Like many other retirement calculators out there, FIRECalc is trying to help users prepare and save for their golden years. Everyone wants to be able to retire comfortably and FIRECalc wants to help. Similar to other calculators, like cFIREsim, FIRECalc uses stock market data from the past 150 years or so to predict how your portfolio may fluctuate over the years you plan to have your retirement cash invested. While all of that sounds great, is FIRECalc a reliable resource for your retirement planning?
A Review of FIRECalc
If I’m being totally candid, when you first go to FIRECalc’s homepage it doesn’t feel like a site you’d want to use to plan for retirement. Then again, not many of these free retirement calculators have very flashy up-to-date websites. That set aside, FIRECalc is still lacking in a few ways.
Easy to use?
When I first encountered the FIRECalc website I was a bit confused to say the least. If you go to www.firecalc.com you will be greeted with this screen:
There is no doubt that the information provided by FIRECalc is accurate and useful though. If you are looking for a free retirement calculator to either compare your current numbers or get an estimate FIRECalc is great.
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Who Should Use FIRECalc?
I wouldn’t do all of my retirement planning through FIRECalc though. While it is a great resource for comparing retirement projections it shouldn’t be your only tool. When it comes to planning for your future you shouldn’t take too many shortcuts. To me, FIRECalc is a bit more of a pain to use than other similar calculators. Even the recently reviewed cFIREsim (which has the same basic set up) was a bit easier to use than FIRECalc.
All that being said, if you’re looking for a tool to use for number comparisons or even a snapshot of what your retirement fund may look like in a few years FIRECalc may be worth the try.
Have you used FIRECalc or any other free retirement calculator? What was your experience?
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