Voyant tells you when you can't retire
A nice financial planner offers a lot of flexibility and insight.
Although the Demo 2008 pitch came off a bit like an infomercial, Voyant At Home looks like an important and useful Web application for consumers. It's a personal financial planner that understands the impact of life events--children being born, college starting, retirement starting, and so on. You tell it your income and assets and when the life events will happen, and it tells you what your economic picture looks like. If you want to run some what-if questions, you can drag dates around (when you're buying that car, for example), or enter in alternate financial data--send the kid to public school, or do poorly on your 401(k). The application will show you a graph of your financial surplus or deficit.
It wasn't clear from the demo where the data comes from. If you have to enter it in manually, that's a drag, although not a deal breaker. It would be better if you could import from Quicken. Quicken, of course, has its own financial planner, but Voyant looks both easier to use and more comprehensive in its analysis.
Voyant is software, but there's an online social angle, too: You can connect with other people in similar financial straits and talk about how to manage through.