Tools and calculators
Additional discussions and reviews of these Tools and calculators can be found in the discussion page (tab at top). Caution: Past performance does not guarantee future results.
- 1 Backtesting
- 2 Bond calculators
- 3 Broker check
- 4 Charitable organizations
- 5 College savings planner
- 6 Credit report
- 7 IRA
- 8 Inflation data
- 9 Insurance for deposit accounts
- 10 Life expectancy calculators
- 11 Loan and mortgage calculators
- 12 Mutual fund fee calculators
- 13 Personal finance toolbox
- 14 Portfolio tools
- 15 RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators
- 16 Retirement calculators
- 17 Roth IRA conversion calculators
- 18 Social Security
- 19 Stock/Fund charts
- 20 Tax returns
- 21 Taxable-equivalent yields
- 22 Treasury data
Find out what your bonds are worth.
- Savings Bond Calculator (from the U.S. Department of Treasury, your tax dollars at work)
- US Savings I Bond Value and Interest Rate Calculator (from Savings-Bond-Advisor)
- Yield to Maturity (from Morningstar) - requires Morningstar membership
- The yield to maturity of a bond is the total return it will earn if held to maturity, assuming all interest is reinvested at that same rate.
- Bond yield calculator, from Money-Zine.com
Those considering a business relationship with an investment adviser should perform due diligence to validate a financial adviser, broker, or investment firm's background credentials and complaints on file. The SEC and FINRA provide free tools to help consumers with this process.
From the IRS, Exempt Organizations Select Check is an on-line search tool that allows users to verify that an organization is tax exempt and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. You may search for.
- Organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub. 78 data),
- Organizations whose federal tax exemption was automatically revoked for not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years, or
- Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filers and filings.
College savings planner
- Vanguard College Savings Planner
- College Savings Calculator
- Analyzing 529 College Savings Plan Fees and Expenses, from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Compare how fees and expenses can reduce returns. Enable browser cookies.
- AnnualCreditReport.com, enable browser cookies
AnnualCreditReport.com is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and is the only service authorized for this purpose. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to obtain one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months.
- Department of Labor Consumer Price Index
- Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 39,000 economic time series from 38 sources. Download, graph, and track economic data. Downloadable tools, such an iPhone/iPad app and an Excel Add-In are available.
Insurance for deposit accounts
Calculate insurance coverage for a group of deposit accounts.
- EDIE, the Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Use for qualified banks.
- E-Calculator, the Electronic Share Insurance Calculator, from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Use for members of the NCUA.
Life expectancy calculators
These calculators use historical models to predict your life expectancy based on your lifestyle and family history.
- Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator (enable browser cookies)
- Northwestern Mutual
- Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator
IRS life expectancy tables
The IRS also has a view of your life expectancy, which is used solely for determining the Required Minimum Distribution of your IRA. Your age, your spouse's age, and beneficiary status are taken into account.
This Google Docs spreadsheet will calculate your life expectancy (or distribution period) based on Tables I, II, or III in IRS Publication 590 (IRAs):
- Spreadsheet calculator: download as xls, ods, pdf
- Life Expectancy Tables from IRS Publication 590 (view in browser)
Loan and mortgage calculators
A mortgage is a type of loan dedicated for financing the purchase of real estate. You can sometimes find mortgage calculators grouped with other types of loan calculators. The links below contain both dedicated mortgage calculators as well as calculators used for other types of loans.
Key loan parameters are principal, interest rate, periodic payment, and duration. Mortgage calculators can also include parameters such as rate of inflation and taxation. "Rent versus buy" decisions are specialized forms of mortgage calculators.
- On its default setting, note that rent increases 3% per year while homes appreciate at 1% per year. A suggested assumption is for both to increase at the rate of inflation.
- Mortgage Calculators and Financial Calculators (from HSH® Associates, Financial Publishers)
- Contains numerous mortgage and financial calculators both online and download versions (email registration required for download). Includes various loan calculators (amortization, payments, etc.), refinancing, rent vs. buy, PMI with amortization.
- Mortgage Calculators (from the Mortgage Professor)
- An extensive number of mortgage calculators. With one or two mortgages, there's a calculator for: Debt consolidation, extra payments (prepayment), refinancing.
- Also: When to terminate Private Mortgage Insurance, housing affordability, Adjustable Rate Mortgages with / without negative amortization, comparison of fixed-rate versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), points and fees, downpayments, terms, annual percentage rate (APR)
- Caveat - Some calculators only work with Internet Explorer.
- Contains mortgage calculators for just about anything.
- Be sure to check Financial Calculators from DinkyTown.net. There are (claimed to be) 300 financial calculators that should cover just about anything financial.
- This calculator enables you to accurately calculate the tax savings of the mortgage.
- Compare mortgage terms (from the Washington Post)
- Use this calculator to determine the total cost in today's dollars of various mortgage alternatives taking into account your opportunity cost of money.
- A calculator that uses slider bars to graphically show the principal vs. interest breakdown over the period of the mortgage.
- Excel Loan Amortization Application Spreadsheet (from Microsoft)
- Free from Microsoft, for Excel 97 or later. To download, use Internet Explorer with cookies enabled (Firefox will not work). Microsoft will install an ActiveX control. The download will open a new spreadsheet in Excel.
- When you put in the interest rate, points, term, etc. it shows a monthly tally of principle and interest payments. You can then compare what you are paying now with the new loan. It will also show total interest for the term of the loan. For any monthly payment you can enter a lump sum payment to see what happens to the total interest as a result of accelerating your pay schedule.
Mutual fund fee calculators
Fees and expenses are an important consideration in selecting a mutual fund because these charges lower your returns. Compare the fees and expenses of different mutual funds before you invest.
- Effect of Expenses on a Portfolio, to see how investment expenses affect a portfolio over a long investment time horizon.
- Fund Analyzer (from FINRA - Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)
- The Fund Analyzer offers information and analysis on over 18,000 mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs). Estimate the value of the funds and impact of fees and expenses on your investment. Look up applicable fees and available discounts for funds. Enable browser cookies to use. Features:
- Real-time online comparison of up to 3 funds. (Use different calculator if the fund is not listed.)
- Expense analysis: Slider bars allow variation of your investment, return and period (duration held).
- Fee/Discount report: View a breakdown of the fund's expenses. If the information is not provided, the field is blank.
- You must accept the Terms and Conditions when you first enter the site (check the box and hit OK).
- Google search for mutual fund fee calculators, for those who want to go further
- Mutual Fund Expense Calculator (from Dinkytown.net)
- An easy to use calculator that graphically shows the impact of fund expenses on your final balance.
- Identical to the calculator from Dinkytown.net
- A Canadian mutual fund expense calculator. It will also work with US equities. Referenced from Finiki, the Bogleheads' affiliated Canadian wiki site.
- The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is a popular web site for retirement information. No calculator, just links to calculators from the SEC and FINRA, already mentioned above.
- The basics. It's somewhat lacking from what you would find elsewhere.
Personal finance toolbox
Although this spreadsheet was nominally developed to help people post requests for help in the Mr. Money Mustache Forum, it contains several sections that might be generally useful. From an MMM forum post:
For "not too complex" cases the spreadsheet will calculate IRS, SS, and Medicare taxes closely, and state taxes approximately, helping one evaluate the after-tax effects of 401k, HSA, etc.
It includes various credit calculations, including EIC, Child, Foreign income exclusion, and Saver's.
There is also a simplified section to evaluate "how long to FI?". There are ten tabs (aka sheets) in this workbook:
- Instructions - What the name implies
- Calculations - The main tab. "Current cash flow" and "time to FI" calculations, including many common federal tax credits and limits.
- Posting - Formatted for use in Simple Machines forum posts
- Investment Order - Guidelines for which accounts should get your money in what order.
- Tax Rates - Calculation and graph for marginal and overall tax rates
- Form6251 - Alternative Minimum Tax calculation
- 401k vs Taxable - Comparison of returns between a 401k with high fees vs. a taxable account with low fees
- SocialSecurity - Estimates an individual's social security benefits, given historical and projected earnings
- Misc. calcs:
- Solve for any of the five (FV, n, PMT, rate, PV) main financial function variables.
- Investing vs. mortgage payoff calculation.
- Quick calculation of "Time to FI"
- One way to evaluate "pension now" vs. "pension later"
- Comparison of immediate Lump Sum pension vs. immediate annual payments (including COLA option)
- Solve FV(i,n,P) * i = a * P for n
- Growth in a taxable account, with annual tax on dividends and LTCG tax on final withdrawal
- Breakeven rate for deciding Roth vs. Traditional.
- Chart of some basic investing terms. Target audience: someone who asks "is that a Roth or a Vanguard?". We were all there once….
You can use various utilities to design and manage portfolios that span multiple accounts. Most tools cannot automatically compose your ideal portfolio, but you can use the tools to enter two or three models that you composed, and then you can compare and contrast the results, looking in particular at the blended expense ratios and the totals of each asset class.
- Using a Spreadsheet to Maintain a Portfolio: a wiki page with tips and spreadsheets for maintaining your portfolio
- Boglehead David Grabiner's asset allocation worksheet
- Boglehead David Grabiner's worksheet for computing and comparing tax costs
- Fidelity Guided Portfolio Summary℠, free portfolio analysis for Fidelity clients, login required. Instructions can be found in this Bogleheads® forum post:
- Fundanalyze.com: comparing fund costs
- Morningstar Tools
- Morningstar Instant X-Ray is especially useful for breaking down a portfolio into asset allocations and style boxes.
- Optimal lazy portfolio rebalancing calculator: rebalance optimally without making any "backwards" transactions - from forum member Albert Mao (the_one_smiley)
- Investment Planning Tools and Calculators at T. Rowe Price. You can sign up for a free online account and have access to Morningstar tools.
- Vanguard - Get a mutual fund recommendation: Vanguard offers an easy-to-use tool which will help you select a three-fund portfolio. See: Need an investment recommendation?, then select Answer a few questions for a recommendation.
- Vanguard Portfolio Watch A tool in the Vanguard website for Vanguard clients that breaks down portfolio into asset classes; see main article for more information and caveats/limitations of the tool.
RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators
The RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators should be checked against the IRS Life Expectancy Tables to be sure that the appropriate table is to be used in your situation. Additional comments in the discussion page (tab at top).
- Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Calculator - MainStay Investments
Roth IRA conversion calculators
Forum member BigFoot48 has created a spreadsheet, the Retiree Portfolio Model, for use by retirees or those nearing retirement, which will estimate the financial impact on your portfolio, income taxes, RMD and other factors from doing Roth conversions.
- The spreadsheet and additional details can be found in this Bogleheads® forum topic:
- Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?, by Fidelity.com
- Estimates the potential long-term tax and financial impact of converting to a Roth IRA, based on information you provide and a number of important tax and growth assumptions.
From EmergDoc's Roth Conversion Thread in the forum.
- This web site sells financial calculators for use in web sites. There's no description of how the results are calculated, use with caution.
This Bogleheads® forum topic:provides links to the articles below, recommended reading, and additional suggestions. Discusses a Social Security calculator for financial professionals.
- Finding the Right Social Security Calculator, an overview from about.com Money Over 55
- Social Security Calculators - Don't Claim Without Trying One First, a list of 6 social security calculators. The first three charge a fee, the last 3 are free.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration maintains several benefit calculators to estimate your potential benefit amounts using different retirement dates and levels of future earnings. In general,
- If your entry for current earnings is greater than zero, it will be used to estimate annual future earnings.
- All earnings are indexed to the national average wage index (AWI). Future earnings are indexed with estimated increases in the AWI. Earnings are indexed only to age 60 (two years prior to the first year of eligibility, 62); later earnings are used at face value. These increases are derived from the "intermediate" assumptions in the 2015 OASDI Trustees Report.
- Although Social Security documentation suggests that future benefits are increased with estimated cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), the estimates from my Social Security, Retirement Estimator, and the default Detailed Calculator (AnyPIA) do not project benefit increases beyond the current year. AnyPIA does offer the following increased benefit options:
- Alternative I (optimistic) assumptions from the most recent OASDI Trustees Report.
- Alternative II (intermediate) assumptions from the Trustees Report.
- Alternative III (pessimistic) assumptions from the Trustees Report.
- No benefit increases after the last known increase (default).
- User-specified benefit increase for each projected year.
- The closer you are to retirement, with a longer work history and fewer future changes, the more accurate your estimates will be.
|Features||Quick Calculator 1||Online Calculator 2||Retirement Estimator 3|| Detailed Calculator|
|Past earnings||estimated, but annual entries in past dollars optional; indexed earnings not shown||annual entries in past dollars; indexed earnings not shown||accesses actual Social Security record; indexed earnings not shown||annual entries in past dollars; indexed earnings are shown|
|Future earnings||average annual entry in today's dollars; indexed earnings not shown||average annual entry in today's dollars; indexed earnings not shown||multiple filing ages and average annual entries in today's dollars; indexed earnings not shown||annual entries in today's dollars; indexed earnings are shown|
|Accuracy||rough||better||better; recommended by Social Security||best; recommended by Social Security|
|Survivor or disability estimate||yes||no||no||yes|
|Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)||no||WEP Version available||no||yes|
1 Estimates past earnings from current with a national average wage index, modified by a relative growth factor. Past earnings can be adjusted by changing the growth factor or editing the annual numbers, but you cannot project future earning changes.
3 You must currently have enough credits to qualify for benefits. You cannot be currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record, be waiting for a decision about your Social Security or Medicare application, or be 62 or older and receiving benefits on another Social Security record.
You can enter multiple ages to stop work with the "Add a New Estimate" button; future earnings will stop and benefits will start at that age. Benefit filing and stop-work ages cannot be entered separately, but future earnings can be entered as zero. If you enter a stop-work age of less than 62, benefits will be estimated starting at 62, the first year of eligibility. Examples of the new estimate input and output forms are shown below (click on the image for full size):
4 Runs on the following operating systems: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10 and Mac OS 10 (up to 10.6, but not later).
AARP provides a free SS benefits calculator that focuses on how much monthly benefits will be received and how they compare to retirement expenses.
Financial Engines has a free calculator focuses on calculating the highest lifetime benefits under various life expectancies. Go to site and click on "For individuals" and "Retirement Readiness."
SSAnalyze! is a free Social Security benefit forecasting tool provided by Bedrock Capital that allows users to set many factors, including life expectancy, COLA and discount rates and factors in the impact of a government pension. Considered the best of the free calculators in a July 2014 Wall Street Journal article.
An analysis by SocSec Analytics, LLC determines the optimum age to claim Social Security benefits. It is not a replacement for retirement planning and only determines when the maximum benefit will be received. The user enters an email address and Social Security information into an online form. A comprehensive report is then emailed back to the user. A limited report is available for free; a fee is charged for the full report.
The spreadsheet model Retiree Portfolio Model includes a feature that compares two alternative SS benefit amounts and starting ages, including the File and Suspend option, and determines the impact of each upon income, taxes and portfolio balances.
T. Rowe Price's free calculator doesn't allow the user to set life expectancies but allows the user to pick from seven goals to determine their optimum benefit.
Also see this Bogleheads® forum topic:
- Yahoo! Finance Charts - nice interface, but does not factor in dividend distributions as stockcharts.com are reported to do
- Big Charts
- ClearStation - nice charts, also each stock/fund you chart displays news, user recommendations
- Also worth checking out Google Finance as they are making big strides at last
- Green Street Advisors has a chart of REIT prices vs. their fair value estimate
A Federal income tax spreadsheet calculator that will prepare the form 1040 and many of the supporting 1040 forms. The creator, Glenn Reeves, doesn't guarantee that they meet the formatting requirements of the IRS. He has been providing this model, updated yearly, since 1996.
If an investment is taxable, the yield is after taxes are paid (not before). Use these calculators to find the yield that's equivalent to a tax-exempt investment.
- Vanguard Taxable-Equivalent Yield Calculator
- Boglehead tfb's Bond Fund Yield Calculator, (the full article with instructions)
- You can also use this calculator to compare against a bank savings account, which is a federal and state taxable fund. APY is equivalent to compound yield.
- Bond Calculator, taxable equivalent bond yields (from Morningstar, login required)
- Determine whether you’re better off investing in taxable or municipal bonds.
- Daily Treasury Real Yield Curve Rates - daily rates for 5/7/10/20 year TIPS
- Daily Treasury Rates - daily rates for 1/3/6 month, plus 1/2/3/5/10/20/30 year bonds
- St Louis Fed 10 yr TIPS yield - this is a graph from 2003 to present, from Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 39,000 economic time series from 38 sources. Download, graph, and track economic data. Downloadable tools, such an iPhone/iPad app and an Excel Add-In are available.