By Cyril Tuohy
Transamerica Retirement Solutions has released a mobile app to help workers forecast their retirement savings and track their investment progress.
Similar to retirement calculators that have been available on desktop computers for years, the Retirement Outlook Estimator app gives people a glimpse of their financial status decades down the road, depending on the variables they enter into the software.
Patricia Advaney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Transamerica Retirement, said the app would provide workers with a “powerful way for people to analyze and track their progress.”
The app takes retirement age, Social Security income, savings account balances, investment style and other retirement income into consideration, and returns an outlook rendered by weather forecast icons: sunny, partly sunny, cloudy or rainy. It also suggests ways to improve a user’s retirement outlook from rainy to sunny, the company said.
“People need to know whether their current savings strategy will be enough for them to enjoy their retirement comfortably,” Advaney said in a statement. “Research shows that not too many people have taken the time to figure this out. But once they do, they often are motivated to take actions that lead to better outcomes.”
The free app is available for download through the Apple App Store for iOS-powered devices and Google Play for Android platforms, Transamerica said.
Other life and retirement companies including Principal Financial Group and Prudential Financial have released similar retirement apps over the past few months. The apps provide more than advertising for the retirement companies: surveys have shown a link between users of mobile technology and higher retirement savings rates.
Participants using Principal Mobile, an app launched by Principal Financial, have an average deferral rate that is 11 percent higher than the average deferral rate for all participants covered by Principal Financial retirement plans, the company said.
Joleen Workman, vice president of retirement and investor services at The Principal, said that the more engaged people become the higher their contributions toward retirement.
“Seeing that account balance and tracking progress on a regular basis may be just the nudge needed to keep savings a priority,” she said in a release.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He can be reached at [email protected].
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