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Free Resources for Managing Your 401(k)

Need help with retirement? The do-it-yourself investor can find plenty of online resources to help with retirement and other types of financial planning.

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Fidelity Investments in Boston offers a variety of tools, including some to help you devise a plan to pay off debt or decide whether to convert to a Roth IRA. Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price's Retirement Income Calculator can project how much you will need in retirement vs. how much you will have, while Valley Forge, Pa.-based Vanguard's Retirement Nest Egg Calculator estimates your chances of outliving your money.

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AARP offers calculators, too, such as one to figure out the best time to take Social Security and another that predicts what your health care expenses will be in retirement. (Spoiler alert: That number can be high.)

Now the Mutual Fund Store, an investment advisory firm based in Overland Park, Kan., is offering a one-year free membership to its Smart401k service, which gives personalized advice to plan participants. The membership usually costs about $200 a year. (The firm says it won't automatically re-enroll you in the program once the year is up.)

Scott Holsopple, managing director of retirement solutions at the Mutual Fund Store, says the Smart401k can offer specific recommendations based on the funds in your 401(k). And you'll be able to get your questions answered by talking one-on-one with an adviser.

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The offer for a one-year free membership is available through July 31. Sign up by going to Smart401k's website and type in the promotional code FREE401K.

The company says this is all part of its goal to reach 1 million investors. Since launching Smart401k in 2003, the firm has advised more than 25,000 participants in about 10,000 plans.

Full disclosure: I haven't tried Smart401(k)'s service or know anyone who has, so I can't comment on its effectiveness. However, if you try it, let us know what you think in the comment section. Or, use the comments to let us know of other free online resources you recommend for managing retirement nest eggs.

Photo:  Cosmonaut/iStock


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