Our favorite online financial tools

June 15th, 2012 madmin

The web is full of online tools that help you set a budget and track your spending and investments. Some help you determine how much you need to save for retirement or college, and others offer help when buying a home. What’s best is that many of these services are completely free.

To help you wade through all the choices, we asked MidWestOne bankers to share their favorite online calculators.

Loan calculator

The loan calculator on the MidWestOne website is a very useful tool to determine loan amounts or monthly payments. The calculator allows you to enter your desired payment so that you are able to calculate your loan amount. Or, enter in the loan amount and it will calculate your monthly payment. You can then examine your principal balances by payment, total of all payments made and total interest paid.  – Brent Hawkins

Mortgage amortization calculator

The mortgage amortization calculator on the HSH.com website allows you to see how much of your monthly mortgage payment will go toward principal and interest over the life of your loan. This lets you see exactly how much you could save by prepaying some of the principal – whether it’s monthly, once a year or even one one-time payment. – Jayne Sandler

Retirement calculator

MidWestOne’s retirement calculator is a powerful tool to help you plan your future and re-evaluate your savings strategy on an ongoing basis. This calculator allows you to view your projected retirement savings balance and your withdrawals for each year until the end of your retirement. Social security is calculated on a sliding scale based on your income. Including a non-working spouse in your plan increases your social security benefits up to, but not over, the maximum. – Jayne Sandler

Retirement analysis

American Funds’ retirement analysis calculator asks you a series of retirement-related questions and provides you with an analysis of your unique situation, including a chart that compares your projected savings to your retirement goal. You’ll then be able to try different scenarios to see how changes in your savings plan might affect your results. – Kevin Mote

Investment returns

The Callan Periodic Table for Investment Returns depicts annual returns for eight asset classes, ranked from best to worst. Each asset class is color-coded for easy tracking. Well-known, industry-standard market indexes are used as proxies for each asset class. While this may be something you want to discuss together with your financial advisors, it helps illustrate that diversification is the best way to combat “having all your eggs in one basket.” – Kevin Mote

Online Learning Center

MidWestOne’s Online Learning Center contains a number of how-to videos that provide information on online security, business banking, bill pay and identity theft, among others. It’s a very useful tool! – Adam McLaughlin

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