Last Updated Jul 21, 2011 11:07 AM EDT
Many retirement calculators do an adequate job of helping you decide how much to save when retirement is far in your future, say, when you're in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. At that point in your life, all you need to do is get in the ballpark of determining how much to save, because there's so much that can happen between your early working years and retirement that you can't get very precise with the "how much to save" analyses.
When you get to your late 50s or early 60s, however, and you're trying to figure out exactly how and when you'll retire, you'll need more precision. And that's when many retirement calculators come up short. You'll need to use more refined retirement calculators, or know a few "work-arounds" to get the best answer to this important question: How will you piece together various sources of retirement income to cover your living expenses?
Let's take a look at five common flaws of retirement calculators and the work-arounds to fix them.
Next: Inflexibility in choosing your method of generating retirement income