Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Best calculator for early retirement projections
Old 02-08-2019, 07:08 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 12
Best calculator for early retirement projections

Hi all,


What retirement calculator do you recommend for inputting current expenses and assets, and projecting when I will be able to retire? I am looking for one that:

- Has results which are easy to understand
- Assumes inflation (and tells me what inflation assumptions it is using)
- Assumes taking social security
- Tells me what assumptions it uses for annual returns on stable value and equities.

I started out with the Fidelity one and spoke with a Fidelity advisor, but then I noticed that the Fidelity calculator gets negative reviews. I am looking for a second, better one (and I will compare the results to the Fidelity one.)

I do have some Vanguard accounts, so I could use their Personal Advisory Services to create a financial plan, but I believe they charge $250 for this service. Any thoughts on whether this is worth it?

Thank you!
__________________

akl432 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-08-2019, 07:14 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 2,853
Well for starters why not use the calculator associated with this site named Fire Calc?
I-ORP is another calculator used by folks on this site.
Flexible Retirement Planner is a detailed type calculator in which one can play a bit with the assumptions.
I use the Fidelity calculator too and think it provides typically more conservative results using monte carlo simulations which can be used and compared to the historical sequence based calculators.
__________________

__________________
TGIM
Dtail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 07:19 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 44,780
I'm a fan of FIRECalc, but here is a link to a comprehensive list of calculators with a description of each: The Best Retirement Calculators - Can I Retire Yet?
__________________
Numbers is hard

Charter resident of the lumpen slums of cyberspace

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 07:42 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 9,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by akl432 View Post
I do have some Vanguard accounts, so I could use their Personal Advisory Services to create a financial plan, but I believe they charge $250 for this service. Any thoughts on whether this is worth it?

Thank you!
Is that $250 a price on their web site? Can you post a link?

Vanguard does investment management. They don't pretend to answer the question about early retirement.
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
In case of power failure, I can still work a slide rule
Old 02-08-2019, 07:47 AM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
Mdlerth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: The Shire
Posts: 870
In case of power failure, I can still work a slide rule

I like FIRECalc's user-friendliness and straightforward graphics. I've also used I-ORP; a bit more complicated but it returned similar results.

I recently tried T Rowe Price's calculator and was pleased when it gave me permission to spend more than FIRECalc or I-ORP. Not that I'm likely to spend any differently no matter what, but I interpreted it as evidence that FIRECalc and I-ORP may err on the conservative, i.e. "safe", side.

BTW, all three calculators I cited are free.
__________________
Paying it forward is the best investment.
Mdlerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 07:57 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 20,619
I advocate Quicken Liifetime Planner for the base plan. QLP is included in Quicken Deluxe and higher versions. Even though it is a deterministic planner it is intuitive and covers a lot of bases. It just doesn't cover sequence of returns risk. Once one has a good base plan established, then I would stress test that plan for sequence of returns risk using FIRECalc and other stochastic tools in the link that REWahoo posted.

If you are Flagship, the Vanguard plan is free... I just had one done recently... it was worth every penny that I paid for it.

I also recently used the Fidelity planner and its results were generally consistent with other calculators that I have used.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 08:36 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
Carpediem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 543
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Once one has a good base plan established, then I would stress test that plan for sequence of returns risk using FIRECalc and other stochastic tools in the link that REWahoo posted.
Is there a particular method of testing SORR in Firecalc? For example, changing the starting date of 1871 to 2006/7?
Carpediem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 08:37 AM   #8
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
Well for starters why not use the calculator associated with this site named Fire Calc?
I-ORP is another calculator used by folks on this site.
Flexible Retirement Planner is a detailed type calculator in which one can play a bit with the assumptions.
I use these three, and really like them all. Plus I use Schwab's calculator, Quicken Lifetime Planner, and Personal Capital's tool. (Quicken Lifetime Planner is my regular go-to, as it fits into my financial management work flow.)

All of them give me similar results. You could realistically choose any two and be fine assuming they give similar results, and you go with the conservative one.

But remember, the tools are fine, they are just calulators. Good (reasonable, accurate) results depends on what you enter into them. Make conservative assumptions, and choose conservative results, and give it enough time, and you should be fine.
bushpilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 08:43 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
Is there a particular method of testing SORR in Firecalc? For example, changing the starting date of 1871 to 2006/7?

If you google "Open Source Retirement Calculator" the first result is a calculator similar to firecalc but with some differences. One of them being the way it displays the results graph. In that calculator it's easy to hover over the line representing each simulation run and see the start year and how the portfolio performed, thus its easy to examine what would happen retiring right before the great depression etc. You can't simulate retiring in 2007 though, because there are not enough subsequent years to fill a simulation that spans the length of a retirement (assuming you aren't retiring at 80 years old)
mrWinter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 08:45 AM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
Well for starters why not use the calculator associated with this site named Fire Calc?
I-ORP is another calculator used by folks on this site.
Flexible Retirement Planner is a detailed type calculator in which one can play a bit with the assumptions.
I use the Fidelity calculator too and think it provides typically more conservative results using monte carlo simulations which can be used and compared to the historical sequence based calculators.
AKL, I'm glad you posted this question. It's one I've been wondering about as well.

I've found firecalc very helpful because of the flexibility when entering spend. It let's you modulate spend over time in a way that makes sense for us, given life changes that we're expecting to occur.

Dtail, which fidelity calculator do you use? They seem to have two on their site. We are at 95% on Firecalc, 108% on the quick fidelity calculator based on 'below average' returns, but the detailed calculator gives us significantly more negative results, with the caveat that I need to make sure I'm comparing apples to apples--it's been a while since I entered data.

ETA that I really like the more detailed fidelity calculator as well. It's hard to find, but it's great at letting you enter very detailed spend data and flagging areas where you may be taking added risk or out of the norm.
tb001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 08:52 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrWinter View Post
If you google "Open Source Retirement Calculator" the first result is a calculator similar to firecalc but with some differences. One of them being the way it displays the results graph. In that calculator it's easy to hover over the line representing each simulation run and see the start year and how the portfolio performed, thus its easy to examine what would happen retiring right before the great depression etc. You can't simulate retiring in 2007 though, because there are not enough subsequent years to fill a simulation that spans the length of a retirement (assuming you aren't retiring at 80 years old)
I like this calculator a lot as well. After seeing the failures for portfolios starting in the 60s, for the first time I understood the impact of being 'too safe' in your investment strategy. Seeing visually how portfolios held up in times of major crashes and then failed in the 60s due to stagflation was huge for me.
tb001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 08:56 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 20,766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
Is there a particular method of testing SORR in Firecalc? For example, changing the starting date of 1871 to 2006/7?
The Firecalc data already includes bad sequences of returns.

You can look at some well known bad ones, 1966 for example, but that wonít change the Firecalc results, it will just show you one sequence out of many.

You canít use anything closer than 30 years or longer depending on the length of retirement you select.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 09:22 AM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 566
Flexible Retirement Planner (FRP) is my favorite as it runs on my own computer and stores my entries. So I can open it up more often to try out different ideas, or just as motivation when I want to reassure myself we're on track to retire.

However, I occasionally run my numbers through Firecalc as well to get another opinion and make sure things will go as planned.

I-Orp is often recommended but I don't care for it. For one it asks for numbers in thousands (i.e. Enter 1 for 1000) so that's a bit confusing. And for lower incomes like myself it's hard to know what to enter (i.e. how do I enter a $500 SS payment?). So, I haven't used it in a long time.
mountainsoft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 09:52 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jerry1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,697
Not sure why you didn’t like the Fidelity planner. Just because it got negative reviews? Like most here, I used more than one planning tool, but I really liked the Fidelity planner. After you’ve use some of the other tools, maybe go back and sit down with your Fidelity representative and go over your questions. To me, that was one of the benefits of the Fidelity planner - I was able to sit down with someone else and discuss it.

Make sure you use the detailed expense area of the simulator because it inflates different costs at different rates. Also, while Fidelity is more conservative, you can change it to be less conservative. I personally like the idea of knowing I’m good to go even with lower than average market returns as the base assumption.

I’ll second FireCalc. The one thing I learned that was very helpful in using it is that you can save your input data. When you run a scenario, look in the upper right hand corner for “link to this set of data”. I didn’t realize that for awhile and ended up entering my data more times than I cared to do.

The other thing I liked about FireCalc was that it introduced me to the Bernicke spending model. I think there’s a lot of truth to the model where you spend less as you age (as observed from my 88 yr old father), and FireCalc made it easy to model. Also, while I didn’t use the lower spending as you age model, knowing that is a real possibility is kind of a comfort nugget in the back of my head to keep me from worrying too much.
__________________
Ended work 9am 1/17/2018 - 56yo. Officially retired 2/1/2019.
Jerry1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 10:01 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,173
FireCalc as mentioned a zillion times, but Fidelity's is pretty powerful as well. It lets you build a budget, even gives you all the categories and then gives you an easy to understand final score. A 100 means you are right on target. Over that and you have excess, less and you need to do some work.
People diss it because you can't change inputs like inflation, but all the historic inflation numbers are already in the Monte Carlo analysis. Just because you can put a number into it, doesn't mean its correct.
COcheesehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 10:10 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
flintnational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta Suburb
Posts: 1,111
Firecalc. I use it more than any other planner. ORP is good to understand tax minimization strategies.
__________________
"Oh, twice as much ain't twice as good
And can't sustain like one half could
It's wanting more that's gonna send me to my knees" - John Mayer
flintnational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 10:14 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 20,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpediem View Post
Is there a particular method of testing SORR in Firecalc? For example, changing the starting date of 1871 to 2006/7?
Well to begin with, I would argue that Firecalc does test for SORR, but just using historical results rather than MonteCarlo.... but that said, the very last option on the Your Portfolio tab provides for a Monte Carlo analysis.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 10:14 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
FireCalc as mentioned a zillion times, but Fidelity's is pretty powerful as well. It lets you build a budget, even gives you all the categories and then gives you an easy to understand final score. A 100 means you are right on target. Over that and you have excess, less and you need to do some work.
People diss it because you can't change inputs like inflation, but all the historic inflation numbers are already in the Monte Carlo analysis. Just because you can put a number into it, doesn't mean its correct.

I agree, the full Fidelity calculator is by far my favorite.
tb001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 10:29 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Cobra9777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I advocate Quicken Liifetime Planner for the base plan. QLP is included in Quicken Deluxe and higher versions. Even though it is a deterministic planner it is intuitive and covers a lot of bases. It just doesn't cover sequence of returns risk. Once one has a good base plan established, then I would stress test that plan for sequence of returns risk using FIRECalc and other stochastic tools in the link that REWahoo posted...
I use the same basic process except I use an Excel spreadsheet instead of QLP for the deterministic plan. I like the flexibility of building my own spreadsheet to suit our specific situation and for doing what-if's and decision support. I used Excel extensively in my prior work life. I stopped using Quicken about 10 years ago. Too many bugs that never got fixed requiring workarounds.

Throughout my working years, I had various Excel spreadsheets that I used to calculate my "number." It was fairly crude, just based on 25X expenses not covered by pensions... plus some portfolio tracking. About 5 years prior to retiring, when I knew I was getting close, I greatly increased the complexity of my spreadsheets, mainly adding yearly detail after ER for everything, like expense planning, taxes, SS start date(s), withdrawal strategies, Roth conversions, RMDs, etc.

Then about a year before retiring, I found this forum and started using FIRECalc, i-ORP, and Fidelity RIP for stress testing the basic plan using actual historical data and Monte Carlo simulations. I got similar results from all three, which gave me the confidence to hang up the spurs. All three have quirks; but also certain things they do very well. Recently, I've messed around with the Personal Capital retirement planner and it's quite good as well.

I'd suggest using multiple online tools to compare results. And don't forget to build your own deterministic plan using QLP, Excel, or whatever method you're comfortable with.
__________________
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...
AA: 55% stock, 15% real estate, 27% bonds, 3% cash
WR: 2.0% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
Cobra9777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 10:50 AM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
wmc1000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Fishers
Posts: 629
I regularly used FIRECalc, i-ORP, and Fidelity RIP before retirement. Still update and use Fidelity and FIREcalc semi-regularly.



Heard about T. Rowe's Futurepath calculator on this site yesterday so I tried it today to see how it compares. After building in a SS cut as an added expense in 2034, (I like to be pessimistic in this case),



It gave me a score similar to Fidelity's calculator which I run as significantly below average for my comfort level.
__________________

wmc1000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Where the next boom will be (4th qtr. 2009 unemployment projections) Orchidflower Life after FIRE 11 01-31-2009 09:39 AM
What Overall Rate of Return do you use in your financial projections Arc FIRE and Money 45 03-26-2008 07:15 PM
Projections on FIRE chinaco FIRE and Money 2 04-24-2007 08:56 AM
Dell Laptop Price Projections TromboneAl Other topics 12 11-11-2006 03:30 PM
Bernstein's future equity return projections wildcat FIRE and Money 2 12-06-2005 10:35 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.