Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Let's Calculate Shall We

Thoughtful Tuesday KNOWSY Readers, is all well in your neck of the woods? Is your work week going smoothly? After a very limited month of posting I "thought" about what to share with you, as the season of Autumn has begun, we are now in the month of October - can it be that in less than three months a new year will begin? It definitely feels as though time is moving along rather quickly, or does it just me seem that way to me? Questions, questions, questions....so what is the answer? Another question, I think not, answers can be found by doing some research or as this article provides: Calculators, these "tools" can help you get a better handle on your financial picture which hopefully in turn provide you better insight and possibly extra cash - always a good thing!
I came upon this article while doing my daily web search, it comes from an excellent site called aplaceformom.com and was written by Jeff Anderson.

14 Great Financial Planning Tools

Most adults hear about the importance of planning for retirement, but many of them have tuned it out. The Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that more than half of boomers “haven’t even tried to figure out how much money they’ll need to save to live comfortably in retirement.” Even those who have planned for retirement have done inadequate planning or based their planning on faulty assumptions.
14 Great Online Financial Planning Tools
People may delay planning for retirement because the task seems so daunting, though, tabulating the amount you need to save can be easy with some online tools. Having an idea of the amount you need to save is the first step to planning for retirement, and as the Employee Confidence Survey, found, online financial planning tools can be tremendously helpful.
Here are some of the most useful tools that can help you understand and take control of your finances:

1. Retirement Calculator

The Retirement Calculator by AARP is an exceptional way to begin the process of reassessing your retirement. By entering basic information about yourself such as your age, marital status, income, current savings and expected retirement age, you can determine whether your savings are adequate or not.

2. 401k Savings Calculator

It’s wise to take advantage of 401k plans provided by your employer, especially when your contributions are matched on even a limited basis. AARP’s 401k Savings Calculator tool can help you figure out how much saving your 401k can generate.

3. Lifetime Income Calculator

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Lifetime Income Calculator is similar to the tools above, but a few of its features make it unique. It allows you to “estimate monthly lifetime income streams based on both the participant’s current account balance and on the projected value of the account balance at retirement. For both balances, the calculator develops two level lifetime payments: one for the life of the participant (with no benefits to any survivors) and the second for the joint lives of the participant and the spouse with a fifty percent survivor’s benefit for the spouse’s lifetime.”

4. Social Security Quick Calculator

While the AARP retirement calculator mentioned above factors in your projected social security income, you can use this Social Security Quick Calculator to learn more about what to expect in terms of Social Security income depending on when you retire.

5. Cost of Senior Care Calculator

Of course the need for long-term care is unpredictable, but you may want to see what long-term care costs where you live and compare it to the costs of living in an apartment or single-family house using our Cost of Senior Care Calculator.

Currency6. Federal Student Aid Repayment Calculator

The Great Recession forced many middle-aged people to return to school for further job training, and so today people of all ages have student loan debt. The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Repayment Calculator will show you what to expect in term of any student loan repayments.

7. Cost of Raising a Child Calculator

If you are raising children or expect to be in the near future, the Cost of Raising a Child Calculator by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy Promotion can help you estimate the costs of that responsibility.

8. Credit Card Repayment Calculator

Saddled with credit card debt? The Federal Reserve’s Credit Card Repayment Calculatorshows you how long it will take to pay off that debt, which depends on your payments and the credit card’s interest rate. For example, someone with $5,000 in credit card debt on a card with 14% annual interest will take 22 years to pay off the card if they make the $100 minimum payment and make no more charges.

9. Life Insurance Needs Calculator

If you’re interested in using life insurance to make sure your loved ones are financially secure in case something happens to you, the Life Insurance Needs Calculator helps you determine how much coverage you ought to have.

10. Life Expectancy Calculator

While it may seem a bit morbid to some, a rational person who is doing financial planning will want to know his or her expected lifespan. The Life Expectancy Calculatorby Dr. Dean Foster of University of Pennsylvania’s department of statistics is among the most useful and in-depth. After answering a series of questions, Dr. Foster’s calculator indicated my own life expectancy is 83.11 years. If Dr. Foster’s tool has too many questions for your taste, the Social Security Administration Life Expectancy Calculator is a good alternative with less questions.

11. Mortgage Calculator

If a mortgage is part of your financial equation, or you’re considering obtaining a new mortgage, The Mortgage Calculator tool could be quite useful.

Piggy Bank & Pocket Calculator12. Health Care Calculator

The Health Care Calculator by the University of Berkeley, is designed to show you how much your health care costs will change, if at all, when the Affordable Care Act is put into full effect next year.

13. Commute Cost Calculator

Transportation can be a big part of your budget, especially if you’re a commuter. The Commute Cost Calculator by the nonprofit Commute Info can help you put a figure to your travel and help you budget better.

14. Coffee Budget Calculator

To end on a lighter note, no financial planning would be complete without factoring in your coffee habit. The Coffee Budget Calculator shows you your coffee expenses, based on your coffee consumption, where you buy your coffee, or whether your brew you own.
Do you know of any tools that we should add to our list? Do you have advice about financial planning, budgeting or saving for retirement? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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14 Great Financial Planning Tools by 
About the Author
Jeff attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks on an academic scholarship, and also studied creative writing at University of Hull (UK). He found his calling in 2009 when he began working with seniors and their families at A Place for Mom, and has immersed himself in writing and research about issues affecting older adults. He also enjoys literature, music and spending time with his daughter. | Jeff Anderson's Google+ Profile |jeffa@aplaceformom.com | 1300 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98109, USA

So then my KNOWSY Readers, pick and choose whichever of the calculators that best suit your life at this moment and start calculating!

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