Tools and calculators

From Bogleheads
Revision as of 10:58, 30 July 2014 by BigFoot48 (talk | contribs) (→‎Other tools: Added AARP's)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Additional discussions and reviews of these Tools and calculators can be found in the discussion page (tab at top). Caution: Past performance does not guarantee future results.


Bond calculators

Find out what your bonds are worth.

Compare bond yields for different tax treatments: Boglehead tfb's Bond Fund Yield Calculator. Use this calculator for taxable-equivalent yields on savings accounts or CDs. See (below).

Broker check

Those considering a business relationship with an investment adviser should perform due diligence to validate a financial adviser, broker, or investment firm's background credentials and complaints on file. The SEC and FINRA provide free tools to help consumers with this process.

See: Investment adviser

Charitable organizations

From the IRS, Exempt Organizations Select Check is an on-line search tool that allows users to verify that an organization is tax exempt and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. You may search for.

  • Organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub. 78 data),
  • Organizations whose federal tax exemption was automatically revoked for not filing a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years, or
  • Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filers and filings.

See: Charity selection links

College savings planner

Credit report is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - and is the only service authorized for this purpose. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to obtain one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months.


Inflation data


Calculate insurance coverage for a group of deposit accounts.

Life expectancy calculators

Lifestyle calculators

These calculators use historical models to predict your life expectancy based on your lifestyle and family history.

IRS life expectancy tables

The IRS also has a view of your life expectancy, which is used solely for determining the Required Minimum Distribution of your IRA. Your age, your spouse's age, and beneficiary status are taken into account.

This Google Docs spreadsheet will calculate your life expectancy (or distribution period) based on Tables I, II, or III in IRS Publication 590 (IRAs):

Loan and mortgage calculators

A mortgage is a type of loan dedicated for financing the purchase of real estate. You can sometimes find mortgage calculators grouped with other types of loan calculators. The links below contain both dedicated mortgage calculators as well as calculators used for other types of loans.

Key loan parameters are principal, interest rate, periodic payment, and duration. Mortgage calculators can also include parameters such as rate of inflation and taxation. "Rent versus buy" decisions are specialized forms of mortgage calculators.

On its default setting, note that rent increases 3% per year while homes appreciate at 1% per year. A suggested assumption is for both to increase at the rate of inflation.
Contains numerous mortgage and financial calculators both online and download versions (email registration required for download). Includes various loan calculators (amortization, payments, etc.), refinancing, rent vs. buy, PMI with amortization.
An extensive number of mortgage calculators. With one or two mortgages, there's a calculator for: Debt consolidation, extra payments (prepayment), refinancing.
Also: When to terminate Private Mortgage Insurance, housing affordability, Adjustable Rate Mortgages with / without negative amortization, comparison of fixed-rate versus Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), points and fees, downpayments, terms, annual percentage rate (APR)
Caveat - Some calculators only work with Internet Explorer.
Contains mortgage calculators for just about anything.
Be sure to check Financial Calculators from There are (claimed to be) 300 financial calculators that should cover just about anything financial.
This calculator enables you to accurately calculate the tax savings of the mortgage.
Use this calculator to determine the total cost in today's dollars of various mortgage alternatives taking into account your opportunity cost of money.
A calculator that uses slider bars to graphically show the principal vs. interest breakdown over the period of the mortgage.
Free from Microsoft, for Excel 97 or later. To download, use Internet Explorer with cookies enabled (Firefox will not work). Microsoft will install an ActiveX control. The download will open a new spreadsheet in Excel.
When you put in the interest rate, points, term, etc. it shows a monthly tally of principle and interest payments. You can then compare what you are paying now with the new loan. It will also show total interest for the term of the loan. For any monthly payment you can enter a lump sum payment to see what happens to the total interest as a result of accelerating your pay schedule.

Mutual fund fee calculators

Fees and expenses are an important consideration in selecting a mutual fund because these charges lower your returns. Compare the fees and expenses of different mutual funds before you invest.

The Fund Analyzer offers information and analysis on over 18,000 mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs). Estimate the value of the funds and impact of fees and expenses on your investment. Look up applicable fees and available discounts for funds. Enable browser cookies to use. Features:
Real-time online comparison of up to 3 funds. (Use different calculator if the fund is not listed.)
Expense analysis: Slider bars allow variation of your investment, return and period (duration held).
Fee/Discount report: View a breakdown of the fund's expenses. If the information is not provided, the field is blank.
You must accept the Terms and Conditions when you first enter the site (check the box and hit OK).
An easy to use calculator that graphically shows the impact of fund expenses on your final balance.
Identical to the calculator from
A Canadian mutual fund expense calculator. It will also work with US equities. Referenced from Finiki, the Bogleheads' affiliated Canadian wiki site.
The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is a popular web site for retirement information. No calculator, just links to calculators from the SEC and FINRA, already mentioned above.
The basics. It's somewhat lacking from what you would find elsewhere.

Portfolio tools

RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators

The RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) calculators should be checked against the IRS Life Expectancy Tables to be sure that the appropriate table is to be used in your situation. Additional comments in the discussion page (tab at top).

Retirement calculators

See: Retirement calculators and spending

Roth IRA conversion calculators

Forum member BigFoot48 has created a spreadsheet, the Retiree Portfolio Model, for use by retirees or those nearing retirement, which will estimate the financial impact on your portfolio, income taxes, RMD and other factors from doing Roth conversions.

Estimates the potential long-term tax and financial impact of converting to a Roth IRA, based on information you provide and a number of important tax and growth assumptions.

From EmergDoc's Roth Conversion Thread in the forum.

This web site sells financial calculators for use in web sites. There's no description of how the results are calculated, use with caution.

Social Security

Discussed in the forum here: Social Security Calculators. Provides links to the articles below, recommended reading, and additional suggestions. Discusses a Social Security calculator for financial professionals.

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration maintains several benefits calculators to estimate your potential benefit amounts using different retirement dates and levels of future earnings. In order of ease-of-use.

  • Quick Calculator - This calculator gives you a simple, rough estimate when you input your date of birth and this year's earnings.
  • Retirement Estimator - Produces estimates that are based on your actual Social Security earnings record.
  • Online Calculator - Input your date of birth and your complete earnings history to get a benefit estimate. You may project your future earnings until your retirement date.
  • Detailed Calculator - This calculator provides the most precise estimates. It must be downloaded and installed on your computer.

Other tools

AARP provides a free SS benefits calculator that focuses on how much monthly benefits will be received and how they compare to retirement expenses.

SSAnalyze! is a free Social Security benefit forecasting tool provided by Bedrock Capital that allows users to set many factors, including life expectancy, COLA and discount rates and factors in the impact of a government pension. Considered the best of the free calculators in a July 2014 Wall Street Journal article.

An analysis by SocSec Analytics, LLC determines the optimum age to claim Social Security benefits. It is not a replacement for retirement planning and only determines when the maximum benefit will be received. The user enters an email address and Social Security information into an online form. A comprehensive report is then emailed back to the user. A limited report is available for free; a fee is charged for the full report.

The spreadsheet model Retiree Portfolio Model includes a feature that compares two alternative SS benefit amounts and starting ages and determines the impact of each upon income, taxes and portfolio balances.

Forum discussion: Web/Online calculators: When to Collect Social Security?

Stock/Fund charts

Tax returns

A Federal income tax spreadsheet calculator that will prepare the form 1040 and many of the supporting 1040 forms. The creator, Glenn Reeves, doesn't guarantee that they meet the formatting requirements of the IRS. He has been providing this model, updated yearly, since 1996.

Taxable-equivalent yields

If an investment is taxable, the yield is after taxes are paid (not before). Use these calculators to find the yield that's equivalent to a tax-exempt investment.

Treasury data