What is your favorite retirement calculator?

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scooter101
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:17 am

What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by scooter101 »

I have tried several different retirement calculators and was wondering what your favorite is? If you could, please share a link to it if possible.
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Kenkat
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Kenkat »

If you have assets at Fidelity, I really liked their Retirement Planner app:

https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-planning/overview

I liked the level of detail data it allows you to enter as well as the guidance to be sure you are considering all sources of income and expenses.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

TI-83+ Silver Edition
chassis
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by chassis »

My own home-built Excel model. It includes everything relevant to retirement planning that I am aware of.

Fidelity's net worth tool is good.

Portfoliovisualizer's backtesting, Monte Carlo portfolio success and efficient frontier tools are excellent.

i-orp is of limited value

firecalc is so-so

Best suggestion is to build your own model, because it gives you intimate familiarity with your own financial situation. There is no one who has your best interests in mind than you do.
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Metsfan91
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Metsfan91 »

For all types of calculators, I turn to dinkytown.net
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

HP-12C
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SnowBog
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by SnowBog »

I've used/use several. I think they have different strengths.

One lesser known one (or at least I didn't know about it) is https://www.flexibleretirementplanner.com/wp/. It's not a web app, requires you to download the client on your computer (don't think there is any options for iOS or Android).

IIRC it attempts to calculate taxes, has various "goal seek" options, as well as "sensitivity analysis".

The one thing it lacks IMHO is an easy way to enter Roth conversions (I think I found a way to do it).
HootingSloth
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:38 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by HootingSloth »

I use Portfolio Visualizer for the Monte Carlo tools, cFireSim for historical simulations, and longinvest's accumulation and decumulation spreadsheet for sanity checks on savings and withdrawal rates in what-if scenarios. I have a spreadsheet to track calculations more specific to my own situation. I used to play around with my own Java application to do more customized Monte Carlo and historical simulations, which was fun but time consuming.
just1question
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:36 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by just1question »

SnowBog wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 3:02 pm I've used/use several. I think they have different strengths.

One lesser known one (or at least I didn't know about it) is https://www.flexibleretirementplanner.com/wp/. It's not a web app, requires you to download the client on your computer (don't think there is any options for iOS or Android).

IIRC it attempts to calculate taxes, has various "goal seek" options, as well as "sensitivity analysis".

The one thing it lacks IMHO is an easy way to enter Roth conversions (I think I found a way to do it).
+1. Flexibleretirementplanner is the best I've found. And it's free, which I tend to like.
MathWizard
Posts: 4750
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by MathWizard »

chassis wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:43 am My own home-built Excel model. It includes everything relevant to retirement planning that I am aware of.

Fidelity's net worth tool is good.

Portfoliovisualizer's backtesting, Monte Carlo portfolio success and efficient frontier tools are excellent.

i-orp is of limited value

firecalc is so-so

Best suggestion is to build your own model, because it gives you intimate familiarity with your own financial situation. There is no one who has your best interests in mind than you do.
I built my own as well,both compiled program and later excel spreadsheet so it would be understandable if I can longer handle
investing finances.

I'm just curious:. I found i-orp to be quite useful before I wrote my own simulator for my specific situation, including state taxes.

What are the shortcomings of i-orp besides not being tailored to the individual?
chassis
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:28 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by chassis »

MathWizard wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 3:25 pm
chassis wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:43 am My own home-built Excel model. It includes everything relevant to retirement planning that I am aware of.

Fidelity's net worth tool is good.

Portfoliovisualizer's backtesting, Monte Carlo portfolio success and efficient frontier tools are excellent.

i-orp is of limited value

firecalc is so-so

Best suggestion is to build your own model, because it gives you intimate familiarity with your own financial situation. There is no one who has your best interests in mind than you do.
I built my own as well,both compiled program and later excel spreadsheet so it would be understandable if I can longer handle
investing finances.

I'm just curious:. I found i-orp to be quite useful before I wrote my own simulator for my specific situation, including state taxes.

What are the shortcomings of i-orp besides not being tailored to the individual?
@MathWizard To the best of my experience with i-orp, it only does a forced spend-down simulation, with the sought goal of maximizing income. That's not interesting to me. I want to track net worth over time using all known input variables under my control. My Excel sheet does this very well.
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ShaftoesSpreadsheet
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:58 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by ShaftoesSpreadsheet »

These three calculators from WM have been a big help.

Building towards retirement:
Saving for retirement calculator

During retirement (basically confirms my SWR):
Retirement withdrawal calculator

And this one to mess around with my cash flow:
Income spending simulator
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JoeRetire
Posts: 7985
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by JoeRetire »

I like this one:

Retirement Income Calculator
https://www.broadridgeadvisor.com/webre ... BBF635BF99

I used to use it. Now I use my own spreadsheet.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
Sam_78
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:04 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Sam_78 »

Personal Capital retirement planner - love it!
smitcat
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by smitcat »

chassis wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 3:30 pm
MathWizard wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 3:25 pm
chassis wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:43 am My own home-built Excel model. It includes everything relevant to retirement planning that I am aware of.

Fidelity's net worth tool is good.

Portfoliovisualizer's backtesting, Monte Carlo portfolio success and efficient frontier tools are excellent.

i-orp is of limited value

firecalc is so-so

Best suggestion is to build your own model, because it gives you intimate familiarity with your own financial situation. There is no one who has your best interests in mind than you do.
I built my own as well,both compiled program and later excel spreadsheet so it would be understandable if I can longer handle
investing finances.

I'm just curious:. I found i-orp to be quite useful before I wrote my own simulator for my specific situation, including state taxes.

What are the shortcomings of i-orp besides not being tailored to the individual?
@MathWizard To the best of my experience with i-orp, it only does a forced spend-down simulation, with the sought goal of maximizing income. That's not interesting to me. I want to track net worth over time using all known input variables under my control. My Excel sheet does this very well.
" I want to track net worth over time using all known input variables under my control."
That can be done with IORP.
cbeck
Posts: 339
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:28 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by cbeck »

I used Esplanner from esplanner.com. It was designed by economist Larry Kotlikoff to account for a lot of variables such as investment returns, inflation, federal and state income taxes, relocations, real estate, housing cost whether ownership or rental, social security start date, birthdates of my wife and myself, legacy goals, and many more. I would run scenarios comparing possible retirement dates, relocating abroad, etc. By default Esplanner assumes that we want to maintain the same standard of living (although we can plan increases or decreases in standard of living) and reports the results in disposable income always in today's dollars as well as future assets, income, etc.

I found it invaluable in the planning stages.
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celia
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by celia »

Excel spreadsheets and tax software.

I know of no “retirement calculators” that take planning of Roth conversions into account and does a good job of it. So if you have a large amount in tax-deferred accounts, this is a DIY project.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.
cbeck
Posts: 339
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by cbeck »

celia wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:10 pm Excel spreadsheets and tax software.

I know of no “retirement calculators” that take planning of Roth conversions into account and does a good job of it. So if you have a large amount in tax-deferred accounts, this is a DIY project.
I did plan my Roth conversions with Esplanner, but it required a workaround that was a little complicated.
SnowBog
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by SnowBog »

cbeck wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:20 pm
celia wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:10 pm Excel spreadsheets and tax software.

I know of no “retirement calculators” that take planning of Roth conversions into account and does a good job of it. So if you have a large amount in tax-deferred accounts, this is a DIY project.
I did plan my Roth conversions with Esplanner, but it required a workaround that was a little complicated.
Pralana Gold I think does a decent job with their "optimize" option for Roths. (But its basically a paid Excel template for what its worth!) IMHO very easy to use, probably the best I've seen for Roth conversions.

The Retirement Portfolio Model (RPM) Excel file in the wiki is workable for Roth conversions as well, but very manual, and IMHO very complicated to get setup for most people (both getting the entire model populated, and then understanding and knowing how to use the RPM Roth conversion process).

I recall other threads - I think from (or with) celia with links to Roth conversion specific templates. As I recall them, they were easy to understand/use, but as I'd already figured out RPM/Pralana/etc. - I didn't see any benefit by "added" them to my stack of stuff...
cbeck
Posts: 339
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by cbeck »

SnowBog wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:41 pm
cbeck wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:20 pm
celia wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:10 pm Excel spreadsheets and tax software.

I know of no “retirement calculators” that take planning of Roth conversions into account and does a good job of it. So if you have a large amount in tax-deferred accounts, this is a DIY project.
I did plan my Roth conversions with Esplanner, but it required a workaround that was a little complicated.
Pralana Gold I think does a decent job with their "optimize" option for Roths. (But its basically a paid Excel template for what its worth!) IMHO very easy to use, probably the best I've seen for Roth conversions.

The Retirement Portfolio Model (RPM) Excel file in the wiki is workable for Roth conversions as well, but very manual, and IMHO very complicated to get setup for most people (both getting the entire model populated, and then understanding and knowing how to use the RPM Roth conversion process).

I recall other threads - I think from (or with) celia with links to Roth conversion specific templates. As I recall them, they were easy to understand/use, but as I'd already figured out RPM/Pralana/etc. - I didn't see any benefit by "added" them to my stack of stuff...
The advantage of Esplanner is that it affords a single, comprehensive picture of the future under varying assumptions. There are any number of specialized calculators, but it's difficult or impossible to incorporate them into a coherent picture of each scenario. It's easy to get overly focused on minimizing taxes while the bottom line suffers as a result.

But whatever works is good.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I've used this:

https://www.mycalculators.com/ca/retcalc2m.html

Its pretty simple but doesn't of course offer various assumptions and outcomes; its just the math, but coupled with others, works for me.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by RickBoglehead »

What are you trying to calculate?

Answers are all over the place because the question is so general.

How much income you need a year?

Whether your portfolio will allow you to last XX years?

Like many others, I found nothing on the web that met my needs.

I made an Excel spreadsheet with this kind of info:

Starting year balance plus interest/dividends/capital gains minus expected expenses (excluding mortgage, taxes, medical) plus medical plus taxes plus $25,000 for who knows what.

I forecast medical based on known costs for the plan this year, upped 5% a year, then Medicare upped 5% a year.

I put in SS starting in the intended years, adding 2 or 3% a year. I used https://opensocialsecurity.com/ to decide to have my wife take her benefits at age 64 and myself at age 70.

I forecast taxes.

We won't have RMDs. As of now, 87% of our retirement assets are in Roth accounts. I expect to convert the remainder over 7 years easily.

I put in buying a retirement house for cash, selling our house, and buying a boat.

I put in selling that house at age 75, and making a paltry 10% profit after 13 years. Then paying 100,000 per person per year for assisted living, going up 5% a year.

I grew taxable account at 2% a year. I grew retirement account at 6% a year.

In the past two years, my forecast has been way too conservative. I have been off by 6 figures.
Good. :D I round all spending UP and all earnings DOWN.

I also ran our annual needs through Firecalc, came up with 100% success. I then played to see how much I could spend with a 95% success rate. Surprise, same as the next paragraph...

I also took our assets, divided by estimated annual spend, to see if the result is more than 35. It is. So zero growth in assets pays for 35 years. I then took spend and multiplied by 35 years to see how low our base needed to be. We're 25% higher.

As you can see, many go hog wild with fancy tools. IMO, it's all a waste of time. Nobody can forecast future market performance, and the past doesn't tell you what the future brings. In college I learned that throwing a dart at the wall was as successful a predictor of future market performance as doing fancy analysis. :twisted:
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
Exchme
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Exchme »

I've tried several and they have strengths and weaknesses. Been meaning to write up something, so here goes-

FireCalc is very quick and easy, aimed at people not comfortable with the tax laws and spreadsheets. It will give you a general idea of whether you have enough to retire by doing historical simulations with your starting assets, withdrawals, SS income. For people that only want to answer that question, it may be enough. It does nothing for taxes, you have to estimate that as part of your expenses. So if your assets go up over time, you cannot believe the answer (other than to figure you are OK for retirement) as your taxes assuredly would go up over time as well and the increase is not counted.

i-ORP doesn't require much more input than FireCalc but does make a decent estimate of taxes and can make an estimate of Roth conversions. No historical or Monte Carlo features, it just uses your inputs of rates of return and inflation. It is a little quirky in that it spends down your assets, so if you have more assets than your expected spending will consume, you have to enter the desired estate value and the program calculates the spending allowable for that. It misses some features of the tax code that were important to me, so I moved on.

I keep meaning to play with this site's Total Portfolio Allocation and Withdrawal Simulator spreadsheet. It is a variable withdrawal method, has historical data and other sensitivities for simulations and can handle varying cash flows, but it seems to require the user to spend a lot of effort to get all their different cash flows worked out, so I've only glanced at it.

This site's Retiree Portfolio Model is a spreadsheet and like i-ORP you enter your account balances and expected returns, though there is a companion Monte Carlo sheet too. RPM has excellent flexibility and can handle inherited IRAs, QCDs, state income taxes, does a pretty good job on most aspects of federal income tax including NIIT and IRMAA. You can enter Roth conversions and it compares before and after values, so with multiple iterations, you can be used to make a very rough Roth conversion plan.

I say RPM gives only a very rough Roth conversion plan as there are a lot of complicating factors that RPM doesn't really address. The easiest to address is if you are interested in the impact of your Roth conversion on your heirs' taxes, you could change the RMD Factor on the Results page to 1.0 (cell Results!n181) so that it will show you the entire tax benefit to your heirs of your conversions.

Other issues with Roth conversions are not so simple. If you could have gotten ACA subsidies prior to Medicare by keeping your income low, that competes with Roth conversion opportunities and is outside the scope of the RPM program.

Also, it's generally recommended to keep bonds in tax deferred to slow that account growth and stocks in Roth so your growth happens after tax. However, in order to do a valid Roth conversion study, you have to keep the asset allocation in all the accounts the same or the program will mix the benefit of higher stock allocations that it sees in the Roth with the tax benefit of Roth conversions. Overall asset allocation will increase over time in a way you didn't intend and that increase in stocks gets gets all mixed in with the benefit of doing conversions, over predicting the right amount of Roth conversions.

But setting the asset allocation in all your accounts at the initial average overall value when you intend to put stocks in Roth and bonds in tax deferred will inherently over predict the growth of tax deferred and so also over predict the right amount of Roth conversions to do. In order to fix that, you would have to do something like one user did and link a bunch of RPM spreadsheets together, each with a different asset allocation, taking the output of one as the input to the next - talk about a lot of work! This issue applies to all the programs, except for one feature in Pralana Gold that may work around it.

I bought Pralana Gold for $99 (I think $49 annual renewal) to try to improve my Roth planning and it is by far the most complete and powerful of the ones I've tried. It handles more of the tax code including all the things RPM can handle plus AMT, phaseout of deductions, existing long term capital gains, after tax portions of IRAs and more. It has tons of features I've never even investigated like historical, Monte Carlo, bear market analysis, many withdrawal methods like consumption smoothing, actuarial, Guyton-Klinger, constant %, etc. It has a built in Social Security claim date optimizer that may give different answers than the opensocialsecurity tool since Pralana Gold customizes it for your tax situation.

Pralana Gold somewhat addresses the tax impact of Roth conversions on heirs by applying the average tax burden you had over your life to the remaining tax deferred balance at your death, and reports that as "Effective $" on the "Analysis" menu, "Sensitivity Studies" page. If you don't think that's the right tax rate for your heirs, the program reports the values in the accounts, so you could apply your own estimate of your heirs' tax rate (outside the program, it's all protected, you can't make any changes except in input areas).

Pralana Gold tries to do the Roth conversions you specify in the best manner possible. You can set IRMAA tier limits and tax bracket limits and it will stay within those. If you give impossible requirements (huge conversion and low tax bracket), it will put the error as a conversion at the end of life so you can see the problem. In our case, my wife has some after tax contributions in her traditional IRA and Pralana can handle that, optimizing when to take hers vs. mine or I can direct it. That's all beyond the scope of the other programs.

Pralana Gold handles the ACA situation better, in our case recommending a large Roth conversion this year while we are on COBRA and then a two year hiatus from Roth conversions to drop our income and get ACA subsidies. I was very surprised by this result and always love it when programs surprise me with a potentially good idea.

A previous poster in this thread mentioned the "Roth Conversion optimizer" feature, which tests conversions every 5% of the initial account value and reports the highest "Effective $" one. That is more automated than most programs; however, due to the varying asset allocation issue discussed above, I can't say that it's actually going to hit the target.

The feature that Pralana Gold has that can work around the changing asset allocation issue is you can adjust your asset allocation up to four times over the years. It reports your overall asset allocation each year and you can use the adjustments to get numerically close to the desired case with stocks in Roth and bonds in tax deferred. I adjusted allocations every 5-7 years, starting say a couple % below my target stock allocation and letting it creep up to a couple percent above and then adjusting the stocks/bond allocation in tax deferred down so the overall stock % is below target again and letting it rise for the next time period. Lots of manual tweaking flipping back and forth between screens but at least it can be done with some persistence.

So Pralana Gold is close enough to be useful, but I should point out for the real math nerds that it's still not quite right. Whatever is in your tax deferred account isn't all yours, effectively some of it belongs to the government, but the program can't really know what fraction that will be, so it skips that bit. So your effective asset allocation to stocks rises over time as you substitute stocks for bonds in tax deferred and that skew is not included in the asset allocation that the program reports. From other tests, I think this skew is an order of magnitude smaller than the effect of doing the Roth conversion, but it may muddy the water on exactly what the best Roth conversion plan is.

The good news is tax writers are not dumb and for my case, the effect of Roth conversions hit a broad, flat peak. The benefit rose strongly to about 30% of the original account converted as the low hanging fruit is to get rid of the highest tax bracket years (especially after one of us passes) by filling up the low tax bracket years. After 30% converted, the increase slowed, hitting a broad, flat peak between 40% and 60% converted. The benefit then reduced slightly at higher conversion amounts, though I could be talked into that reduction being an artifact of the heir tax bracket assumption or the remaining asset allocation skew. Since there are so many variables that affect the calculations (age, account balances, return assumptions, SS, heir tax brackets, etc.), others will find different answers and of course life will happen that will materially change things in a completely unknowable way. But I do like to have the principles in mind and a general idea of where the target is.
flyingaway
Posts: 3386
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by flyingaway »

The most important numbers are your portfolio number and your estimated expenses in retirement. You can input these numbers to any retirement calculators to play with.
I like the easiness of FIRECalc, you can adjust several parameters to yield the results that you would like to see.
Fidelity calculator gives you year by year results.

Finally, what you really want is your self-confidence. FIRECalc can give you 100% success rate, Fidelity can give you a score if 150, they are relative to the numbers that you inputed. If you are ready, then you are ready. You don't need many calculators to tell you what to do.
smitcat
Posts: 7631
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by smitcat »

Exchme wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 10:49 am I've tried several and they have strengths and weaknesses. Been meaning to write up something, so here goes-

FireCalc is very quick and easy, aimed at people not comfortable with the tax laws and spreadsheets. It will give you a general idea of whether you have enough to retire by doing historical simulations with your starting assets, withdrawals, SS income. For people that only want to answer that question, it may be enough. It does nothing for taxes, you have to estimate that as part of your expenses. So if your assets go up over time, you cannot believe the answer (other than to figure you are OK for retirement) as your taxes assuredly would go up over time as well and the increase is not counted.

i-ORP doesn't require much more input than FireCalc but does make a decent estimate of taxes and can make an estimate of Roth conversions. No historical or Monte Carlo features, it just uses your inputs of rates of return and inflation. It is a little quirky in that it spends down your assets, so if you have more assets than your expected spending will consume, you have to enter the desired estate value and the program calculates the spending allowable for that. It misses some features of the tax code that were important to me, so I moved on.

I keep meaning to play with this site's Total Portfolio Allocation and Withdrawal Simulator spreadsheet. It is a variable withdrawal method, has historical data and other sensitivities for simulations and can handle varying cash flows, but it seems to require the user to spend a lot of effort to get all their different cash flows worked out, so I've only glanced at it.

This site's Retiree Portfolio Model is a spreadsheet and like i-ORP you enter your account balances and expected returns, though there is a companion Monte Carlo sheet too. RPM has excellent flexibility and can handle inherited IRAs, QCDs, state income taxes, does a pretty good job on most aspects of federal income tax including NIIT and IRMAA. You can enter Roth conversions and it compares before and after values, so with multiple iterations, you can be used to make a very rough Roth conversion plan.

I say RPM gives only a very rough Roth conversion plan as there are a lot of complicating factors that RPM doesn't really address. The easiest to address is if you are interested in the impact of your Roth conversion on your heirs' taxes, you could change the RMD Factor on the Results page to 1.0 (cell Results!n181) so that it will show you the entire tax benefit to your heirs of your conversions.

Other issues with Roth conversions are not so simple. If you could have gotten ACA subsidies prior to Medicare by keeping your income low, that competes with Roth conversion opportunities and is outside the scope of the RPM program.

Also, it's generally recommended to keep bonds in tax deferred to slow that account growth and stocks in Roth so your growth happens after tax. However, in order to do a valid Roth conversion study, you have to keep the asset allocation in all the accounts the same or the program will mix the benefit of higher stock allocations that it sees in the Roth with the tax benefit of Roth conversions. Overall asset allocation will increase over time in a way you didn't intend and that increase in stocks gets gets all mixed in with the benefit of doing conversions, over predicting the right amount of Roth conversions.

But setting the asset allocation in all your accounts at the initial average overall value when you intend to put stocks in Roth and bonds in tax deferred will inherently over predict the growth of tax deferred and so also over predict the right amount of Roth conversions to do. In order to fix that, you would have to do something like one user did and link a bunch of RPM spreadsheets together, each with a different asset allocation, taking the output of one as the input to the next - talk about a lot of work! This issue applies to all the programs, except for one feature in Pralana Gold that may work around it.

I bought Pralana Gold for $99 (I think $49 annual renewal) to try to improve my Roth planning and it is by far the most complete and powerful of the ones I've tried. It handles more of the tax code including all the things RPM can handle plus AMT, phaseout of deductions, existing long term capital gains, after tax portions of IRAs and more. It has tons of features I've never even investigated like historical, Monte Carlo, bear market analysis, many withdrawal methods like consumption smoothing, actuarial, Guyton-Klinger, constant %, etc. It has a built in Social Security claim date optimizer that may give different answers than the opensocialsecurity tool since Pralana Gold customizes it for your tax situation.

Pralana Gold somewhat addresses the tax impact of Roth conversions on heirs by applying the average tax burden you had over your life to the remaining tax deferred balance at your death, and reports that as "Effective $" on the "Analysis" menu, "Sensitivity Studies" page. If you don't think that's the right tax rate for your heirs, the program reports the values in the accounts, so you could apply your own estimate of your heirs' tax rate (outside the program, it's all protected, you can't make any changes except in input areas).

Pralana Gold tries to do the Roth conversions you specify in the best manner possible. You can set IRMAA tier limits and tax bracket limits and it will stay within those. If you give impossible requirements (huge conversion and low tax bracket), it will put the error as a conversion at the end of life so you can see the problem. In our case, my wife has some after tax contributions in her traditional IRA and Pralana can handle that, optimizing when to take hers vs. mine or I can direct it. That's all beyond the scope of the other programs.

Pralana Gold handles the ACA situation better, in our case recommending a large Roth conversion this year while we are on COBRA and then a two year hiatus from Roth conversions to drop our income and get ACA subsidies. I was very surprised by this result and always love it when programs surprise me with a potentially good idea.

A previous poster in this thread mentioned the "Roth Conversion optimizer" feature, which tests conversions every 5% of the initial account value and reports the highest "Effective $" one. That is more automated than most programs; however, due to the varying asset allocation issue discussed above, I can't say that it's actually going to hit the target.

The feature that Pralana Gold has that can work around the changing asset allocation issue is you can adjust your asset allocation up to four times over the years. It reports your overall asset allocation each year and you can use the adjustments to get numerically close to the desired case with stocks in Roth and bonds in tax deferred. I adjusted allocations every 5-7 years, starting say a couple % below my target stock allocation and letting it creep up to a couple percent above and then adjusting the stocks/bond allocation in tax deferred down so the overall stock % is below target again and letting it rise for the next time period. Lots of manual tweaking flipping back and forth between screens but at least it can be done with some persistence.

So Pralana Gold is close enough to be useful, but I should point out for the real math nerds that it's still not quite right. Whatever is in your tax deferred account isn't all yours, effectively some of it belongs to the government, but the program can't really know what fraction that will be, so it skips that bit. So your effective asset allocation to stocks rises over time as you substitute stocks for bonds in tax deferred and that skew is not included in the asset allocation that the program reports. From other tests, I think this skew is an order of magnitude smaller than the effect of doing the Roth conversion, but it may muddy the water on exactly what the best Roth conversion plan is.

The good news is tax writers are not dumb and for my case, the effect of Roth conversions hit a broad, flat peak. The benefit rose strongly to about 30% of the original account converted as the low hanging fruit is to get rid of the highest tax bracket years (especially after one of us passes) by filling up the low tax bracket years. After 30% converted, the increase slowed, hitting a broad, flat peak between 40% and 60% converted. The benefit then reduced slightly at higher conversion amounts, though I could be talked into that reduction being an artifact of the heir tax bracket assumption or the remaining asset allocation skew. Since there are so many variables that affect the calculations (age, account balances, return assumptions, SS, heir tax brackets, etc.), others will find different answers and of course life will happen that will materially change things in a completely unknowable way. But I do like to have the principles in mind and a general idea of where the target is.
"No historical or Monte Carlo features, it just uses your inputs of rates of return and inflation."
IORP does have Monte Carlo and a '3 PEAT" option at the bottom of the input page.
iamblessed
Posts: 1016
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:52 am
Location: St. Louis

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by iamblessed »

Mr. Rumples wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 6:12 am I've used this:

https://www.mycalculators.com/ca/retcalc2m.html

Its pretty simple but doesn't of course offer various assumptions and outcomes; its just the math, but coupled with others, works for me.
Do any other calculators give yearly spending like this one?
chassis
Posts: 374
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:28 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by chassis »

Thanks to this thread I have discovered and am now playing with Pralana bronze. It's nice, and nearly equivalent in my view to the portfolio success Monte Carlo tool on portfoliovisualizer.
mrb09
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:02 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by mrb09 »

Another happy Pralana Gold user. It does a nice job with Fed/State taxes, and I really like the historical simulations in addition to Monte Carlo.
esteen
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by esteen »

Portfolio Visualizer's Monte Carlo --> Financial Goals tool (much better than the normal Monte Carlo Simulation tool).

I like this the best because it's free, easy to use and access from anywhere, and importantly supports multi-stage accumulation and deaccumulation periods (i.e. saving at different rates throughout your accumulation due to changing life circumstances). To me this is a hard feature to find in most online retirement calculators, but is crucial for my personal plan.

It used to be even better before the save feature was behind a paywall, but I get it, got to make money somehow.
esteen
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by esteen »

Forgot to mention: In addition to portfolio visualizer I also have my own Excel spreadsheets with my personal tax projections, detailed budget forecasts, and other things that don't fit well into a calculator.
smitcat
Posts: 7631
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by smitcat »

iamblessed wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 6:04 pm
Mr. Rumples wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 6:12 am I've used this:

https://www.mycalculators.com/ca/retcalc2m.html

Its pretty simple but doesn't of course offer various assumptions and outcomes; its just the math, but coupled with others, works for me.
Do any other calculators give yearly spending like this one?
Many do - IORP would be one of them.
is50xenough
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by is50xenough »

SnowBog wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:41 pm
cbeck wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:20 pm
celia wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:10 pm Excel spreadsheets and tax software.

I know of no “retirement calculators” that take planning of Roth conversions into account and does a good job of it. So if you have a large amount in tax-deferred accounts, this is a DIY project.
I did plan my Roth conversions with Esplanner, but it required a workaround that was a little complicated.
Pralana Gold I think does a decent job with their "optimize" option for Roths. (But its basically a paid Excel template for what its worth!) IMHO very easy to use, probably the best I've seen for Roth conversions.
Does Pralana Gold use current tax rates after 2025 or those scheduled to return?
is50xenough
Posts: 211
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:37 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by is50xenough »

Exchme wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 10:49 am I've tried several and they have strengths and weaknesses. Been meaning to write up something, so here goes-

FireCalc is very quick and easy, aimed at people not comfortable with the tax laws and spreadsheets. It will give you a general idea of whether you have enough to retire by doing historical simulations with your starting assets, withdrawals, SS income. For people that only want to answer that question, it may be enough. It does nothing for taxes, you have to estimate that as part of your expenses. So if your assets go up over time, you cannot believe the answer (other than to figure you are OK for retirement) as your taxes assuredly would go up over time as well and the increase is not counted.

i-ORP doesn't require much more input than FireCalc but does make a decent estimate of taxes and can make an estimate of Roth conversions. No historical or Monte Carlo features, it just uses your inputs of rates of return and inflation. It is a little quirky in that it spends down your assets, so if you have more assets than your expected spending will consume, you have to enter the desired estate value and the program calculates the spending allowable for that. It misses some features of the tax code that were important to me, so I moved on.

I keep meaning to play with this site's Total Portfolio Allocation and Withdrawal Simulator spreadsheet. It is a variable withdrawal method, has historical data and other sensitivities for simulations and can handle varying cash flows, but it seems to require the user to spend a lot of effort to get all their different cash flows worked out, so I've only glanced at it.

This site's Retiree Portfolio Model is a spreadsheet and like i-ORP you enter your account balances and expected returns, though there is a companion Monte Carlo sheet too. RPM has excellent flexibility and can handle inherited IRAs, QCDs, state income taxes, does a pretty good job on most aspects of federal income tax including NIIT and IRMAA. You can enter Roth conversions and it compares before and after values, so with multiple iterations, you can be used to make a very rough Roth conversion plan.

I say RPM gives only a very rough Roth conversion plan as there are a lot of complicating factors that RPM doesn't really address. The easiest to address is if you are interested in the impact of your Roth conversion on your heirs' taxes, you could change the RMD Factor on the Results page to 1.0 (cell Results!n181) so that it will show you the entire tax benefit to your heirs of your conversions.

Other issues with Roth conversions are not so simple. If you could have gotten ACA subsidies prior to Medicare by keeping your income low, that competes with Roth conversion opportunities and is outside the scope of the RPM program.

Also, it's generally recommended to keep bonds in tax deferred to slow that account growth and stocks in Roth so your growth happens after tax. However, in order to do a valid Roth conversion study, you have to keep the asset allocation in all the accounts the same or the program will mix the benefit of higher stock allocations that it sees in the Roth with the tax benefit of Roth conversions. Overall asset allocation will increase over time in a way you didn't intend and that increase in stocks gets gets all mixed in with the benefit of doing conversions, over predicting the right amount of Roth conversions.

But setting the asset allocation in all your accounts at the initial average overall value when you intend to put stocks in Roth and bonds in tax deferred will inherently over predict the growth of tax deferred and so also over predict the right amount of Roth conversions to do. In order to fix that, you would have to do something like one user did and link a bunch of RPM spreadsheets together, each with a different asset allocation, taking the output of one as the input to the next - talk about a lot of work! This issue applies to all the programs, except for one feature in Pralana Gold that may work around it.

I bought Pralana Gold for $99 (I think $49 annual renewal) to try to improve my Roth planning and it is by far the most complete and powerful of the ones I've tried. It handles more of the tax code including all the things RPM can handle plus AMT, phaseout of deductions, existing long term capital gains, after tax portions of IRAs and more. It has tons of features I've never even investigated like historical, Monte Carlo, bear market analysis, many withdrawal methods like consumption smoothing, actuarial, Guyton-Klinger, constant %, etc. It has a built in Social Security claim date optimizer that may give different answers than the opensocialsecurity tool since Pralana Gold customizes it for your tax situation.

Pralana Gold somewhat addresses the tax impact of Roth conversions on heirs by applying the average tax burden you had over your life to the remaining tax deferred balance at your death, and reports that as "Effective $" on the "Analysis" menu, "Sensitivity Studies" page. If you don't think that's the right tax rate for your heirs, the program reports the values in the accounts, so you could apply your own estimate of your heirs' tax rate (outside the program, it's all protected, you can't make any changes except in input areas).

Pralana Gold tries to do the Roth conversions you specify in the best manner possible. You can set IRMAA tier limits and tax bracket limits and it will stay within those. If you give impossible requirements (huge conversion and low tax bracket), it will put the error as a conversion at the end of life so you can see the problem. In our case, my wife has some after tax contributions in her traditional IRA and Pralana can handle that, optimizing when to take hers vs. mine or I can direct it. That's all beyond the scope of the other programs.

Pralana Gold handles the ACA situation better, in our case recommending a large Roth conversion this year while we are on COBRA and then a two year hiatus from Roth conversions to drop our income and get ACA subsidies. I was very surprised by this result and always love it when programs surprise me with a potentially good idea.

A previous poster in this thread mentioned the "Roth Conversion optimizer" feature, which tests conversions every 5% of the initial account value and reports the highest "Effective $" one. That is more automated than most programs; however, due to the varying asset allocation issue discussed above, I can't say that it's actually going to hit the target.

The feature that Pralana Gold has that can work around the changing asset allocation issue is you can adjust your asset allocation up to four times over the years. It reports your overall asset allocation each year and you can use the adjustments to get numerically close to the desired case with stocks in Roth and bonds in tax deferred. I adjusted allocations every 5-7 years, starting say a couple % below my target stock allocation and letting it creep up to a couple percent above and then adjusting the stocks/bond allocation in tax deferred down so the overall stock % is below target again and letting it rise for the next time period. Lots of manual tweaking flipping back and forth between screens but at least it can be done with some persistence.

So Pralana Gold is close enough to be useful, but I should point out for the real math nerds that it's still not quite right. Whatever is in your tax deferred account isn't all yours, effectively some of it belongs to the government, but the program can't really know what fraction that will be, so it skips that bit. So your effective asset allocation to stocks rises over time as you substitute stocks for bonds in tax deferred and that skew is not included in the asset allocation that the program reports. From other tests, I think this skew is an order of magnitude smaller than the effect of doing the Roth conversion, but it may muddy the water on exactly what the best Roth conversion plan is.

The good news is tax writers are not dumb and for my case, the effect of Roth conversions hit a broad, flat peak. The benefit rose strongly to about 30% of the original account converted as the low hanging fruit is to get rid of the highest tax bracket years (especially after one of us passes) by filling up the low tax bracket years. After 30% converted, the increase slowed, hitting a broad, flat peak between 40% and 60% converted. The benefit then reduced slightly at higher conversion amounts, though I could be talked into that reduction being an artifact of the heir tax bracket assumption or the remaining asset allocation skew. Since there are so many variables that affect the calculations (age, account balances, return assumptions, SS, heir tax brackets, etc.), others will find different answers and of course life will happen that will materially change things in a completely unknowable way. But I do like to have the principles in mind and a general idea of where the target is.
Thanks for this extensive review and info on Pralana Gold for Roth conversions. What tax rate does the program use after 2025 and can you change the choice?
Exchme
Posts: 363
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Exchme »

is50xenough wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 9:45 am What tax rate does the program use after 2025 and can you change the choice?
In Pralana Gold, you enter the year you expect the tax rates to revert to pre TCJA levels or leave blank if you think they will stay put.

Other features I didn't mention as they weren't interesting to me but that others may like are term and cash value life insurance, property, rentals, loans, college expenses, 529s, HSAs. If you love to dive into details, I haven't seen anything else that is nearly as complete and it's laid out with good clear menus so you can find what you want.

Financial institutions may have more powerful tools, but for the consumer market, I think Pralana Gold's power is pretty remarkable.
is50xenough
Posts: 211
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by is50xenough »

Exchme wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:19 am
is50xenough wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 9:45 am What tax rate does the program use after 2025 and can you change the choice?
In Pralana Gold, you enter the year you expect the tax rates to revert to pre TCJA levels or leave blank if you think they will stay put.

Other features I didn't mention as they weren't interesting to me but that others may like are term and cash value life insurance, property, rentals, loans, college expenses, 529s, HSAs. If you love to dive into details, I haven't seen anything else that is nearly as complete and it's laid out with good clear menus so you can find what you want.

Financial institutions may have more powerful tools, but for the consumer market, I think Pralana Gold's power is pretty remarkable.
Thanks Exchme! I know you have been looking at Roth conversions in depth so your positive comments about Pralana Gold says a lot.
SnowBog
Posts: 1278
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by SnowBog »

is50xenough wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:05 am
Exchme wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:19 am
is50xenough wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 9:45 am What tax rate does the program use after 2025 and can you change the choice?
In Pralana Gold, you enter the year you expect the tax rates to revert to pre TCJA levels or leave blank if you think they will stay put.

Other features I didn't mention as they weren't interesting to me but that others may like are term and cash value life insurance, property, rentals, loans, college expenses, 529s, HSAs. If you love to dive into details, I haven't seen anything else that is nearly as complete and it's laid out with good clear menus so you can find what you want.

Financial institutions may have more powerful tools, but for the consumer market, I think Pralana Gold's power is pretty remarkable.
Thanks Exchme! I know you have been looking at Roth conversions in depth so your positive comments about Pralana Gold says a lot.
I agree that Pralana has been the best tool I've found so far for Roth conversions.

And I should add that we are looking at retiring in our early 50's and doing Roth conversions for several years lowering our RMDs, but that also means we have lots of flexibility in how we do them.

One of the things that initially surprised me, but now makes perfect sense, is for the most part the "optimized" recommendation is basically to normalize your tax rates throughout retirement.

For example, if we don't do Roth conversions, we could potentially be paying 0% federal tax during early retirement (and potentially getting ACA subsidy as well). But when our RMDs kick in, and especially after one of us dies, the survivor is pretty much guaranteed to be in the highest tax bracket. (And since we have a "progressive" tax system, you pay a lot more as you move up the brackets.)

Alternatively, the "optimal" route is often keeping the tax rate fairly consistent throughout retirement. So if we could be in the say 12/15% bracket during early retirement and remain in that bracket when pensions/SS/RMDs kick in, we'll likely pay substantially less tax over our retirement.

So "minimally" the oft cited recommendations of doing Roth conversions up "to the top" of whatever tax bracket you would otherwise be in makes sense. (With the caveat that you need to look at ACA, 0% LTCG, etc. and understand the tradeoffs.). Then it becomes a question of if - and if so how much - to convert into the next tax bracket (or maybe beyond depending on your circumstances).

The other consideration, which I don't think these tools do for you, is deciding if you want to maintain some tax-deferred assets. Let's say the "optimal" path is to convert 100% to Roth, that may not be the best... I've seen recommendations of keeping say $100 - 200k+ or so in tax-deferred for likely "medical" costs (such as long term care, etc.). The idea being if you converted 100% to Roth, and then are hit by a large deductible medical cost, you might want funds in a tax-deferred account to withdraw as that might end up being a [mostly] tax-free withdrawal (offset by medical deduction).
Exchme
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Exchme »

SnowBog wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:21 pm Alternatively, the "optimal" route is often keeping the tax rate fairly consistent throughout retirement. So if we could be in the say 12/15% bracket during early retirement and remain in that bracket when pensions/SS/RMDs kick in, we'll likely pay substantially less tax over our retirement.

So "minimally" the oft cited recommendations of doing Roth conversions up "to the top" of whatever tax bracket you would otherwise be in makes sense. (With the caveat that you need to look at ACA, 0% LTCG, etc. and understand the tradeoffs.). Then it becomes a question of if - and if so how much - to convert into the next tax bracket (or maybe beyond depending on your circumstances).

The other consideration, which I don't think these tools do for you, is deciding if you want to maintain some tax-deferred assets. Let's say the "optimal" path is to convert 100% to Roth, that may not be the best... I've seen recommendations of keeping say $100 - 200k+ or so in tax-deferred for likely "medical" costs (such as long term care, etc.). The idea being if you converted 100% to Roth, and then are hit by a large deductible medical cost, you might want funds in a tax-deferred account to withdraw as that might end up being a [mostly] tax-free withdrawal (offset by medical deduction).
Agreed, since the tax code is convex ("progressive"), the best you can do is keep the marginal tax on the Roth conversions/RMDs constant. In my case, the improvement in estate value came mostly from the first conversions that knocked down the biggest differences. Each successive converted $ is playing against smaller differences so it's not surprising that it plateaus. You also have to think about your heirs' tax brackets and try to match theirs too. Plus of course the tax bracket shift when one spouse passes.

Yep, you often don't want to convert everything. You can only do QCDs out of tax deferred, markets could go down after you've paid taxes, your heirs could have a financial setback so their tax bracket will be lower than you thought. The tools can't take risk management decisions like reserving something for medical costs into account, but RPM is completely manual in how much Roth Conversion to do and Pralana Gold allows you to set the total percentage of the original account to convert, so you can use your judgment. In my own case, I know what my kids do for a living so have at least a wild guess at the tax impact on them, so that's part of my thinking.
Exchme
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Exchme »

is50xenough wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:05 am
Exchme wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:19 am
is50xenough wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 9:45 am What tax rate does the program use after 2025 and can you change the choice?
In Pralana Gold, you enter the year you expect the tax rates to revert to pre TCJA levels or leave blank if you think they will stay put.

Other features I didn't mention as they weren't interesting to me but that others may like are term and cash value life insurance, property, rentals, loans, college expenses, 529s, HSAs. If you love to dive into details, I haven't seen anything else that is nearly as complete and it's laid out with good clear menus so you can find what you want.

Financial institutions may have more powerful tools, but for the consumer market, I think Pralana Gold's power is pretty remarkable.
Thanks Exchme! I know you have been looking at Roth conversions in depth so your positive comments about Pralana Gold says a lot.
I was surprised at the complexity needed in the tools to be able to do these analyses, certainly whenever the Pros here weigh in they teach me something. The vast majority of people that are considering Roth conversions are probably not calculating what they think they are calculating. Hopefully the conclusion I found for my case - that sort-of-close is good enough - is fairly general. But the parameter space is so large (tax deferred balance, life spans, other income & timing like SS & pension, filing status, heir tax bracket, ACA subsidy qualification, future return & tax assumptions, etc.) that who knows!
HoosierJim
Posts: 894
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:11 pm

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by HoosierJim »

If you want to find out more about the retirement calculator https://calculator.ficalc.app/ - we have the developer setup for a virtual meeting - all are invited.



Short notice - Wednesday May 5 - 7 pm central. The developer of the product FICALC has graciously agreed to demonstrate the product and participate in a Q & A session on WEDNESDAY May 5 at 7 pm Central time. Great way to get any of your questions answered.

You can try out the product here https://calculator.ficalc.app/


Wednesday May 5 at
5 pm Pacific
6 pm Mountain
7 pm Central
8 pm Eastern


The zoom link is in the upcoming events here. in the 5/5 entry - note those times on the calendar are EASTERN - you can add it to your calendar (and it will correct for your time zone by clicking COPY TO MY CALENDAR) There is also a google calendar link that you can add to your calendar so all Boglehead events will appear on your calendar.

Image

If you would like to attend the Zoom meeting please contact me via email at chicagovirtualbogleheads@gmail.com or Private Message me with your EMAIL or join your local chapter (local chapter coordinators will be distributing the invitation)

You can find the local chapters here.

You can also find a calendar of upcoming events here.
daacrusher2001
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:42 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by daacrusher2001 »

Some good calcs in here that I hadn't seen before...I built my own to model higher spend in the "go go" years - mostly plan to travel.

Is there one y'all know about that provides that type of modeling...ya know, spending more in the first 10 retirement years, less in the next 10, even less in the remaining years?
User avatar
SmileyFace
Posts: 6401
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by SmileyFace »

Kenkat wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:34 am If you have assets at Fidelity, I really liked their Retirement Planner app:

https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-planning/overview

I liked the level of detail data it allows you to enter as well as the guidance to be sure you are considering all sources of income and expenses.
+1. I have yet to find tools or calculators as comprehensive as Fidelity’s retirement planner. It gives you a good report online but if you export to PDF you get even more details on all the underlining assumptions (sources of withdrawals, etc).
StealthRabbit
Posts: 539
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:25 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by StealthRabbit »

I asked Fidelity to activate eMoney. It is quite comprehensive and I wrote a plan per decade with scenarios of changing needs and cash flows and sources of income and allocations.
backpacker61
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by backpacker61 »

SmileyFace wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:40 am
Kenkat wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:34 am If you have assets at Fidelity, I really liked their Retirement Planner app:

https://www.fidelity.com/retirement-planning/overview

I liked the level of detail data it allows you to enter as well as the guidance to be sure you are considering all sources of income and expenses.
+1. I have yet to find tools or calculators as comprehensive as Fidelity’s retirement planner. It gives you a good report online but if you export to PDF you get even more details on all the underlining assumptions (sources of withdrawals, etc).
+2. My employer's 401K is at Fidelity, and I like their retirement planner very well. For a quick "seat of the pants" check (and second opinion), I like the 'Nest Egg Calculator' at Vanguard.

https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VG ... ggCalc.jsf
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
smitcat
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by smitcat »

daacrusher2001 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:09 am Some good calcs in here that I hadn't seen before...I built my own to model higher spend in the "go go" years - mostly plan to travel.

Is there one y'all know about that provides that type of modeling...ya know, spending more in the first 10 retirement years, less in the next 10, even less in the remaining years?
"spending more in the first 10 retirement years, less in the next 10, even less in the remaining years?"
IORP will do that....
Find the retirement spending options drop down and choose the 'lifecyle spending' option.
dcabler
Posts: 1844
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by dcabler »

More calculators than I've ever heard of. I'll add them to the plethora of ones I used for rough order checking.

Everybody's situation is different, but one issue I find with many of these calculators is an assumption that somebody is using an SWR type of withdrawal method and attempting to keep their (real) withdrawals more or less constant and pre-determined at the outset of retirement. If one is using a PMT based withdrawal method such as VPW/ABW then they're not as useful. Or one has to figure out a way to accomodate a wider disperal of annual withdrawals and remaining portfolio with these tools.

Cheers.
mr_brightside
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by mr_brightside »

Metsfan91 wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 11:44 am For all types of calculators, I turn to dinkytown.net
agree

any financial success i have enjoyed has been assisted by their calculators going back 15+ years

--------------------------------------
mrb09
Posts: 319
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by mrb09 »

daacrusher2001 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:09 am Some good calcs in here that I hadn't seen before...I built my own to model higher spend in the "go go" years - mostly plan to travel.

Is there one y'all know about that provides that type of modeling...ya know, spending more in the first 10 retirement years, less in the next 10, even less in the remaining years?
Quite a few support "extra spending" for a set period of years. I put in extra travel money for my first 10 years (65-74), and then just use base income after that. I've done that with Pralana Gold, FRP and ESPlanner.
LateFire
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by LateFire »

Dunning-Kruger cognitive test: People think they are more capable than they really are. Sufferers don't know how much they don't know, and the most ignorant are the most confident.
Tattarrattat
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Tattarrattat »

Doing some planning a couple of years ahead of retirement. I have tried most of these planners. The results do seem to converge. I have a basic question about the inputs. They all ask for estimated expenses. My actual expenses seem easy enough, just pull them out of the checkbook. I usually throw in 20kin as an estimate for pre-medicare health care, for 2 people, but I'm not sure what to do for taxes. If I expect that with passive income and Roth conversions that I'll end up filling the 24% marginal bracket, do I just estimate 20% of the top income of that bracket as an effective rate and use that for the budget? Is there a guideline that links the marginal bracket with a reasonable estimate of effective tax? I'm not looking to put in all my specific inputs, I figure I will do that when the time actually comes, just looking for a rough back of the envelope number that can go into making up the estimated "expense" input. Thanks.
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Mlm
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Re: What is your favorite retirement calculator?

Post by Mlm »

Tattarrattat wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:47 pm Doing some planning a couple of years ahead of retirement. I have tried most of these planners. The results do seem to converge. I have a basic question about the inputs. They all ask for estimated expenses. My actual expenses seem easy enough, just pull them out of the checkbook. I usually throw in 20kin as an estimate for pre-medicare health care, for 2 people, but I'm not sure what to do for taxes. If I expect that with passive income and Roth conversions that I'll end up filling the 24% marginal bracket, do I just estimate 20% of the top income of that bracket as an effective rate and use that for the budget? Is there a guideline that links the marginal bracket with a reasonable estimate of effective tax? I'm not looking to put in all my specific inputs, I figure I will do that when the time actually comes, just looking for a rough back of the envelope number that can go into making up the estimated "expense" input. Thanks.
I like to use https://www.dinkytown.net/v3/999160/Tax1040.html to play around with tax projections
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