Financial Telescopes: A Look into Modern Retirement Planning Tools


Tue Feb 06 2024

Financial Telescopes Retirement

All-Around Favorite: Betterment App

This robo-advisor is a star choice for people who are ready to get serious about investing for something stellar, particularly their own retirement. Betterment’s algorithm syncs with your cosmic goals to create diversified portfolios of low-cost ETFs.

What should you know:

  • No min deposit required to open the account - $10 minimum deposit to start investing.

  • Two service options: Base = annual fee of 0.25%, Premium = annual fee of 0.40% + $100,000 minimum.

  • Offers a la carte 45-minute coaching sessions with a professional advisor

  • Uses age, income and goals to allocate your portfolio disbursement

Best for Newbies: Fidelity Retirement Score

This is a 60 second, six question quiz to give you a quick glimpse into your retirement galaxy. We like this tool because it’s quick and simple, especially for those who feel like talking about retirement is like discussing quantum physics. 

Here are the questions they will ask:

  1. How old are you?

  2. What is your current or most recent annual income?

  3. How much have you saved for retirement so far?

  4. How much do you save each month for retirement?

  5. How will your standard of living change when you retire?

    1. I’ll spend less

    2. I’ll spend more

    3. I’ll spend the same

  6. How would you describe your investment style?

    1. Short-term

    2. Conservative

    3. Moderate

    4. Moderate with Income

    5. Balanced

    6. Growth

    7. Growth with Income

    8. Aggressive Growth

    9. Most Aggressive

It will compile all this information and then calculate a score. This tool will show you if your current trajectory is light-years ahead or if you’re heading for a black hole in retirement. Even better, it will show you how to improve your score and get on the right wavelength.

Aggressive Investors: Titan App

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and is double the size of Earth’s moon. The Titan app is no different - it seeks to outperform traditional index funds with active management. It’s also a robo-advisor with a swirling hedge fund-style approach to investments. If you are looking to reach the stars in retirement, this is a good app for you.

What you should know:

  • Account min $500

  • Access to alternative assets like real estate and venture capital

  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing

  • Fractional share trading available

Seeking Early Retirement: Playing with FIRE

F.I.R.E. stands for financial independence, retire early. For those who want to front load their retirement accounts so they can live on a totally different plane - this is the calculator you need. This real-time tool shows you how to shoot for the moon and retire as early as possible. This tool uses the following metrics:


  1. Age

  2. Annual Income

  3. Annual Expenses

  4. Current Net Worth

  5. Asset Allocation

  6. Expected Rate of Return

With all those bits and pieces, you can adjust your rate of savings or desired retirement age and see a galaxy full of possibilities. For serious FIRE starters, you can partner with Personal Capital to aggregate all your accounts together. This free tool is made for people who want to defy gravity and retire in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. 

For Professionals: Asset Map.

It lets you easily compile an individuals or family's financial information. It pulls together:

  • Mortgages

  • Incomes

  • Insurance policies

  • Employer sponsored savings plans

  • IRA, brokerage accounts

  • Credit Cards

  • And more! 

All your client’s information collides together on a single sheet to create a spectacular view of their financial universe. You can use all that information and start arranging their goals into their own personal constellation. Each star in that constellation would be something like early retirement, college savings, etc. This software acts like a star chart, where you can track the progress on each goal. It also allows course changes, if a client’s needs or wants changes orbit.