As millions of Americans watched their savings and retirement accounts take a hit during difficult economic times, many were left wondering if retirement was still an option for them. For many, the first step to evaluating their financial future includes a retirement calculator to determine when they can retire and what is needed to do so. AARP recently launched its new Retirement Calculator.
“Based on user feedback and a changing retirement landscape, AARP revamped its retirement calculator to enhance usability, but maintain accuracy in its results,” said Jean Setzfand, Director of Financial Security at AARP. “Whether an individual is starting at square one, or needs to re-evaluate original plans, the AARP Retirement Calculator is a tool that can set him or her off on the right foot and help determine what needs to be done next.”
Where many calculators are designed only to produce a quick snapshot, the lack of information returned and resources made available often leaves users confused or with inaccurate results. Other calculators are complex, requiring too much information or too deep an understanding of economic principles many aren’t familiar with. These calculators often result in low completion rates and lost opportunities to educate an individual about their retirement needs.
“We feel our new calculator strikes the right balance between giving users the information they want while making it engaging and easy to use,” said Setzfand. “It streamlines the process through the use of pre-populated answers, but allows for customization and adjustment of the assumptions if ‘power users’ choose to.”
New features of the AARP Retirement Calculator include the ability to develop a retirement plan for a dual-income home, calculate and include individual Social Security benefit estimates as a part of retirement income, easy-to-navigate tabs, easy-to-understand explanation of where an individual is currently at in their retirement planning and the ability to experiment with various retirement scenarios to create a plan that is right for each individual. Upon completion of the calculator, individuals will be provided links to a number of AARP resources to learn more about Social Security, financial planning and health care in retirement. The new AARP Retirement Calculator does not promote any product or service.
Research has shown that using a tool like a retirement calculator can be one of the best ways to help people focus on the steps many need to take to get their financial lives in order. With the information individuals receive from the AARP Retirement Calculator, users can quickly evaluate their current retirement possibilities and see the possible pathways to reach their desired retirement goals.
To try out the new AARP Retirement Calculator, visit www.aarp.org/retirementcalculator.
For more information about retirement and financial planning, please visit www.aarp.org/money.