Best fine grained retirement calculator

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gbronc
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Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by gbronc » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:15 pm

I am always surprised the Pralana Gold calculator (https://pralanaretirementcalculator.com ... _gold.html) is not mentioned more on this forum. I have extensively trialed or actively use at least 10 calculators (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Retirem ... d_spending) over the last 6 or 7 years modeling my potential retirement. It’s really hard to beat if you care about fine grain retirement planning. The paid Gold version is $99 and a good bit of work to enter the data, but well worth it for the peace of mind and the information it gives you for planning. I haven’t used the free Bronze version in a long time, so I can’t compare it.

It pretty much allows you to model every scenario and variable that might affect your retirement. One excellent feature for me was modeling your retirement tax bracket for both marginal and effective tax rates. This makes it easier to understand whether you should do Roth or Traditional 401k/IRA contributions pre-retirement. Retirement taxes were an eye opener for me. They are easy to underestimate. This calculator will be invaluable throughout retirement.

Unfortunately the old school website and the Excel requirement make it seem dated, but they are very actively and accurately updating the product to handle tax and other changes that are happening constantly. I haven’t found the other calculators are updated as frequently or as accurately. Support questions are always answered quickly.

I can't say enough about this product. I receive no compensation for this post and I pay full price each year to upgrade it and will continue to do so to support them. My selfish hope is that with additional customer support they will continue to maintain it at the current levels.

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Watty
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by Watty » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:47 pm

gbronc wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:15 pm
It’s really hard to beat if you care about fine grain retirement planning.
You need to be careful since there are so many variables and unknowns that the margin of error is so large that and detailed expectations could be very misleading

livesoft
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:51 pm

Now if all calculators also output their margin of error, then that would be wonderful. And if one plotted their results with error bars showing those margin of errors would they all overlap to a large degree?
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gbronc
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by gbronc » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:58 pm

Watty wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:47 pm
You need to be careful since there are so many variables and unknowns that the margin of error is so large that and detailed expectations could be very misleading
Exactly. That is the beauty of this calculator. They let you model multiple scenarios side by side tweaking any and every variable to see how it can affect the retirement outcomes and it can be dramatically different depending on inputs. No calculator is perfect and you get out what you put in. But you can certainly do a much better analysis when you model many variables. I do understand that many, if not most, would find the effort not worth it given the number of potential variables. I personally wouldn't want to make life altering retirement decisions by using a rudimentary calculator or just asking people on a forum.

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vineviz
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by vineviz » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:42 pm

gbronc wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:58 pm
But you can certainly do a much better analysis when you model many variables.
I think many data analysts and statisticians would take the opposite view. Parsimony is a virtue in this field.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

mhalley
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by mhalley » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:05 pm

I think Darrow Kirkpatrick has reviewed it positively.here are a bunch of other ones at his site.
https://www.caniretireyet.com/the-best- ... lculators/
And he lists it among his favorites here
https://www.caniretireyet.com/my-favori ... lculators/

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Flobes
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by Flobes » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:36 pm

gbronc wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:15 pm
It pretty much allows you to model every scenario and variable that might affect your retirement.
Does it include Inherited IRAs? Does it include WEP variables for SS timing?

I''ve paddling with both in my canoe, and none of the retirement calculators I've tried include both in modelings.

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gbronc
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by gbronc » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:33 pm

Flobes wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:36 pm
gbronc wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:15 pm
It pretty much allows you to model every scenario and variable that might affect your retirement.
Does it include Inherited IRAs? Does it include WEP variables for SS timing?

I''ve paddling with both in my canoe, and none of the retirement calculators I've tried include both in modelings.
I don't use either of those features. But I do see Inherited IRAs broken out so I assume it is handled. I don't see anything on WEP variables for SS, but that doesn't mean it is not in there. The doc on the product is here: https://pralanaretirementcalculator.com ... upport.php. Not sure if everyone can download it.

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gbronc
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by gbronc » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:36 pm

mhalley wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:05 pm
I think Darrow Kirkpatrick has reviewed it positively.here are a bunch of other ones at his site.
https://www.caniretireyet.com/the-best- ... lculators/
And he lists it among his favorites here
https://www.caniretireyet.com/my-favori ... lculators/
That review was actually the main reason I investigated it in the first place. Pralana seems to be discussed far less than other calculators and I've never completely understood why since the reviews from sites like caniretireyet are so favorable. I believe Darrow actually partnered with Pralana to create a mobile version. I have not tried that product.

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David Jay
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by David Jay » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:24 pm

vineviz wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:42 pm
gbronc wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:58 pm
But you can certainly do a much better analysis when you model many variables.
I think many data analysts and statisticians would take the opposite view. Parsimony is a virtue in this field.
Yea, I found this when “played with” my total portfolio return. Up 1% and It looks like I need a charitable trust to give it all away. Down 1% and we go from the kids getting a big inheritance to spending most of the portfolio on living expenses.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

StealthRabbit
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by StealthRabbit » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:52 am

Been playing with Fidelity eMoney (Need to request access to get it added to your Fidelity profile)

It is pretty handy with different income streams / time periods / and scenarios (investment properties / inheritance / ).

BUT It does not change your filing status to Filing single when the first spouse dies (That would be handy since it is very likely)

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JPH
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by JPH » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:44 am

Fine grained retirement calculator? It sounds almost oxymoronic to me. I'd be afraid this could give one a very false sense of comfort or fear. I look for the broadest range of possible outcomes in my planning.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

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tfb
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by tfb » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:58 am

StealthRabbit wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:52 am
Been playing with Fidelity eMoney (Need to request access to get it added to your Fidelity profile)
Do you have be a wealth management client to get this?
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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gbronc
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by gbronc » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:58 pm

StealthRabbit wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:52 am
Been playing with Fidelity eMoney (Need to request access to get it added to your Fidelity profile)

It is pretty handy with different income streams / time periods / and scenarios (investment properties / inheritance / ).

BUT It does not change your filing status to Filing single when the first spouse dies (That would be handy since it is very likely)
I am a Fidelity Private Client customer and would love to try that tool. I called Fidelity and they said they couldn't grant access over the phone. He said you need to go to a Fidelity Branch and have a Financial Adviser at the branch grant you access. Theoretically you could then just use it on your own independently. I certainly don't want to bother working with a Fidelity financial adviser.

Would be curious if anyone has a different experience getting access.

kmurp
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by kmurp » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 am

StealthRabbit wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:52 am
Been playing with Fidelity eMoney (Need to request access to get it added to your Fidelity profile)

It is pretty handy with different income streams / time periods / and scenarios (investment properties / inheritance / ).

BUT It does not change your filing status to Filing single when the first spouse dies (That would be handy since it is very likely)
How did you gain access at fidelity to this tool?

Admiral
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Re: Best fine grained retirement calculator

Post by Admiral » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:20 am

RPM does it all, it was created by Bigfoot (a Boglehead forum member) and it's free. Requires a spreadsheet application.

I also like Flexible Retirement Planner.

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