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FIRECalc Updated
Old 04-18-2019, 02:45 PM   #1
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FIRECalc Updated

FYI, FIRECalc says the data was just updated on 16 April, in case you want to do a new run. Actually, I don't know what was actually updated, or if you will get new results. Does anyone?
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:48 PM   #2
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FYI, FIRECalc says the data was just updated on 16 April, in case you want to do a new run. Actually, I don't know what was actually updated, or if you will get new results. Does anyone?


That update would have added 2018 performance data.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:51 PM   #3
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That update would have added 2018 performance data.
Which might be helpful considering it was a big down year.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:59 PM   #4
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When I use:
A portfolio with consistent growth of 4%, and an inflation rate of 3%

I still get 100%. Doesn't that seem odd?
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:27 PM   #5
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When I use:
A portfolio with consistent growth of 4%, and an inflation rate of 3%

I still get 100%. Doesn't that seem odd?
Impossible to say w/o knowing the other inputs. Spending, portfolio, anything else?

Regardless, if you are using the "consistent growth" options, there is no data to update. 4% is 4%, 3% is 3% - it's just arithmetic.

The update is for using historical data, which I feel strongly is the only worthwhile choice. Markets and inflation laugh at your 'consistent %'.

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Old 04-18-2019, 03:31 PM   #6
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Impossible to say w/o knowing the other inputs. Spending, portfolio, anything else?

Regardless, if you are using the "consistent growth" options, there is no data to update. 4% is 4%, 3% is 3% - it's just arithmetic.

The update is for using historical data, which I feel strongly is the only worthwhile choice. Markets and inflation laugh at your 'consistent %'.

-ERD50
Ok, so for 30 years if I earn 1%, I'm still good. Consistent Growth is the portfolio. The inputs are all the same as usual. Actually, I kicked spending up $30K (constant spending) than our normal spending and SS/pension the same. What am I missing? And why would they offer consistent growth, if it's sort of useless.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:49 PM   #7
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I used Firecalc and several other decent calculators (Flexible Retirement Planner, PRC Bronze, NewRetirement Calculator and Personal Capital) as I was planning to retire.

Like many here, I probably over plan....or maybe over worry! My wife retired 2 years ago and i retired 18 months ago. We have drawn just under 3.5 % of our portfolio each year (twice) and our ending balance today is higher than when we took any money. I'll make additional withdrawals this year as we have used up some of our savings. We might take SS January 1, 2020 when I turn 63 and she turns 62. I say MIGHT because if the market keeps performing well, we'll delay SS and draw from our nestegg.


The calculators I used have been very helpful and helped me "settle down" as I made VERY important decisions. All of them show us at 100% for 30 years and I included a fair amount of discretionary spending in each model.


So....thanks to Firecalc and the other tools that helped me and I'm sure helped many others.


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Old 04-18-2019, 04:01 PM   #8
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I used Firecalc and several other decent calculators (Flexible Retirement Planner, PRC Bronze, NewRetirement Calculator and Personal Capital) as I was planning to retire.

Like many here, I probably over plan....or maybe over worry! My wife retired 2 years ago and i retired 18 months ago. We have drawn just under 3.5 % of our portfolio each year (twice) and our ending balance today is higher than when we took any money. I'll make additional withdrawals this year as we have used up some of our savings. We might take SS January 1, 2020 when I turn 63 and she turns 62. I say MIGHT because if the market keeps performing well, we'll delay SS and draw from our nestegg.

....
Sounds like you might benefit from delaying SS and drawing down on IRA/401K prior to age 70, to avoid/reduce the tax torpedo.

That's what we have been doing for the past 3 years, converting what we don't need to spend into Roth for future tax free growth.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:06 PM   #9
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Which might be helpful considering it was a big down year.
I would expect the impact of updating a single year’s data to be minimal on the final answer. After all, you would only see two of the family of curves in the “spaghetti” graph change; the first curve would be removed and the last curve would be replaced with one that looks a lot like the one that was previously the last, but with the final data point on that curve replaced with 2018 data. Over longer periods of time when new data are added the changes will be more significant but not from a single year.

Edit to add: Who’s to say the final worst case family of curves includes 2018? It would likely (still?) include the Great Depression or perhaps the period starting in the mid 1960’s.

I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the developer of the FIRECalc website. I couldn’t have made this leap into the next phase of my life without it!
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:08 PM   #10
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Sounds like you might benefit from delaying SS and drawing down on IRA/401K prior to age 70, to avoid/reduce the tax torpedo.

That's what we have been doing for the past 3 years, converting what we don't need to spend into Roth for future tax free growth.

That's a possibility! At this point, all options are on the table and I don't need to decide anything right now. I can just go year by year, or month by month for that matter. This site has provided a wealth of information for me!
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:31 PM   #11
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It probably does help those of us doing a 45-50 year retirement as we have far less years to go by. I usually take it down to 40 just to get enough scenarios... eventually there will be enough years one ideally wouldn't have to adjust.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:39 PM   #12
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I would expect the impact of updating a single year’s data to be minimal on the final answer. After all, you would only see two of the family of curves in the “spaghetti” graph change; the first curve would be removed and the last curve would be replaced with one that looks a lot like the one that was previously the last, but with the final data point on that curve replaced with 2018 data. Over longer periods of time when new data are added the changes will be more significant but not from a single year.

Edit to add: Who’s to say the final worst case family of curves includes 2018? It would likely (still?) include the Great Depression or perhaps the period starting in the mid 1960’s.

I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the developer of the FIRECalc website. I couldn’t have made this leap into the next phase of my life without it!
I don't think the bolded is quite correct - if you run the same case today that you did last week you would simply have one more line/period today. It wouldn't drop anything.

You are correct that unless you have some weird portfolio or other strange inputs the 2018 data does not make the recent past compare to 1929 or 1966. Though, folks that retired just before the dot.com crash are probably in the below-average family of curves.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:06 PM   #13
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I would expect the impact of updating a single year’s data to be minimal on the final answer. After all, you would only see two of the family of curves in the “spaghetti” graph change; the first curve would be removed and the last curve would be replaced with one that looks a lot like the one that was previously the last, but with the final data point on that curve replaced with 2018 data. Over longer periods of time when new data are added the changes will be more significant but not from a single year.

Edit to add: Who’s to say the final worst case family of curves includes 2018? It would likely (still?) include the Great Depression or perhaps the period starting in the mid 1960’s.

I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the developer of the FIRECalc website. I couldn’t have made this leap into the next phase of my life without it!
Perhaps it makes the 2000 year retiree's numbers get a little worse for a 30 year survival.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:41 PM   #14
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I would expect the impact of updating a single year’s data to be minimal on the final answer.

I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the developer of the FIRECalc website. I couldn’t have made this leap into the next phase of my life without it!
I agree, but after a full decade of this bull market, a downturn should give a mild tap on the calculation brakes.

100% agree on the FIRECalc developers!
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:46 PM   #15
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I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the developer of the FIRECalc website. I couldn’t have made this leap into the next phase of my life without it!
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100% agree on the FIRECalc developers!
You can contact him here to pass on your thanks: The Team at Short Story Marketing/Frisco Websites

Click on Bill Sholar...
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:12 AM   #16
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Adding 2018 doesn’t meaningfully change success rate for the most common inputs. The 30 year period ending with 2018 wasn’t the worst ever so it doesn’t change the 100% outcome and it wasn’t among the 6 worst so it doesn’t change the 95% outcome. Success rate doesn’t change meaningfully for 20 or 40 year inputs either. It just adds another line/cycle in the mass of successful periods (e.g. from 118 to 119 cycles for 30 year runs).

It might be a nice tweak if the portfolio balance graph showed the last cycle line in bold, or black-bold since it would be the most familiar to most users?

Still a great historical calculator!

If adding the latest year was going to be significant, you’d know it long before plugging into FIRECALC as your portfolio would have been in prolonged and/or steep decline...
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:52 AM   #17
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Adding 2018 doesn’t meaningfully change success rate for the most common inputs. The 30 year period ending with 2018 wasn’t the worst ever so it doesn’t change the 100% outcome and it wasn’t among the 6 worst so it doesn’t change the 95% outcome. Success rate doesn’t change meaningfully for 20 or 40 year inputs either. It just adds another line/cycle in the mass of successful periods (e.g. from 118 to 119 cycles for 30 year runs).

It might be a nice tweak if the portfolio balance graph showed the last cycle line in bold, or black-bold since it would be the most familiar to most users?

Still a great historical calculator!

If adding the latest year was going to be significant, you’d know it long before plugging into FIRECALC as your portfolio would have been in prolonged and/or steep decline...
That’s a good idea. I would also love the ability to click on the lines to see what years they represent. Or at least the lines approaching failure. The *other* tool allows that and I found it a huge help in understanding what conditions would lead to failures. It was very enlightening to see the failures in the 60s but not the Great Depression and helped me get more comfortable with equities.
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