Choose to Save: A Government Financial Website Worth Bookmarking

by Ryan Guina

ChooseToSave.Org is a government website run in conjunction with other public and private sponsors, and has a wealth of financial information for people of every stage in life. Choose To Save is behind the public service announcements you may have seen on PBS or other channels. Their mission is to educate people about all aspects of personal finance – from planning for a baby, all the way through retirement.

Choose To Save has a plethora of financial planning resources organized by topics and life events. There is information for just about every situation life may throw at you. As a note, some of the information is provided by financial institutions, but they offer unbiased information and do not push their services or products.

One of my favorite sections of the Choose to Save website is its Calculators section. There are many great calculators for:

  • Auto: New vs. used, Depreciation, How much can you afford, etc.
  • Budget: How much you are spending, How to afford a baby, How much to set aside for emergencies, etc.
  • Business: Loans, Leasing vs. buying equipment, etc.
  • College: How much to save, Value of higher education, What kind of investments to pay for college, etc.
  • Credit Card: Importance of interest rates, How long to pay off balance, etc.
  • Home: Mortgage calculators, How much can you borrow, Fixed vs. adjustable, etc.
  • Investing
    • Mutual Funds: What is the return if sold now, Front load vs. back load, Load vs. no load, etc.
    • Savings: How long to become a millionaire?, How much will my savings be worth?, How will taxes and inflation affect my savings?, etc.
    • Stock Calculators: Current return on investment if sold today, Current yield from dividends, How do exchange rates affect foreign stocks?, etc.
  • Life Insurance (and Life Expectancy): How much life insurance do you need?, Whole life, universal life, or variable life?, etc.
  • Paycheck Planning: How do 401k deductions affect take home pay?, How much is take home pay as a salaried employee?, What are employee stock options worth?, etc.
  • Retirement
    • Roth IRA: Should you convert Traditional to Roth?, How do changing tax brackets affect withdrawals?, etc.
    • Retiree Health: Retiree Savings health calculator

Whenever I have a financial question, I often head over to the Choose to Save website for a quick calculation or for some free, unbiased information. I recommend adding this site to your list of resources.

Published or updated December 9, 2010.
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