Casual Friday: Face Retirement


Merrill Edge is helping you Face Retirement. They are convinced that we don't save enough for retirement because we just can't picture ourselves living into our 70s and 80s. By showing you what you will look like in the future they hope to convince you to save for retirement. All I have to say is that it worked. I now believe I should save more - for plastic surgery. If the age progression is correct, I might need a little nip and tuck at 67. Beyond scaring (and possibly scarring) you with a glimpse into your future, the site also provides some cost of living data. See how much a loaf of bread will cost, a gallon gas, or a movie ticket. It is all enough to make you realize that tomorrow will be here before you know it, and it will cost you a lot more to live the same lifestyle.

If you are brave enough it just takes a minute to find out what you'll like 20, 30, 40 years from now. The program uses your webcam to take your picture and begin the aging process. Bonus, you can share right to Facebook if you are so inclined.

So if you are ready to start saving more, find out exactly how much you need using the bizologie favorite tools: retirement planning post.

bizologie Favorite Tools: Retirement Planning

piggy bank

Dreaming of retiring to that nice condo at the beach? Or maybe you'll use some of those golden years traveling the globe.  Either way, it's time to start planning. Well, it was probably time to start planning as soon as you finished high school, but let's not dwell on that. Let's continue imagining ourselves at the beach and start being smart about how to get there. Here are a couple of tools we love for making sure you're on track with your retirement plans:

  • While Social Security certainly isn't going to allow you to live in the lap of luxury, it's still a good idea to understand what your benefits will be. In the past, the Social Security Administration sent out statements showing your expected benefits. They no longer mail out statements, but now you can set up an account on their website to keep track of everything. Once you've created your account, you'll be able to see your estimated benefits based on retirement age. You can create your account here.
  • Next you'll want to use a retirement calculator to see if you're on target. We like the one at Principal Financial Group because it's easy to use and at the end gives you a nice PDF showing where you stand and some "what ifs" to help you meet your goal. Their calculator allows you to include your 401K, IRAs, social security benefits and any other accounts you have to give a prediction for where you'll be based on when you want to retire. It's a good idea to run several scenarios for retiring at different ages. I ran 6 or 7 different ones showing outcomes for ages 60, 65 and 70 as well as a few different contribution amounts. You'll find their calculator here and below you'll see an example of a retirement goal with their suggestion to help reach your goal.

  • We've talked about Mint before as part of our 50 Apps in 50 Minutes presentation. It's a great way to keep up with your finances and they've got a nice little tool for setting goals. You can set goals for things like vacations, paying down credit card debt and saving for retirement. The retirement goal lets you add in your 401K or IRA accounts and set a date so you can tell quickly if you're on track.