Advisor Harold Evensky is leading personal finance students at Texas Tech University on a project to evaluate retirement planning software -- and they'd be very appreciative if you completed a short survey to help them with their goal.

"There is a great deal of discussion, pro and con, about robo-advisors; however, one of the issues that seems to be missing from the discussion is the soundness of the advice," said Evensky, a professor at the university, in an e-mail. "In order to evaluate the quality of Web-based retirement planning advice, I am working with a group of Texas Tech doctoral students to evaluate how an investor’s experience with Web-based advice compares to the advice they would receive from an experienced practitioner.”

The survey asks participants to select criteria that they would include in a retirement planning program offered via the Web to the investing public. The survey also allows advisors to offer their opinions on what they would include. The results of the survey will be compared to the data actually gathered by Web-based planning software offered to the public, Evensky said.

"Our criteria for inclusion of a program in our study is that the program offers 'an answer' (e.g., 'You will be able to meet your retirement goals')  versus a calculator that simply offers to provide calculations (e.g., 'If you save $x for y years you will have accumulated enough to provide an annual payment of $x for y years')," Evensky said.

PIETechnology, the developers of MoneyGuide Pro, is helping the students determine the most common goals found in retirement plans, Evensky added.

"We will use this information, along with the results of the survey, to develop a number of 'real world' test cases,” said Evensky. The students want to establish a base line for the input that's needed from end users of retirement planning softwawre.

To complete the survey for the Texas Tech students, click here.