This is the final article of a four part Retirement Accounts Series (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). We’ve looked at the different types of retirement accounts like the IRA or 401k, but now it is time to take a look at another valuable tool in helping you reach your retirement goals. Planning for retirement is no easy task, which is why you must make a concerted effort to use the best resources available at all times.

Online brokers were often thought of as simply a place to trade securities when they first came public, but that is definitely not the case in today’s environment. Online brokerages have many valuable research tools to help you become a better investor. Over the past few years, as the public has become more away of the need to plan for retirement at an early age, online brokers have set up special retirement planning tools. The single most useful tool for most people is the free retirement calculator.

What is the point of a free broker retirement calculator? These retirement calculators should be used as a guide to estimate how you are doing when it comes to saving up for retirement. Free retirement calculators can help you plan your investing strategy based on what you will need in the future. Tools such as the free broker retirement calculators can give you a good idea of how much money you need to be saving up for your future.

Several online brokers now have a free retirement calculator, but which ones are the most useful? Let’s take a look at the top three free broker retirement calculators

Top 3 Free Broker Retirement Calculators

1. E*Trade Retirement QuickPlanE*Trade’s tools and research are second-to-none in the online brokerage world. The Retirement Quickplan is a good example of how helpful their tools can be. The Quickplan allows more personalization than any other free broker retirement calculator. Let the Quickplan know your style of investing, where you live, and what type of retirement spending level you expect to have and it will get you started. At the end of it all the E*Trade Retirement Quickplan gives you a personalized action plan with ways to help in every possible area. This is clearly the best free broker retirement calculator on the web.

2. TD Ameritrade WealthRulerIf E*Trade is tops when it comes to online research for investors, TD Ameritrade is probably second. The WealthRuler is a powerful retirement calculator that allows for a great deal of personalization. Unique to this tool is the ability to include local income tax information into your expenses, which gives a more accurate look at the entire picture. The WealthRuler has been updated several times of late, and TD Ameritrade appears fully committed to making this one of the best tools available for retirement planning.

3. Charles Schwab Retirement Savings CalculatorSchwab has always been one of the best online brokerages when it comes to extra research tools for investors. While the Schwab Retirement Savings Calculator doesn’t have all the extras that the E*Trade Quickplanor the TD Ameritrade WealthRuler has, it is an extremely user-friendly tool that helps you see where you are in your retirement planning. Schwab has integrated Social Security Income into the calculator, which sets it apart from many other broker retirement calculators.

Several other online brokers offer free retirement calculators that are worthwhile to check out. Let us know if you have a personal favorite!