A handy way to plan your retirement

On The Web

Your Money

March 21, 2004|By John M. Moran The Hartford Courant

If you want to hit a home run in retirement, a good place to start would be the Ballpark Estimate retirement planner: www.asec.org/ballpark.

The Web site, maintained by the American Savings Education Council, offers a handy way to figure out how much money you will need to retire comfortably and how close you are to getting there.

Try the interactive worksheet, which lets you enter key data directly from your browser. Questions cover topics such as annual gross income, expected Social Security payments, pensions and retirement savings.

Unlike many other retirement calculators, the interactive ballpark estimator allows you to easily change your assumptions on the fly, permitting you to explore different savings and spending scenarios. It's also loaded with tips on meeting your savings goals.

By the end, you should have a clear idea of how much you need to save annually to reach your retirement goals. Sure beats finding yourself out in left field when it comes time to hang up your spikes.

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