Countdown to Retirement

I recently came across a retirement planning tool that I had not seen before: an app that counts down to your planned retirement date. Here’s how I learned about it. Recently my wife and I had a couple over for an after dinner glass of wine. During our conversation the wife mentioned that she plans to retire in 3 years. She then took out her smart phone and opened an app that counts down the number of months, weeks, days and seconds until she reaches her goal. I think that’s pretty neat!

When my wife and I set a retirement target date I created my own crude retirement countdown “tool”.  I modeled it after company sponsored annual United Way campaigns. The corporate United Way goal was to get 100% of all employees to either make a one-time donation or ongoing payroll deductions. They used the image of a thermometer with a rising temperature to signify the growing percentage of employees participating.

Even though I’ve been retired since May 2010, I knew exactly where to find my countdown calculator. Here’s what it looks like.


At the end of each month, I colored in a box which showed graphic progress and percent of goal achieved. I enjoyed seeing visible progress towards my goal. It helped keep me focused and motivated.

Writing down or documenting goals makes it more likely that you will achieve them. The process includes what I call a “forcing function”. By setting a retirement goal it “forces” you to think about everything that goes into achieving your goal. Once you write down or document your goal, you are making a commitment of sorts. This commitment keeps you focused on your goal and increases the probability of achieving it.  On the surface, using a retirement countdown app might seem like just a fun thing to do. But beneath the surface lay powerful techniques to actually achieve your goal. So why not give it a try? You might increase the odds of arriving where and when you want to and have some fun along the way!

Here are links to some retirement countdown apps.

For Android

For Apple ios

There are online versions available too.

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