The biggest players in the online-money world are making upgrades for 2016, giving you fewer reasons not to get organized.
Maybe you made a budget when you were pinching pennies on that first job decades ago. You knew precisely how much beer money you had after paying the rent.
And then, steady pay raises, a spouse and kids came along, and the complexity of it all got away from you.
Now that retirement is within reach, you may be altogether unsure of whether you can live on the retirement income you think you’ll have.
Sound familiar? The good news is that financial-budgeting tools have become simpler to use and richer in functionality over the last few years.
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And a few of the biggest players in the online-money world are making upgrades for 2016, giving you fewer reasons not to get organized.
• Quicken inches toward Mac compatibility. After a widely panned Mac version last year, Quicken launched a Mac version for 2016 that lets users pay bills directly from the program, transfer money between accounts and call for support or live-chat with a representative.
While the Mac version still lacks several key features available in the Windows product (invoicing, for one), adding the bill-pay feature was the most widely asked for item among users, said Jeff Parker, Experience Design Lead for Quicken.
• Move to low-cost area. A feature expected in the first quarter of 2016 from advisory firm Personal Capital will let users model such a move to see how it will affect their overall retirement-success rate, said Jim Del Favero, chief product officer for the company, which offers a blend of live and online financial advice.
“It lets you model future events and see how an existing portfolio will survive through retirement,” Del Favero said.
The company will also add a feature to its site currently available for iPhone that alerts users when they reach preset spending limits, he said.
Similar to weight-loss programs that give dieters a certain amount of calories per day or week to “spend,” the feature will alert users when they are exceeding targets.
“The alerts help you see in June if you’re on track to go over budget by the end of the year, so there is time to correct,” he said.
• Tax-hit preview. Digital-advisory firm Betterment has launched a new tax-planning feature called Tax Impact Preview, which estimates the tax hit of a transaction before the sale is made.
The company also added a feature that automatically links customers’ outside accounts onto the site, said Alex Benke, director of advice products for Betterment.
In addition, if you’re beginning to calculate a strategy for collecting Social Security benefits, be sure the software you use has been updated to reflect several new cutbacks to the program that were called for in the recent congressional budget deal.