Not long ago, smart phones were toys of the young and technologically savvy generations. Today, these devices have penetrated all age groups, including those who have retired. While games and social media applications may not yet be very popular applications among retirees, their smartphones can be extremely useful when it comes to one of their most critical concerns, tracking the status of their retirement accounts. Recognizing this, financial services have begun to introduce a new generation of mobile apps for this purpose.

Examples Of Mobile Applications That Can Monitor Retirement Accounts

Mobile smarthphone applicationsFidelity Investments Mobile Brokerage Trading App. Fidelity Investments was ahead of the curve when they release their first mobile app in 2010 for the iPhone and iPod touch. Today, this application has been extended to the Android, Blackberry, and other web enabled devices. The abilities of this application are impressive. It can track your portfolio, allowing you to check balances, move money, and receive real time valuations. Account holders can pay bills and even deposit checks by snapping a photo from their device’s camera. Customers can perform all of these features on their brokerage accounts, 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement savings accounts. Finally, it features access to all of the news and analysis customers are accustomed to received from their online account. Best of all, this app is free to all customers of Fidelity Investments.

Mint.com Mobile App. Mint.com is a popular personal finance site that helps people track their budget and maintain their portfolio of investments from their computer. They also offer a free mobile app that can accomplish many of these tasks from user’s iPhone or Android devices. Users can view up to the minute information about their various accounts or view their budget. Users can enter expenses in real time and see how they have affected their budget. The idea is that users can evaluate the effects of purchases on their finances and use that information to help them guide their decisions as they make them. It is easy to imagine a couple contemplating a large purchase entering in the price and viewing the results in the store in a “what if” type scenario. Finally, Mint.com makes a point of including password protection to ensure user’s privacy in the event that their mobile device is lost or stolen.

Schwab Workplace Retirement App For The iPhone.While Fidelity and Mint.com have produced apps that try to cover all functions on multiple platforms, this Schwab app has a more limited scope. At the moment, it is only available for the iPhone at Apple’s App Store, however an Android compatible device is forthcoming. For the moment, its only role is to manage user’s workplace savings accounts. It allows users to check their retirement savings balance, investment performance, and paycheck contributions.

Conclusions

There was once a time when just having a web site was considered to be a cutting edge feature, but now, nobody would bother to do business with a financial services company that didn’t have one. Similarly, as the popularity of mobile applications is increasing, it has become incumbent on financial institutions to provide a mobile application for customers to view and manage their accounts. Mobile applications are no longer an innovation for the future, and keeping track of retirement savings is an excellent way to utilize this emerging technology.

Photo by Calgary Reviews via Flickr

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