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Free Financial Planning Software: Items to Consider

I was recently featured in an article in Investment News discussing my thoughts on some of the free financial planning software that has been rolled out by a group of the big banks. While I love the idea of getting more people interested and experiencing the benefits of planning – I also worry (and have seen) the risks when too much confidence is placed in “off the shelf” tools.



While I think free financial planning software may be reasonable place to start for some, I would caution making large life decisions on them alone. Here are a few other items to consider and be aware of:

1. If the software is based on only a few number of questions and feels overly simplified… it likely is.


2. Make sure you are realistic in key planning assumptions. It is important to make sure investment returns match how you are actually invested. Even slight adjustments to returns have very large impacts.


3. Ensure you plan for an adequate length in retirement. Again, planning for a 30-year retirement period will look much different than a 35 or even 40-year time period.


4. Again, use caution with free planning software to help make a major financial or life decision.


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Ryan Phillips, CFP® is the founder of GuidePoint Financial Planning. He is passionate about helping busy families plan, save, and invest for their financial future. Contact him today if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of working with a fee-only (no-commission) financial planner.



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