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Question

I'm looking for Windows software that will help with projections. I know my Social Security and pension at diffferent ages and my income from my IRA. I'd like to try some software that allows me to input these incomes and also expenses and tax assumptions for several decades. Can anyone suggest anything?

 

 

Answers

Excel.

 

 

https://www.mywealthtrace.com/ I used the free version for a year, then became a paid subscriber. Good stuff. Monte Carlo simulations, variable inputs, what-if scenarios, slider bars for instantaneous feedback on changing returns, retirement age, expenses, etc. Feeds from all your accounts if you want. I meet periodically with the fellow that authors the software to go through my plan. I also have the Vanguard and Fidelity planners, and have used T.Rowe Price. I like this more. 

 

 

In addition to looking at the MyWealth subscription products, I might also look at some Mac products, e.g., Quicken, etc.

 

 

(1) I use my own Excel workbooks that I have developed since around 1992. Yes, it's a lot of work.


(2) I *also* recommend a free online retirement planner (works for you during retirement, too).This is at www.i-orp.com. This is a retired guy's life's work and it is really strong. It does take some time to understand it, but it is very powerful and will hold its own against anything, paid commercial or otherwise. I am getting concerned about it as I have *just* retired and I'm afraid the author will not be maintaining this for too many more years. Still, it is well worth some serious investigation. The big thing for this software is that it optimizes your retirement draws from SS, tax deferred accounts, taxable accounts, etc., to determine your optimal annual draw from all accounts so you don't run out of dough at the end.

 

(3) I love the commercial products put out by Professor Kotlikoff from Boston University. Cost is manageable for a single license of any of them. "Maxifi" is similar to i-ORP.

(4) i-ORP does not link to your existing financial accounts, nor does Maxifi as far as I know. For this consolidated record keeping there are lots of new "apps" out there such as Mint, etc. For this use I simply use my Excel workbooks (and use a Google Sheet with Google Finance functions to get the daily prices).

Comments
retiredtraveler

   I would add a comment about financial planning that I've written several times in the past.

 

People have to do their homework on expenses. DW and I used an Excel spreadsheet (but you can do this with pencil and paper) to track our expenses, quite literally, to the penny. We did this for over two years. We had some general categories such as house and yard maintenance, automobile purchase/maintenance, medical expenses, various insurances, food, clothing, etc.

   People (in general) really don't know where their money is spent. And for retirement planning, they fail to project and amortize various expenses such as purchase of a new car, or roofing the house. 

   It is really quite useless to figure 'draw downs' or future income if you don't have a reasonably accurate projection of expenses. Of course, these expenses will change (some of them) in retirement. But unless you really spend some time thinking, and calculating, your current expenses and doing the same for what you expect to spend in retirement, you'll be underestimating what you need for a 'comfortable' retirement.     

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