ING Compare Me – See how you're doing against your peers
I received an email from ING this week making me aware of a new site (or at least new to me) they have called ING Compare Me (www.ingcompareme.com). The site is basically a tool that allows you to compare your savings and debt against others like you. To be honest, I’ve never really gotten a great deal of value out of comparing myself to others, but thought I would check it out as it sounded interesting.
ING Compare Me
ING Compare Me basically walks you through a series of questions about your spending, investing, debt, and planning. Before jumping in though, you have to complete a little profile information so that the tool can compare you to your peers. Required fields within your profile are: age, gender, household income, and marital status. Additional optional information such as education, location, number of children, ethnicity, etc can also be entered, but isn’t required.
The tool is done in the traditional high quality and ease of use I’ve come to expect from ING. It’s very easy to figure out and is just plain “slick”. I did find some of the questions a little more useful than others. ING must have recognized this and added a feature in the bottom corner that allows you to rate how useful you found each question. An example question that I found rather useless is:
After specifying your answer, the tool will show you how other people answered (based on %). While I found this question to be of no value, I do recognize that there might be others who do. I’m just not seeing it. Incidentally, these questions (there are 5 of them) are the lowest ranked questions in the tool.
The end result of the tool is a really nicely formatted PDF report that summarizes your answers. The report provides suggested next steps for each of the questions that is dependent on the answer you provided. The report can be used as input into a personal finance plan or to take to a personal finance professional. The later being the main purpose of the tool. It seems as if ING is beginning to focus on financial planning services.
Overall it’s an interesting tool for getting a perspective on where you are compared to other people like you. With that being said, each of us has unique goals and objectives in our lives, so you must remember that just because you are doing as well or better than everyone else doesn’t mean you are on track for your own personal financial goals.
ING Your Number
Another tool that ING has, which I found from the Compare Me report is ING Your Number. This tool helps you determine the dollar number you’ll need to support your retirement needs. I found this to also be an excellent tool.
The tool is very interactive, and even includes a rather large actor that comes in and talks you through the process. I found this a bit annoying, so I selected “Quick Mode” which skips that. Also, the actor comes in rather quick, and “he” startled me since I wasn’t expected…so you’ve been warned!
I hadn’t really thought through “My Number” in a while, and it turned out to be a little higher than I recalled. I need to go to the retirement planning I did a few years back and see if I can find the difference. If you aren’t sure how much you’ll need, ING Your Number is a really quick and what seems to be accurate way of determining your retirement needs. I’d highly recommend you give it a try and adjust your retirement contributions accordingly.
Have you tried them? What are your thoughts? Are you aware of other similar tools like these? Add a comment!