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Excel file or suggestion?
Old 07-07-2016, 10:55 AM   #1
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Excel file or suggestion?

I have my retirement schedule in excel with an investment tab, SS/pension details, Budget by time (I retire, He retires, full retirement with all income) and misc. items. I would like to have software or an excel file that will extrapolate based on withdrawal percentages and do more detail for budgeting. Does anyone have a suggestion or file template to share? I am using Personal Capital and have data in FireCalc (and a few others), but neither have given me just the right detail.

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Old 07-07-2016, 11:55 AM   #2
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Lawrence Kotlikoff's ESPlanner is pretty robust and will probably meet your needs. I didn't renew it after my computer crashed and I lost the software because ***** and FIDO coupled with spreadsheets are good enough for me.

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Old 07-07-2016, 01:56 PM   #3
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I just made a real simple spreadsheet today. One column for each month (only going out a few years since the real long-term stuff is handled elsewhere). The only money in this spreadsheet is after-tax. The first data row is cash on hand, then several rows, one row for normal expenses, another one for a bond that's going to mature, another one for IRA withdrawals, another one for non reoccurring expenses (I make a comment on the cell). The starting cash and net cash flows for the month become the starting cash for the next month.

That being said, if someone has a more sophisticated sheet, I'd be interested. But with others' spreadsheets, unless it's documented very well, and their situation is similar to yours, it becomes more work to adopt the spreadsheet than to design your own.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:59 PM   #4
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I created an excel file that lists each month.

It is tied to my excel check register and all/any expenses are listed as a total for each month, with an average multiplied by 12.

I update it at the end of each month and move to the next month.

I exclude exceptional expenses (like a new roof or something) in order to get an accurate "normal" set of annual expenses.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:06 PM   #5
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I use Fidelity Full View to accumulate transactions and balances (similar to Personal Capital). I periodically transfer monthly totals from Full View into my retirement spreadsheet. It has tabs similar to OP... portfolio, budget, taxes/Roth, SS, and withdrawal strategy. There's also a tab to keep track of my rentals. A couple times per year, I refresh the assumptions and run some long-range projections in Excel, and then stress-test the results against FIRECalc, Fidelity RIP, and sometimes i-ORP.

I've experimented with lots of software, but could never get it to do everything I wanted with the right balance of detail for our situation. Excel was the answer for me. Fidelity Full View still does the hard stuff like collecting transactions, categorizing, and summarizing. I just move whatever summary data I need into Excel for purposes of retirement planning, tracking, and analysis. Too many of the online tools are like "black boxes." I can't fully see what's happening inside the box. Excel can be error prone if you're not careful. But the flexibility to structure the analysis according to your specific situation is why I'll stick to this method.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:09 PM   #6
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You can sort of do what you are looking for in Quicken... use the budget tool for your retirement budget and the Lifetime Planner tool for your retirement plan. You can also do a What-If to see how changes in assumptions impact your plan. Unfortunately, the retirement budget does not link to the retirement plan... you need to input the total from the retirement budget as your retirement plan expenses.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:40 PM   #7
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This might be of interest, it is more geared to "when am I FI" but is pretty detailed, worth a glance anyway:

One sheet to rule them all...
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:57 PM   #8
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I've also used Lifetime Planner that comes in Quicken and thought it was helpful and easy to use. It does allow you to create separate entries for both you and your spouse and and you can go in and change any assumptions (inflation, expenses, income, etc.) you've made and see the impact of those changes.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
You can sort of do what you are looking for in Quicken.
I track all expenses and investments in Quicken by auto-importing banking data and quotes regularly. The reports allow me to see any time period and month-over-month or year-over-year comparisons for spending, net worth, cash flow and asset allocation. The spending categorization is not exactly automatic, so it does take ongoing effort to keep the data updated and correct.

I don't use the budgeting feature but it does exist. The included Lifetime Planner is not bad but I prefer to report my income/expense numbers and then enter those into Fidelity RIP for its simulations. You can also export Quicken data to Excel if you want to run additional analysis. I bring a cash flow report along when I meet my Fido advisor so we can review along with the portfolio.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by runchman View Post
This might be of interest, it is more geared to "when am I FI" but is pretty detailed, worth a glance anyway:

One sheet to rule them all...
Interesting sheet. To use an airplane landing metaphor, the sheet seems tuned to more of a "downwind leg" (farther from retirement/landing), whereas the OP might get more out of something tuned to "base" or "final approach".

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