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FIRE Calculators
Old 10-18-2010, 03:34 PM   #1
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FIRE Calculators

I'm afraid that I'm addicted to running numbers and scenarios through FIRE calculators.

I can understand why firecalc ( FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator ) is such a popular tool and so often recommended.

Has anyone used i-orp? ( Optimal Retirement Calculator and Retirement Decision Support System )

If so, what do you feel are its strengths and weaknesses?

Are there any other useful calculators out there that you know of?
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:39 PM   #2
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With the 2 you mentioned you shouldn't need any others. They are also my favorites. But the ones that told me 100% were always my favorites. (heh)
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #3
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I like this one.
Flexible Retirement Planner
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:21 PM   #4
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I also liked the ESPplanner basic. But when I went to the link I see that it is no longer available free without paying a fee.

The ESP planner's twist is the lifetime consumption smoothing where they attempt to balance spending while you work and when you retire.

When I used to run the basic edition it would tell me to spend more money than I have been.

<EDIT> here is the free basic edition of ESP Planner available free of charge:

https://basic.esplanner.com/
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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Run as many calculators as it takes you to feel comfortable!

I second the recommendation for ESPlanner. It is especially good to compare two strategies -eg. taking SS at 68 or 70, moving to a smaller home etc.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:54 PM   #6
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I like Fidelity too, but you have to have an account to use it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #7
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Add Otar's calculator to the mix.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefipius View Post
Has anyone used i-orp? ( Optimal Retirement Calculator and Retirement Decision Support System )

If so, what do you feel are its strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths:
- Optimizes withdrawals
- Gives Roth conversion suggestions
- Tries to handle taxes - you tell it what tax rate to use

Weaknesses:
- Uses straight-line projections


I think OPR and FireCalc complement each other. Both are good, but they do different things.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:23 PM   #9
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Here's one more to try:
Forecaster - Retirement And Estate Planning

Searching for some more, I came across this 2009 report from the Actuaries Society:
http://www.soa.org/files/pdf/researc...nning-soft.pdf

It appears to be written in a dull, lifeless style, but has some interesting points.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rec7 View Post
I like Flexible Retirement Planner too. It's the first calculator I found that can model my partly-COLA'd pension. Later I found that FIRECalc can do it too. I haven't yet tried any of the others mentioned in this thread.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:27 AM   #11
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hello Jefipius

Have you seen this one :

http://ira.bankofamerica.com/calculator/Default.aspx?section=calculator&subsection=content &bhcp=1

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefipius View Post
Are there any other useful calculators out there that you know of?
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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I give this one a "thumbs down". I answered the questions, and the calculator told me I need about 1.4 million dollars. It didn't ask me how much pension or social security I will be eligible for, and assumed I will need 85% of my salary (even though due to high savings rate I am spending significantly less than that now). IMO, this is useful only for a very rough first estimate, and that only for people with no pension or Social Security.

I didn't bother to go to the very last screen to look at the savings plan, since the estimate was based on assumptions that don't apply to me.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I give this one a "thumbs down". I answered the questions, and the calculator told me I need about 1.4 million dollars. It didn't ask me how much pension or social security I will be eligible for, and assumed I will need 85% of my salary (even though due to high savings rate I am spending significantly less than that now). IMO, this is useful only for a very rough first estimate, and that only for people with no pension or Social Security.

I didn't bother to go to the very last screen to look at the savings plan, since the estimate was based on assumptions that don't apply to me.
In the "advanced settings" you can turn on their estimate of your SS. You can also enter an income replacement ratio other than 85%.

Nonetheless, I also give this calculator a thumbs down. They pick a very low growth rate to project. Then they make you invest everything in an annuity.

It's like they stack the cards against you to make your picture as bleak as possible.

But maybe that's what people need to shake them out of their consumption binge.
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Old 10-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
I give this one a "thumbs down". I answered the questions, and the calculator told me I need about 1.4 million dollars. It didn't ask me how much pension or social security I will be eligible for, and assumed I will need 85% of my salary (even though due to high savings rate I am spending significantly less than that now). IMO, this is useful only for a very rough first estimate, and that only for people with no pension or Social Security.
+1.

It is nothing but a present value calculator, of no use to me compared to FC or ORP. And it can be very misleading since it ignores so many important values as noted above.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #15
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I like this one too. However, it uses tax deferred money before 59.5 and never mentions 72t or withdrawal strategies. ORP does that though
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:34 PM   #16
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Point well taken Rich, thank you for your posting. Well this website from BoA was the first retirement calculator I used for my own calculations. It maybe useful for people like me who are not financially savvy... I agree it has limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
+1.

It is nothing but a present value calculator, of no use to me compared to FC or ORP. And it can be very misleading since it ignores so many important values as noted above.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
Point well taken Rich, thank you for your posting. Well this website from BoA was the first retirement calculator I used for my own calculations. It maybe useful for people like me who are not financially savvy... I agree it has limitations.
My assessment may have been a little harsh -- I can see where it might be useful as a first tool to acquire some general limits and ball park numbers. It is easy to use and neatly formatted.

I would just hate to see someone use it a few times and then take the results as gospel. It could be misleading for the reasons above, especially if they get the "green light" and then run with it unaware of its limitations. More sophisticated calculators like FireCalc include inflation adjustments, historic market returns, allow for one-time pensions and expenses, lump sum additions (e.g. from downsizing a house), withdrawal rates that vary over time (if you are a paid subscriber).

It's not that hard to use if you just take it one step at a time, and plenty of help here if needed. It helped me a lot.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:40 PM   #18
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Wow - thanks for all the responses guys! Lots of new toys to play with.
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