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Old 09-24-2013, 09:37 AM   #21
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I have full Excel and iOS Numbers. I can't imagine not being willing to buy a decent spreadsheet for something as critical in one's (financial) life as retirement income planning/distributions. But just my opinion. ...
It doesn't take much imagination. 'Not buying' a spreadsheet is not the same as going without. The last MS Office I purchased was the 2004 Student Edition for DS for college (I didn't trust OpenOffice enough back then). That version of Office (PPC) doesn't even run on current computers, so the whole family has been Open/LibreOffice since then, including one kid through college and another in their 3rd year and in all that time, the only issue any had was in high school - a ppt with embedded sound that would not play the sound correctly. I think we figured out a less-than-perfect workaround, but it wasn't a big deal, and that was years ago, I'm sure the compatibility has improved.

LibreOffice is free, runs on Win, Mac and Linux, and in some ways is better than Excel. The sticking point is macro compatibility. Not everyone is a heavy macro user, and you can create your own macros - it's the MS compatibility that is the issue.

Review: LibreOffice 4 liberates you from Microsoft Office | PCWorld

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LibreOffice Calc

Calc proved a very pleasant surprise by loading every Excel spreadsheet I have and mimicking the formatting perfectly. I'm heavy on the conditional formatting and Calc does it better than Excel, extending it and recalculating automatically when I copy in another row. Excel requires manual intervention.

The one disappointing area of Calc is macros. Calc has its own capable macro and programming language, but it's largely incompatible with Office's VBA, so I had to redo the range names and macros for my hardware ratings sheets. But from there it was easy to attach them to the button objects I employ for sorts and the like.
-ERD50
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #22
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I'm not a power spreadsheet user, but I realize many are, I suppose from their work experience. A free spreadsheet plus Quicken do the job for me. Of course, that means I buy Quicken...
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:01 AM   #23
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Some retirement planning calculators I'd like to use (such as the Otar Retirement Calculator) require Excel, which I don't have on my home computer. Has anyone had success using these calculators on one of the free Excel-equivalent spreadsheet programs?
I got the file from Otar, it was a .exe installer, but it seemed to install OK on my Linux system under WINE. Then I found the .xlxm file and loaded it into LibreOffice running back in Linux, after making those setting I listed below (experimental mode), and allowing macros to be enabled on a case-by-case basis under 'Security'.

The spreadsheet loaded and looked fine, but the macros throw off errors. So you would either need to research the conversion options (probably a tough thing to do, but I have no experience here), or pay the toll to MS if this calculator is important to you.

I'll write back to him about the advantages of supporting open source options, and see if he has anything to say.

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Old 09-24-2013, 10:25 AM   #24
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned GoogleDocs. Or maybe they did and I missed it.

I converted to GoogleDocs from Excel 6 months ago with no issues. They include XIRR and even better, a GoogleFinance function that let's you easily retrieve stock quotes, etc. Not the pain in the *ss way Excel makes you integrate a website in order to get quotes.

The other benefit is that it's always backed up and I can get to it from any device. If you're ok with having your data in the cloud, it might be worth looking into.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #25
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned GoogleDocs. Or maybe they did and I missed it. I converted to GoogleDocs from Excel 6 months ago with no issues. They include XIRR and even better, a GoogleFinance function that let's you easily retrieve stock quotes, etc. Not the pain in the *ss way Excel makes you integrate a website in order to get quotes. The other benefit is that it's always backed up and I can get to it from any device. If you're ok with having your data in the cloud, it might be worth looking into.
+1, though I have MS Office as well.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:38 PM   #26
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+1 to Lsbcal. There is no inherent assumption. It is what it is, a report on past outcomes.

If you plan a vacation, you might look up the mean low temps and the record low temps for that time. It would be silly to assume that they couldn't also go lower, that's how records become records.

-ERD50
You're looking at the past because you are assuming it's representative of the future. Not that it couldn't be different, but that it's a stand-in.

Just like looking at average and record temps. You look at the average high and low and record high and low and then conclude it tells you nothing about how you plan your future vacation.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
Some retirement planning calculators I'd like to use (such as the Otar Retirement Calculator) require Excel, which I don't have on my home computer. Has anyone had success using these calculators on one of the free Excel-equivalent spreadsheet programs?
Have you tried this one. Helped me at age 79 and Jim is very helpful.
www.i-orp.com/



The Optimal Retirement Planner (ORP) is a retirement planning calculator that computes the maximum amount of money available for retirement spending ...
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