Calculate Your Solo $$$

You hear in the news magic numbers for retirement or for a mortgage and wonder if you’re on track for either.  Here are a number of free online calculators that hopefully can help you make sense of your own numbers and help get you to each, comfortably.

Online financial tools that can help figure a road to your financial goals.

Mortgage calculators

Calculate your payments

Full disclosure:  I work for this bank.  They didn’t have staff a discount so I didn’t get my mortgage here.  But—I found this calculator the most helpful to figure payments.  Yes it’s for Canadians, but really the dollar value doesn’t matter, the calculations do.

Calculate adjustable rate payments

From HSBC.  Figures the minimum and maximum payments, given a selected interest increase over selected timeperiods.  Great for the current interest rate environment.

Rent vs. buy

This NYT calculator shows at what point buying beats out renting, with ability to input condo fees, rate of return on investment and tax bracket.

Accelerate your payments

This Stanford Credit Union calculator shows how much you save in interest if you’re able to manage even some bi-weekly mortgage payments.

Retirement calculators

Your Social Security

Like it’s good to check your credit rating, it’s also a great idea to request your Social Security Statement once a year.  It gives you a realistic idea of how much you’ll be getting from the government—and how much you’ll have to set aside to support your post retirement life.  You’ll also find practical retirement and benefit calculators.  A great place to start thinking about your retirement.

Basic savings calculators

The Motley Fool has amazing savings calculators that allow you to play with the numbers and see what saving method yields you the most in the long run.  It also allows you to see what savings (for tax purposes) should be used first as you approach retirement.  Great site.

Save automatically

Bank of America has a program where purchases are rounded up and the difference is automatically saved for you.  Because the next retirement calculator is scary, the best thing you can do right now, whatever your age, is to either sign up to save some amount automatically, today.

The scary calculator

I include this just to scare you into saving a little bit today.  This is the classic retirement calculator from MSN’s MoneyCentral that’ll tell you need four billion dollars to buy a cup of coffee when you’re 70. Saving for retirement is really all about that—saving.  So scare yourself silly, then sign up now online for pre-authorized saving—and pinch your budget today a little to make it work easier for yourself tomorrow.

IRA or Roth?

This Credit Union of America calculator shows the benefits of a traditional IRA vs. the Roth IRA.

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