Free retirement planning software is freely available on the Internet. But how free and independent is it?
Retirement Planning is really very specialized and complex. You need to research a number of issues and become master of it:
Your free planning software is only a tool. It might lead you through a process where you must provide figures and estimates regarding the above issues, but it can't advise you. And I suspect that free planning software is offered so that you can tie yourself into knots and call for help! And the institution offering the free software will be quick to sell services or a 'professional edition' of the software to you when you need that help.
I know because I tried it!
I studied and researched the financial press, newsletters, forecasts, opinions, analysis, and anything else that could remotely relate to retirement planning and investment advice. I concluded that most of the stuff is speculative, contradictory, and confusing!
My bank, who provided the free software as a service, also provided me with investment advice but I noticed that they favored investment instruments of their own bank. After a while I decided that it is probably not in my best interest to rely on their investment advice.
I ended up by appointing an independent experienced retirement investment advisor. His proposals were well researched, well motivated, and the spread of investments did pretty well. However, neither I nor he saw the crash of 2008/2009 coming.
On this website we review numerous calculators and planners. We discuss many issues regarding retirement planning. Do read these discussion for your own education and information. Be informed and take control of your retirement planning. Eliminate uncertainty! Don't rely on free planning software to do that for you.
Your timely retirement planning is so important that you should consider spending some money on it. A good start would be to get a handbook for planning your retirement.
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