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Using Online Retirement Calculators As An Aid To Estate Planning

Some estate planning advisors might compare an online retirement calculator to a financial GPS system. Even though it can generally guide you to your destination, a retirement calculator cannot exactly show you the most ideal route to take or the unsafe roads you need to avoid on the way to retirement.

Planners say most calculators provide a broad sense of whether or not a person will be able to restore close to 85 percent of his or her preretirement income. That is how much New Yorkers will likely need depending on the amount of money they have saved and plan to save, according to The New York Times.

Calculators can predict if an individual's current income portfolio can meet those goals and allow for any changes to be entered with regards to the savings rate in Social Security benefits and a person's preferred retirement age. Some retirement calculators recommended by The Times include:

  • T. Rowe Price's Retirement Income Calculator, which has a user-friendly interface and can tell people fairly quickly if they are on the right track to retirement;
  • The Fidelity website, which offers a wide selection of income calculators from a quick check to a more detailed strategy assessor; and
  • The CNN Money calculator, which allows users to choose seven different kinds of portfolios to see how each could affect how much they could potentially save.

However, keep in mind that most calculators do not take into account the tax liabilities and life changing events and issues that could affect your savings, such as a disability, second marriage, college financing, home insurance, or the option of working while retired.

But while it doesn't hurt to see a snapshot of your income portfolio and determine if you are on the right track to saving for retirement, many New Yorkers may still want to consider meeting with an estate planning lawyer to determine the legal options they have in planning for themselves and their family.

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