A quick fix on The Number

Am I saving enough for retirement? The trigger for that question is often a quarterly or yearend 401(k) or 403(b) statement. You look at what your portfolio is worth and it's probably less than you'd like after the past decade. It's more like a 301(k).

Earlier I posted on comprehensive retirement calculators on the web. This time, let's take a look at calculators that will give you a quick glance at your retirement savings. You don't need to gather lots of information for these calculators. Ballpark assumptions will do just fine.

AARP: It helps if you know what you'll get from Social Security. But don't worry if you don't. The calculator will estimate the number for you.

Charles Schwab: After I put in some numbers the results showed I had a significant shortfall. Among my choices to narrow the gap between savings and retirement spending goals was working until age 75! Ouch.

T. Rowe Price: The graphics are nice with this calculator that runs your numbers automatically through a number of scenarios. .

Mind Your Finances: One page. Simple.

Bloomberg: It's a real fast look at your 401(k). What I like is the chart shows the performance of the portfolio with and without the company match. (Full disclosure: I write a column for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.)

Remember, the price of convenience is that these calculators offer at most a rule-of-thumb bit of information. What calculators do you like?

About the author

Chris Farrell is the economics editor of Marketplace Money.


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