. (Clearly not everyone who uses a retirement planning tool has the sort of knowledge or the experience that your future needs. . it is worth consulting a specialist. But again, listen and learn but do not be a slave to advice you hear.
  4. After awhile, you will notice that most advisers,like most books on the subject of retirement planning, tend to say the same sorts of things. Here are a few things that you may want to keep in mind:

  5. Here are some links to a Retirement planning tool you can use online.. I would use these BEFORE I consulted anyone about my own retirement financial planning.

    Here is the CNN Retirement planning tool.

    There is another at MSM money Retirement planning tool. NOTE:

    • When I used these tools or consulted any financial planners, I always assumed I would live longer than the years they calculated. (Current research about longevity is showing that our generation may not only outlive our parents' generation...but also that of our children! It is better to leave some money behind than to run outof money before you die.
    • When anyone 'ran numbers for me' that showed likely future income in relation to probably expenses, I always asked what 'rate of inflation' they were using. If the inflation rate was less than 9%, I would recalled that in the 1970's, inflation in the United states rose to 11% and many retirees on fixed incomes found themselves sliding down the economic scale. (I would then ask that they calculate my 'probable situation' if inflation was at 8%, 10% and 12%.....something they were most willingto do.
    • I never signed on for anything after only one meeting....no matter what was said to 'get me to act now'. In fact, the more pressure I felt to 'sign up now' the more wary I became.

  6. You may want to research the names of some of the most successful fund managers. It is not the mutual fund or investment vehicle so much as the fund manager. (I learned this the hard way when a highly successful manager retired from a 'historically highly ranked fund' where I had put some money and the next year, the fund had NEGATIVE return with the new manager and a very low return the following year. That is when I learned that the fund manager is very important)
  7. Consider subscribing to some financial newsletters - always those with highest rankings in their class. (Hulbert Ranks financial newsletters and your public library shouldhave a copy for you to consult) If you decide to risk some money in stock trades do consider using an online discount broker. There are many discount brokers who allow you to trade a hundred shares or less. And many of the larger online brokers eg. Fidelity, offer free financial planning reviews totheir members.
  8. As I have aged, I have reigned in risk. My goal has been that each year I have a bit more income than expenses - between social security, retirement investments and a small retirement income business I have been able to do that.

Summary: Those are some of the same Retirement planning tool ideas that I and others have put into practice. Get advice...get lots of advice. Never make an investment thatyou do not understand. Never put all your retirement funds in one basket....spread them out so that if one thing takes a nose dive, you still have others income sources.

And remember that money is not everything. Money can NOT guarantee a happy retirement. You want to build in more things to your Retirement planning than just finances.

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