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Are you afraid of running out of money in retirement? This score can help assess your risk

Key Points
  • One of the big challenges today's retirees face is how to make their money last in retirement.
  • Guaranteed income, such as through pensions or Social Security, can help reduce your risk of going broke.
  • A new tool aims to assess whether you're on track to create a steady income stream that will last for the rest of your life.
Nils Hendrik Mueller | Cultura | Getty Images

If you don't know how much money you will have to live on in retirement, you're not alone.

Creating a steady paycheck to cover all your needs after saving for years is one of the biggest dilemmas that confound retirees today.

A new tool aims to help you understand just how close you are to that goal.

A score called RISE — Retirement Income Security Evaluation — evaluates just where you fall in terms of having steady income in retirement, much like a credit score on a zero to 850 scale.

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The tool is provided by the Alliance for Lifetime Income, a nonprofit organization backed by the financial services industry. It was developed by Milliman, a provider of actuarial products and services.

Consumers can access the tool online. After inputting factors such as the Social Security income you expect, any pension income you may have, how much you have saved and your monthly living and medical expenses, you can see how well you will fare financially in retirement.

"Based on what you put in, this is your score and means you're going to run out of money if you live past a certain age," said Jean Statler, executive director at the Alliance for Lifetime Income.

The information you put in is anonymous, meaning it will not be shared with other parties. The tool is also intended to be flexible, so you can adjust certain data to see how that affects your outcome.

The alliance advocates that consumers consider annuities to access guaranteed income. However, the tool itself does not steer consumers to specific investment products.

"Sometimes the answer is not an annuity," Statler said. That goes particularly for individuals who already have a high RISE score through other income sources.

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Instead, the organization hopes that consumers will take away one key message from the score: "Go talk to your financial advisor," Statler said.

The tool is aimed at individuals ages 45 and up with investable assets of $75,000 to $2 million.

The consumer-facing version of the RISE score was launched on Wednesday. A separate, financial advisor-facing version is slated to launch in May. The professional version will take more nuances of an individual's financial picture into account, such as portfolio allocations and different kinds of annuities.

Both versions are free.

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