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App Promotes Retirement Saving

The impact of today’s purchasing decisions on how much money you’ll have years from now, in retirement, can be abstract. Putnam Investments’ new iPhone app does the math for you.

This Putnam video uses the example of an HDTV that costs $1,738: save that money instead and earn an additional $44.18 per month in retirement. That’s enough for a dash to the grocery store or an evening at the movies.

Putnam’s senior Web executive, David Nguyen, called it a “smart app,” because it allows users to tailor the assumptions that drive the calculations. For example, the app takes into account the user’s age, and it assumes the money not spent will earn investment income until you’re 65 years old (that targeted retirement age can also be changed). The investment returns mirror the individual returns for each user’s asset allocation.

Phone apps are proliferating, and there are lots of cool new ones for every financial need and age group, including children. Putnam’s app is pretty popular. The Boston mutual fund company said about 1,000 people have downloaded its new PriceCheck&Save application from Apple’s iPhone store since its June 6 release.

Unfortunately, it’s available only to those whose 401(k)s are managed by Putnam, though the company is working on an unrestricted app.

If Putnam doesn’t, someone else surely will.

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