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Old 08-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #21
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Thanks to all of you. I've also run Fidelity. The Vanguard idea is great but we have to have more assets with them to use it. Not a problem because when some low-performers mature that was already the plan. Did you find the Vanguard actual person help (if I understand the site correctly) to be really useful (and free?)
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #22
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3. Financial Engines - since this comes free to Vanguard customers I have run it a few times a year just to see that we were on track.
As a Vanguard customer, how do I access Financial Engines through Vanguard?
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:55 AM   #23
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I didn't realize that. Thanks.
Fidelity does provide a rather lengthy "Methodology" document about RIP that I have not fully read.
You can get it (I'm sure you know) on the first page after you execute RIP.

The "discount" is easy to see when looking at the year-by-year report of portfoliio withdrawl, income, taxes, RMD, et all.

I was using RIP 5+ before my retirement (in 2007) and continue to use it today. The discount was always there, but a lot of folks don't "see" it. As far as the methodology document, it may not (that I saw/reviewed) state it as fact, but the results of your forecast will show it. That (IMHO) is more important.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:57 AM   #24
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As a Vanguard customer, how do I access Financial Engines through Vanguard?
Log on and put 'financial engines' in the search box. It will bring up a link.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:01 AM   #25
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3. Financial Engines - since this comes free to Vanguard customers I have run it a few times a year just to see that we were on track.
As far as FE, you must be at a certain level with VG (I'm Flagship, so I don't know the breakdowns) but it should show up on your VG main page on the lower right as an option for you to use. If not, do a search on it, since it may not show up on your personal page if you have not used it at all.

Assuming you have the availabilty, be aware that you have to "jury rig" the product if you are already retired, since they do not offer a module that will forecast for those in retirement, nor allow you to state a plan termination date (they use standard tables to calculate estimated lifespan, unlike other products where you can state your termination age/plan end date).

You can get around it by "jury-rigging" your retirement/birth date, and VG has said that they will offer a retirement forecast FE module, but have yet delivered (over many, many years).

Just an FYI.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #26
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Did you find the Vanguard actual person help (if I understand the site correctly) to be really useful (and free?)
Free? Yes. Helpful? No.

I guess I'm just a person who has been investing so long (over three decades) that I'm not about to turn my portfolio over, or listen to suggestions that don't match my observations over the long term, based upon my goals, my portfolio, my actual results, and my desires.

Old, grumpy, and a PIA. What can I say?

I used their "service" for a few years in the past, some years ago. Now? I'll just make my observations and decisions on my own (TYVM).
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #27
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It will forecast your possible results a/o Jan 1 of the following year forward, and it will also "discount" your current portfolio value to just under 10% in order to forecast that "aw sh**" situation you mentioned.
I might be seeing the discount to which you refer, but at least in my specific case, the Jan 1 Beginning Assets value is about 4.6% less than the assets I entered.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:03 AM   #28
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Log on and put 'financial engines' in the search box. It will bring up a link.
Found it. Thanks. Fails half way through when I try to associate accounts with goals..
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:06 AM   #29
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but it should show up on your VG main page on the lower right as an option for you to use.
Ha! It is there, never noticed it before....still fails half way through using this link.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #30
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Free? Yes. Helpful? No.

I guess I'm just a person who has been investing so long (over three decades) that I'm not about to turn my portfolio over, or listen to suggestions that don't match my observations over the long term, based upon my goals, my portfolio, my actual results, and my desires.

Old, grumpy, and a PIA. What can I say?

I used their "service" for a few years in the past, some years ago. Now? I'll just make my observations and decisions on my own (TYVM).
The value exceeded the price I paid (it was free).

Seriously though, it was ok but I'm probably more advanced than the average user (as is rescueme) so our expectations are a bit higher. For many people who haven't spent a lot of time doing retirement planning, I think it could be valuable. I did find it a bit frustrating that they couldn;t handle non-continuous cash outflows (like DS's college costs and DD's wedding), but I just calculated a pv of each of those and carved the same amount out of my nestegg for the retirement projections (sidefunded them).

If it wasn't free it woudl be a close call whether I would pay the $250 they charge to Voyager customers, but I would not pay the $1,000 that they charge to customers lower than Voyager.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:04 PM   #31
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Ha! It is there, never noticed it before....still fails half way through using this link.
You may need to give VG a call. Mine works fine.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:49 PM   #32
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I might be seeing the discount to which you refer, but at least in my specific case, the Jan 1 Beginning Assets value is about 4.6% less than the assets I entered.
It may have something to do with your current assets/AA and your defined target within your FIDO account.

For us, our overall target is "balanced", along with a 50% equity target. I believe if you go through the "Portfolio Review" tool, you can set it up to match your goals and any other tool will use this information as a key artifact for calculations.

BTW, I checked this morning's RIP run and my Jan 1 2013 starting variance came out to just over 7%, based upon my data. I know that in the past, it has been closer to 10%, but this could also be due (along with the AA/target data) to the time of year - more varience earlier?
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:09 PM   #33
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Okay, I run Firecalc several times a week, changing various parameters. Also i-ORP. SInce Firecalc should not be a deciding factor, what else should I be doing?
Possibly run Firecalc daily?
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:04 AM   #34
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haha, sometimes I DO run it daily! So, haha indeed!
The Fidelity I can't figure out how to add part-time work after "retirement" nor convince it that I don't need 85% of current income after retirement. Of present income, we save about half for retirement, so taking that out we only need a bit over 50%. Also have to add most but not all of what we anticipate from the house sale, since that is not YET appreciating in the market.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:50 AM   #35
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(snip)..I can't figure out how to add part-time work after "retirement" nor convince it that I don't need 85% of current income after retirement.
On the "your situation" tab, go down to the bottom to the "other income" entry.

You can specify on the pulldown where this income is coming from (e.g. Part Time Earnings) and you can specify a start/end age. Remember, this income will be considered taxable (FIT/local/state tax) so specify the gross amount.

If you are using the "full version" of RIP and not using the detail budget, you should. By filling out the screen (once & done - just update if/when your expected expenses change) it will calculate the income needed (along with taxes due). Often, folks will just plug in a number to short-cut the process, but if you go through the budget screen, you can also specify (by date) reductions/increases in expense items as you age.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:51 AM   #36
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Possibly run Firecalc daily?

I just ran Firecalc this morning

After I joined the forum, I ran a bunch of what if scenarios, so I'll admit I ran them daily when I had time and thought of other situations. Now I run them every few months. This is while playing with other spreadsheets and online tools.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #37
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Have you also used a Monte Carlo simulator? I'm not familiar with i-ORP and the others you mentioned. My favorite Monte Carlo is Flexible Retirement Planner, and I don't think it has any of the flaws you mentioned--it's possible to input part-time income, a lump sum such as sale of a house, and it doesn't force you to use a fraction of your current income for your retirement income needs.

I agree that flexible retirement planner is a good one.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #38
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Mexico, that is a great one- the Flexible. One time I thought I had a box that would allow me to change the default for incestment--oops, investment--return from 8% to 4%, but it didn't change. Once I crack that one, will be terrific. Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #39
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Flexible Retirement Planner and ORP are both very good. Too many tools, too little time!
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