Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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This paper develops a rating system for internet-based free retirement planning software that assumes unsophisticated users. The rating system takes into account two of the most important sources of retirement income—Social Security and investments—and the two main determinants of retirement income needs—the length of the planning period and the target replacement rate or target retirement income. We illustrate the rating approach with a sample of programs, and we find that these often tend to do a poor job in the way they handle Social Security benefits. Some encourage older persons to assume large benefit cuts, which we view as unlikely.


Retirement, Security, Benefits, Planning, Program, Income, Target Rate, Expected Return, Software, Monte Carlo

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Copyright/Permission Statement

Opinions and conclusions are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect views of the institutions supporting the research, with whom the authors are affiliated, or the Pension Research Council. Copyright 2010 © Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 07 August 2019