Online banking can help with some of the problems associated with planning for your retirement and managing those funds. You just have to know how to use the tools.
So, what can online banking actually do for you? First, it can make it easier to overcome one of the most difficult hurdles in planning for retirement -- getting started. With retirement planning, procrastination is a very real and dangerous problem. It's easy enough to put off worrying about something that's going to happen next month, but try extending that to a year -- or 30. The hardest part about saving for retirement is to get moving, and online banking can make that a much simpler process.
Convenience is online banking's strongest asset. What once involved long phone conversations, piles of paperwork and driving back and forth from the bank now can be done with only a few clicks. With fewer hoops to jump through, it's easier to get over that procrastination hump and start saving. Money can be shuffled among accounts in an instant. And when tax time rolls around, data can be downloaded directly from your bank into tax and accounting software. All your retirement information can be accessed simultaneously, making it a snap to see the big picture of your retirement plan anytime, day or night.
Another advantage of online banking is how much faster research can be done. It's absolutely vital to research thoroughly when establishing a retirement plan, but aside from the usual pages and pages of advice about which IRAs to use and which bonds to buy, good online banking options have retirement calculators to let you know just how much you'll be needing to put away every month in order to hit that goal of retiring with a million dollars. By entering a bit of information about your income, you can see exactly how much money you have and how much you need. The data is presented straightforwardly and succinctly, and you don't have to wade through dozens of confusing documents. In short, online banking alleviates a good deal of the headache that comes from planning your retirement.
Next up: You've got the money online now, so what are you going to do with it?