Tools for tracking expenses
There are numerous apps available for tracking expenses. These two useful reviews may help you choose one that will be a good fit for you:
Envelop budgeting can be a useful approach. Wikihow has a good explanation.
Monthly Spending Plan is a simple worksheet from University of Illinois Extension that you can print and fill out. (http://web.extension.illinois.edu/toughtimes/docs/monthly_spending_plan.pdf)
Social Security Benefits
Social Security fact sheets for specific situations:
- SSA Publication 05-10069, How Work Affects Your Benefits (http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10069.html)
- Social Security Administration. Windfall Elimination Provision, SSA Publication No. 05-10045. Available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10045.html or 1-800-772-1213.
- Social Security Administration. Government Pension Offset, SSA Publication No. 05-10007. Available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10007.html or 1-800-772-1213.
Social Security benefit calculators
- Use your actual earnings history http://www.ssa.gov/estimator/.
- Enter your earnings information http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/AnypiaApplet.html
- Government pension – WEP version: http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/anyPiaWepjs04.htm
To evaluate different claiming strategies:
- http://www.maximizemysocialsecurity.com/ ($40 fee/year)
- https://www.SocialSecuritySolutions.com/ ($19.95 and up, depending on the plan you choose)
Net worth calculators and forms.
Retirement income calculators:
- https://www3.troweprice.com/ric/ricweb/public/ric.do Often cited by popular press.
- http://personal.fidelity.com/planning/retirement/ise.shtml Requires registration if not a customer; somewhat intimidating.
- http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/retirementplanner/retirementplanner.jsp Can specify if will receive spousal benefit.