Jonathan Clements  |  March 14, 2018

WANT TO CHECK your retirement readiness? There’s a slew of online calculators available, but one of the best is The site strives to deliver great content and foster an active community, and it does a decent job on those two fronts. But the site’s heart and soul is its super-sophisticated, comprehensive retirement calculator.

Truth be told, my preference usually runs to calculators that don’t require registration and don’t involve many inputs, so I was initially reluctant to create an account at But I know Steve Chen,’s founder, and he cajoled me into giving the calculator a test drive.

I’m glad I did. Signing up and adding my data proved less onerous than I feared, there was no cost involved and my registration didn’t trigger an endless steam of pestering emails. Indeed, I didn’t have to add much information to get an assessment of my retirement plan.

Or maybe I should say two assessments: The site gauged my chances of a financially comfortable retirement using both optimistic and pessimistic assumptions. Things look good, though the site suggested they would look even better if I converted my traditional IRA to a Roth, downsized my home and reduced my expenses by 10%.

I figured maybe I was an easy case, so I decided to slash the value of my retirement account and my home, and see what that did to the analysis. The site suggested my top opportunity was purchasing a deferred income annuity, which would provide income starting later in retirement—and which would likely be a good move for someone short on retirement savings.

The site also suggested increasing the amount I save, which makes sense, and suggested I delay claiming Social Security. But it didn’t advise postponing retirement, which would probably be a good idea, given that I was angling to quit at 62. Along with some of its financial suggestions, offers links to the site’s product partners. But there’s no hard sell—a big plus in my book.

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