Schwab launches free digital financial planning for clients seeking to manage their retirement goals

Charles Schwab has launched Schwab Plan, a digital financial planning tool designed to help investors establish and stay on track toward their personalised retirement goals. 

Schwab Plan is available to all Schwab clients with no minimum asset requirement, significantly expanding access to retirement planning to the millions of retail investors that Charles Schwab serves. With this move, Schwab is now the only large retail brokerage to offer complimentary financial planning to all clients, combined with no account minimums for individual investors 1, zero commission online equity, option and ETF trades 2, and a Satisfaction Guarantee3.

“Saving and investing for retirement continues to be the most vital goal for investors of all ages, and a plan provides a path that helps people retire the way they want,” says Stephanie King, vice president of Charles Schwab’s planning and portfolio group. “Planning gives investors more confidence about reaching their goals, and it also helps them remain focused on things like saving, portfolio diversification, and staying the course – something that is especially important given this period of uncertainty we’re all in right now.”

Schwab Plan is a digital self-guided financial plan available through Schwab.com that helps investors build a personalised plan that includes a range of factors such as desired retirement age, retirement goals, social security expectations, portfolio risk profile and asset allocation, and various income sources.

To begin the process, clients complete a short questionnaire, and in as little as 15 minutes they are able to generate a retirement plan that shows retirement goals and probability of funding those goals, a comparison of an individual’s current asset allocation to a recommended allocation based on plan inputs, and suggested next steps to get and stay on track. Schwab Plan can also aggregate and factor in accounts held outside of Schwab. While Schwab Plan is available to clients at no cost, any investments they ultimately make may incur costs such as fund operating expenses and advisory fees.

Interactive planning dashboard and tools – Schwab Plan has an interactive dashboard that allows clients to model how near-term changes in their lives, such as changes to income or retirement age, can impact long-term outcomes. The planning dashboard can also be used by Schwab clients who already have a financial plan through one of the firm’s other planning services but want to model different scenarios in their financial lives.
Sophisticated analytics – Schwab Plan combines an easy and straightforward experience with sophisticated financial planning analytics such as probability of reaching goals calculations and Monte Carlo simulations.

Dynamic plan updates – Every time a client visits or makes updates to their plan, they receive an updated probability of reaching their goals to see how they are tracking against their retirement goal.

Access to financial professionals – All Schwab clients have access to financial professionals 24/7 via phone, email, or chat if they need help with service or general questions.

“We believe everyone, regardless of how much money they have, should have access to tools that help them take control of their financial future,” says Cynthia Loh, Charles Schwab vice president of digital advice. “But we know that not enough people have access to financial planning, whether it’s because minimums and fees are out of reach or because the planning experience is just too complicated or overwhelming. Our goal with Schwab Plan is to provide investors with a modern planning tool that is similar to what professionals use, but streamlined to make the experience easier and more accessible for people who want to get started planning on their own.”

In conjunction with the launch of Schwab Plan, Schwab has also created an online Financial Planning Hub that features an array of goals-based calculators, tools, and educational planning content to help investors get quick answers on topics such as retirement, saving for college, and buying a home. Investors can find out if they are saving enough for retirement, determine how much they can afford to withdraw in retirement, get an estimated monthly college savings goal, and plan for a home purchase using a mortgage calculator. While Schwab Plan is only for Schwab clients, the Financial Planning Hub is available to both Schwab clients and non-clients.