FIRECalc Question

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FIRECalc Question

Postby pwesben » Wed May 01, 2013 10:54 pm

I have been fiddling with the Firecalc page (www.firecalc.com). I'm doing some educated guessing. I have a question for any of you who are familiar with the calculations. The Portfolio Sum that is entered does not differentiate between a portfolio where most of the money is in IRAs (like mine is) or a portfolio where it all might be in taxable accounts. It seems to me this would make a significant difference. Does anyone know what assumptions are made on this issue. Also, this approach appears to me to be fairly valid. Does anyone have thoughts, input, or warnings?
Thanks Paul
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby livesoft » Wed May 01, 2013 11:03 pm

You just need to know that taxes are part of your expenses, so it really shouldn't matter to FIRECalc which accounts are used to hold your assets as long as you account for taxes in your expenses.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby dickenjb » Thu May 02, 2013 7:08 am

livesoft is correct, FIREcalc does not account for taxes.

FIREcalc is interesting as a quick and dirty approximation of "am I on track to retire". It also puts out some pretty charts that drive home the impact of "sequence of return" risk. However, it has not been maintained for years. If you are close to retirement, use a detailed and maintained tool like Fidelity Retirement Income Planner.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby Saving$ » Thu May 02, 2013 10:40 pm

dickenjb wrote:livesoft FIREcalc is interesting as a quick and dirty approximation of "am I on track to retire". ... However, it has not been maintained for years.


Interesting. It says it goes back to 1870, but does not say how far forward it goes. Does anyone know if it includes the last several years starting with 2008?
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby pwesben » Fri May 03, 2013 12:06 am

I just read the "change notes" for the first tome. The current version came out in Novenber, 2007, and data is through 2006. Thanks for the input.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby longview » Fri May 03, 2013 4:02 am

pwesben wrote:I just read the "change notes" for the first tome. The current version came out in Novenber, 2007, and data is through 2006. Thanks for the input.

So how many donations to get it updated? ;)
(To color my comments: my situation is ER trying to make a large portfolio that is 99% taxable last 45 years)
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby dickenjb » Fri May 03, 2013 7:02 am

I believe the author early retired and is living on a sailboat. I don't think it will be updated. Additionally, I believe I found a bug and reported it on earlyretirement.org but it was never fixed.

FIDO RIP, otoh, is updated with each change in the tax laws and DOES take taxes and RMD's into account. A little more difficult to use but a first rate product backed by FIDO and all their capabilities.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby Hexdump » Fri May 03, 2013 7:29 am

I am curious to know if Firecalc, FIDO RIP, or any other predicting calculators have worked out.
I know that it's past history and probably no one has tracked it but has anyone kept their projections from say, 20 years ago, and how have they panned out.

Just curious.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby longview » Sun May 05, 2013 12:26 am

dickenjb wrote:I believe the author early retired and is living on a sailboat. I don't think it will be updated. Additionally, I believe I found a bug and reported it on earlyretirement.org but it was never fixed.

FIDO RIP, otoh, is updated with each change in the tax laws and DOES take taxes and RMD's into account. A little more difficult to use but a first rate product backed by FIDO and all their capabilities.


What is FIDO RIP? I googled it and just find people talking about FIDO ripping people off.
(To color my comments: my situation is ER trying to make a large portfolio that is 99% taxable last 45 years)
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby jjunk » Sun May 05, 2013 12:31 am

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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby katsmeow » Sun May 05, 2013 1:04 am

I believe Firecalc has data through 2010. If you do a 30 year plan and look at the spreadsheet of year by year results, the last one in the spreadsheet is based upon a retirement in 1981 which would go through 2010.

It doesn't bother me that Firecalc doesn't account for taxes. Taxes are accounted for as part of your spending. I prefer to be able to estimate my own taxes which will change a lot in different years depending upon how I choose to withdraw money.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby Blues » Sun May 05, 2013 9:12 am

It would be great if there were some way that the baton could be passed to have FIRECalc be carried on into the future once the originator decides that he no longer has the time nor ability to continue with it.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby Cb » Sun May 05, 2013 9:35 am

Blues wrote:It would be great if there were some way that the baton could be passed to have FIRECalc be carried on into the future once the originator decides that he no longer has the time nor ability to continue with it.


The guy who created FIREcalc and found the associated Early Retirement forum ("Dory36") sold them several years ago to a guy who owns and runs a series of similar boards. He appears to be somewhat less responsive to FIREcalc feedback/issues/updates than Dory36 was.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby livesoft » Sun May 05, 2013 9:38 am

Otar's retirement calculator uses the same algorithm, doesn't it? Thus, I consider the baton passed, although it may be that Otar pre-dates FIREcalc.
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby Blues » Sun May 05, 2013 10:07 am

Cb wrote:
Blues wrote:It would be great if there were some way that the baton could be passed to have FIRECalc be carried on into the future once the originator decides that he no longer has the time nor ability to continue with it.


The guy who created FIREcalc and found the associated Early Retirement forum ("Dory36") sold them several years ago to a guy who owns and runs a series of similar boards. He appears to be somewhat less responsive to FIREcalc feedback/issues/updates than Dory36 was.


Thanks, Cb. :beer
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Re: FIRECalc Question

Postby boknows » Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:04 pm

FWIW, I am in the middle of reverse engineering Firecalc, so that I can add new capabilities. I've got about 90% of the original capabilities working. I think I'll be soliciting ideas for improvements once I get to that 100%.
32 - Married - Aiming for FI/ER in early 40s.
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