Investors can also try ESPlannerBasic (Basic.esplanner.com), from Boston-based financial-software company Economic Security Planning Inc., which offers a free plan developed by Boston University economics professor Laurence Kotlikoff.
You enter your current and projected salary, retirement age and savings, among other things. The site calculates your sustainable living standard and allows you to tinker with how much a job change, housing move or retirement-account contribution can raise or lower your living standard.
Then the program recommends annual amounts of discretionary spending, savings and life-insurance holdings. The program incorporates a lot of the nitty-gritty details other programs tend to leave out, such as federal and state taxes and future Social Security benefits. But the process can be time-consuming it takes up to 30 minutes to fill out all the necessary information. What’s more, the basic version stores your plan for only 24 hours, so every time you want to run the simulation, you must input the numbers.