Retirement Need Mostly Determined Via Online Tools

June 18, 2014 ( – More than half (52%) of retirement plan participants have used online tools to calculate their retirement income need.

This is according to a survey of 7,545 retirement plan participants conducted by American United Life Insurance Company, a OneAmerica company. Respondents also used worksheets (25%), made calculations on their own (24%) or worked with a financial professional (9%) to estimate their retirement income need. The survey also found 56% of respondents prefer to receive financial education information online.

More than half (55%) of those participants who took the time to calculate their retirement income need said they were either very confident or confident they would be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. Among those who did not take this step, only 23% expressed the same level of confidence.

As to why they didn’t take the step, 55% said they did not know how. The remainder said they were nervous to find out how much they will need (23%), don’t know where to go (20%) or don’t have time (16%).

Once participants have calculated retirement income needs, it can serve as a powerful motivator to get a participant “started and keep their retirement planning going,” says Marsha Whitehead, vice president of marketing for retirement services and employee benefits at OneAmerica. “As a result of these findings, we’ve placed online educational tools and resources more prominently on and have made other enhancements to the site. Our ‘One Day is Today’ platform provides calculators, tutorials, checklists and videos to help individuals prepare for retirement.”