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Old 03-28-2014, 12:55 PM   #41
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Back in the day I used early versions of Quicken Financial Planner, then a MC simulator. Mostly my own spreadsheets, which grew increasing complex as I wrestled with all the variables involved in these financial projections.

Eventually I concluded that my effort to model did not lead to any meaningful insights or change in strategy, so I gave it up. In the early to mid accumulation phase saving dominated my priorities, no tools or simulators were needed for that. In the late accumulation and withdrawal phases I am focused on portfolio survival and budget management. For portfolio survival I much prefer the simplicity of FIRECalc. What will help me is not more precision or greater detail but how I respond to the ever evolving economy and investment world.

I can see the value of a tool that would assist someone in efficiently allocating assets across taxable and tax deferred accounts, then analyzing withdrawal schemes to determine impact on portfolio survivability.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:08 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
... What will help me is not more precision or greater detail but how I respond to the ever evolving economy and investment world. ...
Well stated.

Plus we mustn't forget to have fun along the way.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:17 PM   #43
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I can see the value of a tool that would assist someone in efficiently allocating assets across taxable and tax deferred accounts, then analyzing withdrawal schemes to determine impact on portfolio survivability.
That sounds like ORP to me. Only I'm not too crazy about its focus on moving all money out of tax deferred into tax free as quickly as possible.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:54 PM   #44
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That sounds like ORP to me. Only I'm not too crazy about its focus on moving all money out of tax deferred into tax free as quickly as possible.
And I wish it had an "output in today's dollars" option.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:09 PM   #45
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That sounds like ORP to me. Only I'm not too crazy about its focus on moving all money out of tax deferred into tax free as quickly as possible.
I can't wait to get started moving that money over to the tax-free Roth. In the end it should be a significant savings. At least that's what all the calculators are saying.

Also, fortunately our tax situations allows us to move about 25K over annually without impacting our annual tax amount.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:55 AM   #46
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I can't wait to get started moving that money over to the tax-free Roth. In the end it should be a significant savings. At least that's what all the calculators are saying.

Also, fortunately our tax situations allows us to move about 25K over annually without impacting our annual tax amount.
Yes, it is different for everyone. Unfortunately, all my money is in tax deferred accounts. Most of what I will live on will come from pension and SS. That means I would have to take enough out to pay the taxes as well. I think for my situation it would be better to wait until I have taken some RMDs before moving money early. I also will leave some funds to charity so there is no need to move that money prior to RMD.
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:10 AM   #47
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Otar's retirement optimizer otar retirement calculator
...
I gave this a quick look, because I'd never tried it before. My quick impressions:

  • There is a trial available for free, but you need to purchase it to get it to work fully (trial locked on age 55).
  • You need to execute an email loop to get the trial version.
  • You MUST have Excel 2007 or newer. I couldn't get it the trial to work under Open Office.
  • It uses the same principle as FIRECalc (uses actual historical returns from equities and bonds).
  • Some of your bond portfolio may be entered as inflation protected.
  • The PDF that gets unpacked when you install is pretty good reading, even if you don't get the program to work.
  • The uninstall does not work without Excel 2007, so I just deleted the folder (not sure how clean that was).
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:20 PM   #48
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I have always used Fidelity RIP and Firecala. I don't make excel spread sheets (I don't) like Excel. I use the plain old pen and paper to make a budget etc. On line calculators tell me what my money etc will be worth in the future. I know my budget inside and out and am looking forward to my husband finally retiring in June of this year! Yipee!
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