24-hour match: 2x your gift’s impact today! Double my donation
Makin' Money

A quick fix on The Number

Chris Farrell Mar 18, 2011

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?

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.

Don’t miss this match!

Donate today and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the American Public Media Board.