This post is not just for middle aged and AARP folks, but for twenty-somethings too. Financial and retirement planning may not be “fun for all ages,” but it is “important for all ages.”
This is a stunning time in history to live through. No one has been unaffected by the housing crisis and equity markets losing more than half their value. Was yesterday the bottom for the equity markets? Not likely, but we do know we are closer to the bottom than we were last week. I’m not sure any of us have clear thoughts about what this all means for our future. So now is probably a good time to start reassessing our financial plans and start rethinking our goals and assumptions.
One good way to get the thought process going is to visit Boulevard R. I found this site a while back, but revisited yesterday. It has an easy to use interactive tool that helps you get a big picture view of your financial situation. They call it the Boulevard R Roadmap. For a free web service, it’s quite robust and remarkably thorough. It walks you through your current situation, short term goals and long term goals. It asks about your savings plan and lets you try different scenarios.
When I first went through the planning steps I thought it was pretty cool and easy to use. Only on a second run-through did I realize the depth of the site. You can customize so many of your choices. There are also data that pops up when you mouse over some of the graphics. You can run through it in minutes if you want or spend a lot of time drilling down into it.
It appears they are ultimately trying to sell you financial planning services. I have not tried those out, nor did I sign up for anything. So I can’t speak at all to those services. Because we all need to be thinking about this stuff, Boulevard R is definitely worth a look.