NewRetirement Review: An Excellent Retirement Tool

If there's one thing I love to do, it's plan for retirement before retirement and during retirement. The more you can plan for retirement, the more retirement success you will likely have.

In the old days, I would write everything out on a spreadsheet and update each line item every month. Fortunately, more fintech companies are taking the guesswork out of retirement planning.

One such firm that's making headway in the space is NewRetirement. This is my NewRetirement review for all of you looking for a great retirement planning tool. Both my wife and I sat down and reviewed the product together.

NewRetirement Overview

NewRetirement Review

NewRetirement was founded in 2015 by Stephen Chen and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company's objective is to enable people to help themselves with a DIY retirement planning solution.

Chen was inspired to launch NewRetirement when he and his brother Tim witnessed their mother struggling with her own retirement planning. They quickly realized that since their college educated, entrepreneurial mother (co-owned an advertising business) was struggling with her retirement transition, surely millions of others are too.

Wanting a better DIY solution than just using spreadsheets, NewRetirement was born. Independent and built from the ground up, the company is gaining traction.

Before founding NewRetirement, Chen co-founded a VC-backed company that raised $40M and filed to go public (got sold).

Stephen Chen, Founder and CEO of NewRetirement

He also bootstrapped a profitable 7-figure consulting firm and a separate performance marketing firm. In addition, he worked as a consultant for Charles Schwab, Fidelity, Dimensional Fund Advisors, and others.

NewRetirement was voted best retirement tool by Forbes, and the American Association of Individual Investors. Over 200,000 individuals have built plans.

What Does NewRetirement Do?

NewRetirement wants to bring financial planning to the mass market at a very low cost. Users like you can utilize their technology to gain confidence, achieve financial independence, and maximize your money. This in turn can help you save time and stress.

Some of the resources and services offered by NewRetirement include:

  • Customizable Online Retirement Planner
  • Advisory services with CFPs®
  • Live coaching sessions
  • Calculators for retirement, social security, lifetime annuity, reverse mortgage
  • Virtual Financial Advisor
  • Live and recorded classes to boost your financial know-how

How Much Does NewRetirement Cost?

NewRetirement has both free and paid services. Here is a breakdown of their various plans.

NewRetirement Planner Subscription Options

There are currently three different pricing plans for the online retirement planner ranging from free to $270/year. The most popular option is only $120/year and you can try it for free for 14 days before you are billed.

NewRetirement Pricing Plans 2022

Planner Basic: This subscription does not require a credit card. You can just create an account and get started. It provides access to a powerful planning tool (much more comprehensive than a retirement calculator). 

PlannerPlus: With PlannerPlus you can unlock the full power of planning. It provides you with nearly 250 planning inputs (the Basic Planner only has about 150), additional charting (including Monte Carlo analysis), access to a digital coach (provides alerts to errors and suggests opportunities for how to increase wealth and security). Favorite features include: lifetime tax projections, Roth conversion explorer, and real estate modeling. You can also participate in an Intro to Planning 8 session course.  

PlannerPlus Academy: PlannerPlus academy enables you to build your financial know how. You get full access to PlannerPlus, the Intro to Planning classes and additional monthly personal finance classes and Q&A sessions.

With Mint shutting down January 1, 2024, NewRetirement is a great Mint alternative.

Additional 1:1 Support is Available

NewRetirement offers flexible financial services options. They offer personalized 1×1 financial coaching with no long-term commitment. An initial plan review session runs 45 minutes for just $175.

If you prefer to get direct help from a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP), NewRetirement Advisors offer a free discovery session. And, the most popular Advisory package starts is $1500.

It includes a 1 hour consultation meeting, an expertly crafted retirement plan based on your individual needs, and a 1 hour review meeting to discuss the plan and answer questions. Plus, the advisor is available to answer your questions at any time.

How Is NewRetirement Different From Empower Personal Capital?

Regular readers know I've been a long-time user of Empower Personal Capital‘s retirement, net worth, 401(k) fee analyzer, asset allocation and other financial tracking tools.

I also consulted for Empower and know Bill Harris, the founding CEO. And as a regular user of Empower, I still highly recommend taking advantage of their free services.

With that said, how is NewRetirement different from Empower Personal Capital and are they worth exploring? Frankly, retirement is such a huge milestone in everyone's life. Thus, I think it's always worth taking advantage of other tools out there, especially when they are free to play around with.

What you may find helpful about NewRetirement is they are highly focused on strategic decision making and helping you make the right choices for you and your goals, values, and priorities. Empower Personal Capital is more focused on investing. Being able to invest well and make overall great decisions about your money, taxes and budget are all keys to a happy retirement. So you may find it helpful to use both.

The other main difference between Empower Personal Capital and NewRetirement is the access to an advisor and the fee structure. Empower requires a minimum of $100,000 in investment assets. In addition, Empower charges an annual management fee (ex. 0.89% for the first $1M.)

NewRetirement Advisors’ offering averages $1500 for a fee-only engagement, after a free discovery meeting to determine your goals and if the advisor is a good fit for you. Therefore, NewRetirement has a lower hurdle to get started and get help. And if you have a large amount of assets, NewRetirement can be cheaper on a percentage of assets basis.

Retirement Facts

Before we dive into the setup wizard, here are some interesting facts to note about retirement. Perhaps they will help inspire you to get planning.

  • The average life expectancy in the US is currently 78.7 according to the CDC. When planning for retirement, you need to think about your personal health and family medical history. No-one can accurately predict how long they will live, but estimating your own life expectancy is important for planning.
  • Only 38% of couples are having open dialogs about their investing and saving plans for retirement. Regular discussions about your financial health, goals, and retirement plans are vital. Get your partner involved today, don't wait.
  • 75% of folks who are financially secure actively manage a financial plan. It makes sense that those who are proactive with their finances tend to yield much better results.
  • Only 44% of people between the ages of 44 to 59 feel their retirement savings are on track.

In other words, planning for retirement is very important. With market volatility and interest rates rising, I've made the argument that we should correspondingly diversify investments, look at alternative income sources (like real estate), lower our safe withdrawal rate in retirement, and accumulate a larger net worth.

As a result, more focus is needed when planning for retirement. And, NewRetirement is uniquely suited to help you visualize these opportunities.

As a long-time retiree, I've also discovered the best reason to retire early: greater happiness. It sounds logical, but I had to experience for myself.

A Look Inside NewRetirement's Retirement Planner

Curious what the NewRetirement Planner looks like? Here's a glance at the signup process and a sample output.

In my demo, I used the following inputs for future retiree William, who lives in a coastal city with his spouse and two young children.

  • William is 38 with longevity age goal of 88
  • Spouse Helen is 36 with a longevity age goal of 92
  • They have 2 young children in daycare/preschool
  • Both plan to earn $150,000 in compensation until age 55 and then retire
  • Their combined savings is $200,000 in retirement accounts plus $50k in cash and investments
  • They own a home worth ~$1.2mil, paid 20% down, purchased 3 years ago
  • Mortgage balance of $726,000 at 2.6%, $6,500 monthly payments
  • $8,800 in monthly expenses (medical, childcare, food, utilities, transportation, insurance, clothes, entertainment, misc.)
NR Retirement Planner Questionnaire
NewRetirement Review - Home calculator

NewRetirement Setup Wizard

The setup process is straight forward. You begin by entering your age, how long you hope to live and target retirement age.

Income And Savings

Then you input your compensation and savings. You can also add your spouse's info by following the prompts to get a full picture of your family's finances.

Next, the setup wizard will help you add projected Social Security benefits and mortgage information if you own your home.

You will want to have your home's current value, mortgage balance, interest rate, and monthly payment amount on hand.

Check out the projected $20.2m total savings for William and Helen by the year 2076.

NewRetirement Review

If you've been a disciplined saver and are still many years off from your retirement age, you may see your total savings chart want to shout, “Wow, I'll be rich!” at this stage of the setup process. But, don't get too excited yet.


Now it's time to input all of your monthly expenses and watch all those projected savings shrink. The positive is you may get very motivated to find ways to tighten your budget!

After you input your expenses, you get to see your retirement plan score and a detailed lifetime retirement projection chart.

Tip: Some of the colors in the chart are hard to differentiate from each other. If you hover over a category you can see it highlighted in the graph.

Results From NewRetirement's Planner

Here's a look at William and Helen's retirement plan.

NewRetirement Planner

With a Chance of Success score of 99%, William and Helen are in “Great” shape and are anticipated to meet >95% of their retirement needs. 

Add More Retirement Details With NewRetirement

Even though the initial setup wizard stops here, there is a lot more information you can add. 

Click the “Complete My Plan” button. There are more sections you can complete such as passive income, one-time large expenses, withdrawn strategy, and basic estate planning.

Powerful Charting

Other features you can access are the Savings Timeline under the Insights menu and a Net Worth Forecast. Here’s a look at the Savings Timeline:

NewRetirement Review

And here's a snapshot of the Net Worth Forecast chart.

NewRetirement Net Worth Statement

NewRetirement PlannerPlus Features

There are even more graphics and customizable inputs you can access with the paid version. Here are some of the best bonus features you get with the PlannerPlus version. You can try Plus free for 14 days and then for just $120/year.

  • Advanced Real Estate modeling
  • State specific Tax Projections
  • Roth Conversion Modeling
  • Roth IRA Explorer/optimizer
  • Automated Coach Suggestions
  • Relocation Modeling
  • Medicare Estimations
  • Ability to link accounts
  • Access to create scenarios
  • Advanced reports and charts
  • More control over assumptions
  • Printed Reports

Below is a snapshot of the Planner Plus Roth Conversion Explorer. This is a really neat tool because there's been so much debate about whether converting to a Roth IRA is a good idea. The tool enables the user to make a more objective decision and model out the results way into the future.

Summary New Retirement

Real Estate Modeling With NewRetirement

Below is a snapshot of the PlannerPlus Real Estate Modeling tool. Given real estate is my favorite asset class to build wealth, I'm thrilled to see such a robust tool that can be used for a larger percentage of my net worth. In fact, for most Americans, real estate accounts for a majority of our net worths.

New Retirement Home And Real Estate

NewRetirement Positives

Here's a quick summary of NewRetirement's offering.

  • Free – It's free to use their basic retirement planner for as long as you want and the paid versions come with a free trial.
  • Simple to setup – Built for DIY retirement planning newbies, the setup questionnaire process is simple and easy to understand.
  • Customizable – It's easy to make the planner as customized as you want, especially the paid versions. Flexibility is great when you want to plan for different scenarios.
  • Visualize if your money could run out or overflow – Many people are visual learners. The graphs make it easy to see when you could run out of money and when you could have excess funds.
  • Linking accounts isn't required – Unlike Personal Capital, you don't have to link any of your personal financial accounts to use the planner. (Although, account linking is available to PlannerPlus subscribers.)

Areas Of Improvement

  • No free advice – NewRetirement offers free tools to make your own decisions, but not free advice. To get investment and budgeting advice, you would need to hire a 1X1 financial consulting session.
  • Can't see the numerical score ranges – You can't see the maximum possible score or what the numerical ranges are for great vs good, fair, and needs work. I guess they have their reasons for not revealing the breakdown, but I'd prefer to see the details.

Here are many NewRetirement updates and new features. The firm continues to make great improvements for its users.

NewRetirement Review Conclusion

When it comes to retirement planning, it's better to be more prepared than not. NewRetirement is designed to help those who like a DIY approach, gain confidence and better plan for retirement. With NewRetirement, you can gain a much better grasp of you retirement future.

The company has several new initiatives in the works that should be rolling out in the near future. Be on the lookout for their Virtual Advisor, a simpler interface, more customizable inputs such as dependents and employer 401(k) matching, and more.

To sign up for NewRetirement's award-winning retirement tool for free, click here. It is truly one of the best new tools I’ve seen come to market for DIY retirement planners.

Sign Up Here
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38 thoughts on “NewRetirement Review: An Excellent Retirement Tool”

  1. Any more recent experience with New Retirement since this initial post? I’ve been talking with and am finalizing making a decision.

  2. Michelle from NewRetirement

    Darrell, you can generalize your expenses or model them using a lot of detail. You can model one-time expenses and expenses that last varying amounts of time. You can even model tax-deductible expenses.

  3. Looks like a great piece of software, thanks for the review! I have a question on PlannerPlus pricing. You mention $72/year after 14 day trial and I have also seen $96 referenced elsewhere, but on the site I only see $120/year. Is there a special way to get the discounted pricing?

    1. Michelle from NewRetirement

      The price for the software is $120 which includes the software, an 8-week course to Build Your NewRetirement Plan and live Q&A sessions throughout the year.

      $72 is a very outdated price point that is not offered anymore.

      1. Gennaro Dillinger

        Hi Michelle,
        I use NR now…I have to say, I love it. It has been extremely useful.

  4. I noticed that newretirement’s projections use projected increases to inflate everything (income, expenses, taxes, social security), while personalcapital uses your current net as your future net in constant dollars and then reverses inflation on everything else. Which method do you think is a more accurate way to model projections?

  5. Does the software cover some variables that I have seen lacking in other calculators? Specifically, does it allow for retirement at one age, say 58, but then allow additional income streams to begin at a later date, i.e. Social Security and pensions.

    1. Michelle from NewRetirement

      Dan, NewRetirement’s Planner allows you to manage multiple income streams and future income streams. You can model work income, passive income, Social Security, Pensions, and Annuities, and the Planner will calculate RMDs, taxes, and savings withdrawals that will add to your income. We hope you will try it out.

  6. James Becker

    Hey, Sam

    Thank you for the review and recommend. I checked it out and it seems to be exactly the type of assistance I am looking for. I am three years into retirement and have looked into a number of resources to assist in retirement planning. Personal Capital was another fantastic resource you had recommended which I currently utilize.
    Great to hear of your retirement plans and will follow your path and insights in making it a success. Have a great 2021!

  7. The NewRetirement podcast had Dana from SensibleMoney on recently. SensibleMoney provide a comprehensive plan for $6,900 I think it is. I’m curious if anyone has experience or thoughts about that type of service. They seem to place a lot of emphasis on how to minimize taxes while living off your retirement funds. It seems to me starting with NewRetirement first would be best. Then if you had major areas you wanted help with you could consider something like SendibleMoney??? Thank you for another helpful post!!

    1. $6,900 over what period of time? Maybe if you have a net worth of at least $4 million in investable assets. Depends what SensibleMoney offers. What do they? I haven’t listened to the podcast.

      1. Hi Sam,
        Thank you for your comment! SensibleMoney offers a lot of help from a team of fiduciary CFPs that have a series of one-on-one calls with you. Then they use some software they have developed to come up with a long-term plan to help you determine when you can retire, what your withdrawals will be, what your taxes will be, and much more. I would hope more in-depth than what NewRetirment offers, but from your post, maybe not that much more. The $6,900 is just for the one-time plan. They charge about 1% of your portfolio per year for ongoing management. The SensibleMoney portion of the NewRetirment podcast isn’t too long, especially at 1.5 playback speed. The date of the podcast is December 17th. All of this may be worth it for someone with a very complex financial situation, but l don’t think it is for me after all.
        Here is a snapshot of my net worth, much less than $4 million!!
        $550,000 Simple IRA with employer (I’ve been there 20 years!!).$600,000 VTSAX$35,000 Apple Stock$240,000 Tesla Stock$175,000 Cash from very recent inheritance$300,000 Equity in paid off home
        $1,900,000 Total Net Worth
        Other than my IRA, I got a very late start on retirement savings. I seriously started saving about 5 years ago. If I would have started just 10 years ago, I could easily be retired now!! The regret of this mistake is sometimes hard to deal with.
        I purchased the Tesla stock in the spring of 2020 based on a post of yours. Purchased when it was low because of Covid. My $37,000 investment is up 537% as of today. As soon as I’ve owned it for a year, I’ll probably sell half to hopefully lock in a nice gain.
        I plan to wait until age 70 (10 years from now) to take Social Security which should be $40,000 to $45,000 a year.
        Currently 60 years old and plan to keep working 2 to 3 years, while saving another $50,000 a year.  A unique situation has come up for me. Due to Covid restricting tourism, the Cayman Islands (and other countries) are offering a remote work type visa they are calling the Global Citizen Concierge Program. It allows you to live there for up to 24 months while working remotely for an outside company. This way I can keep my current job and live on a Caribbean island!! Through the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion,  I should be getting a refund on my Federal Taxes while there. I don’t think I’ll have Local or State taxes either (I’m selling my house and will have a Cayman Islands address and bank). I currently live in the southeast (northern part) with cold winters and hot humid summers. I’m looking forward to the consistent 75 to 85 degrees of Grand Cayman. I’ll take my chances with hurricanes for a couple of years!! I’ve applied for the program, have been accepted, and plan on moving there this summer. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the Covid vaccine in the USA before I go.
        I anticipate when I am 63 I’ll have a net worth of about $2.5 million. If I retire then I plan on some frugal travel for a few years, to let the nest egg grow more. Then start spending a bit more, especially after Social Security kicks in at 70. I’m looking forward to running the numbers through NewRetirment to see if the plan I have laid out in many a spreadsheet will actually work!!
        Thank you,

        1. Hi Bernie, I am retired with a little bit more in assets than you. My only comment is to evaluate your Social Security withdrawals. I see no point in waiting until I’m 70 to start withdrawals. I don’t intend to live on that money anyway, my portfolio generates all the income I need. SS benefits are just gravy to me, and I don’t want to die before collecting what I have paid in. SS money goes into investments and could gain more than waiting to collect until I’m 70. If I die in the next 8 years, that money will go to my heirs, which wouldn’t unless I collect it now. If I live to 92, this year’s money will have 30 years to grow. The more assets you have, the less reason you have to wait, and in fact, the more reason you have to collect at 62. (assuming you are not working at 62).

          1. Hi Amber,

            Very good point about SS! Thank you for sharing that. It is already giving me more confidence about retirement!!


          2. Roy David Farhi

            Great idea on the social security portion as the truly savage (right word for those seeking gains) investors say to do exactly what you are recommending here! Will waiting for another 200 a MONTH really make that much of a difference anyways when stock market brings in an average of 10.3% to do…nothing. Not what about the RE end of things?

          3. Gennaro Dillinger

            Hi Amber,

            Actually, waiting to draw social security may be useful in some scenarios. I use new One thing that was clear to me once I had a useful, long-term tax plan was that I had to do something about my tax-deferred savings or I was going to have an enormous problem with taxes due to required minimum distributions. So, I have been holding off on starting social security and Roth converting everything I can while I can. Right now I am also exploiting the lower tax rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which is expiring in 2026. Combined with a down market, I have been able to Roth convert at a discount. Had I started social security I would have greatly hampered my efforts to address my long-term tax situation. Of course, while I delay social security the benefit increases every year, too. The benefits from this approach are lengthy, too, but you can google them if you are interested – very well explained all over the internet. Good luck

        2. Gennaro Dillinger

          Hey Bernie,
          Sounds like you’re doing well, congratulations.

          Between Apple and Tesla you have about a 22% investment concentration of your net worth. I might consider reducing these positions so that a big chunk of your retirement doesn’t go as these two stocks go.

  8. Thank you Sam! I tried it right away after reading your article. I love it. Will be using it going forward. Appreciate your and your wife’s thorough analysis!
    Friendly suggestion to add a link to NR towards the end of your article as well for easy access.

  9. Sam,

    I’ve been reading your articles for a couple of years now, always enjoy them. I have also been using the NewRetirement PlannerPlus for a couple of years. I have recommended it to any friend that wants to get a better handle on their investments, expenses, and retirement plans.

    It is simple to use. The program will walk you through all the inputs to consider, and you don’t have to tie it to actual investment accounts. Just plug in all your information and play “what if” games. The less 3rd party links to my investment accounts the better.

    You can see if you are on track, adjust inflation numbers, figure out tax implications, etc. I’ve plugged in numbers for planned kids’ college expenses, what would happen if we sold our home, and downsize. If we want to leave money for our children you can put in legacy goals Also, the program gives you recommendations on how to improve the strength of your plan and coach suggestions.

    I don’t look at it every day, I update the numbers to our current financial positions when I do have a question about the short or long-term impacts of a possible financial decision, such as downsizing in ten years and relocating. It is a tool that lets me see things I might not have considered. It gives me some reassurance that our life decisions and financial goals are in sync.

    Try it, you might end up liking it, as I do.

    1. Thank you for this. I’ll be trying it out soon!! I think I’m on track for retirement in a few years, but sounds like NR can help me be more sure of my plan(s)!


    2. Michelle from NewRetirement

      Andy, thanks for the compliments and for recommending PlannerPlus to friends. I am glad that the tool has been helpful.

  10. Cool thanks! Haven’t heard of them before this. I like how they have a free version and a free trial on the plus. I’m the type who likes to plan way more than less so I love tinkering with tools like this. I like that score feature. Motivating to find ways to improve it, maximize the income producing years, and optimize spending and saving. Will try it out this weekend thanks

  11. Does it take into account children leaving home when modeling expenses? Your example family had two small children who would increase the expenses until they move out of the house.

  12. Sam,
    I’d like to see you do some research into how to set up a Family Foundation.
    Attorneys are an expense that I’d like to avoid until I better understand the basics.

    1. Thanks. The biggest difference are the retirement modeling tools in the PlannerPlus. I’ve never seen retirement planning tools for real estate, and real estate takes up about 40% of my net worth.

      Hence, I’m glad there’s a lot more flexibility and specifics with NewRetirement e.g. Roth IRA conversion and Medicare calculations.

  13. Thanks for highlighting the new retirement tool! That is cool you can do some pro forma analysis on doing a Roth IRA conversion and modeling out your real estate for retirement.

    PC just focuses on stocks and bonds, which obviously is not all of most American’s net worth. Will sign up!

    1. Michelle from NewRetirement

      Jakie, modeling Roth IRA conversions is one of the most popular features in PlannerPlus.

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