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FireCalc question....
Old 11-04-2018, 09:04 AM   #1
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FireCalc question....

As I get closer to retirement (and more and more nervous!) I'm trying out many different scenarios on FireCalc. This time I tried putting in my pension and social security, which will come to about $40,000 per year together, and only put $10,000 in for my portfolio, to try to simulate having no portfolio. It gave a "100%" spending amount of $1,600 a year. That seems odd, considering I'll have a guaranteed income of $40,000 per year with the pension and social security.
Can anyone explain this to me?
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:12 AM   #2
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For pension and SS did you input monthly or annual amounts? FIRECalc looks for annual, not monthly.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:13 AM   #3
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I put in annual amounts for each.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Is the retirement date the same year as the SS and pension start dates? They also need to be in sync.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:29 AM   #5
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Ah, Michael, that’s helpful! I noticed some weirdness with SS income as well, so I stopped including it and just added it into the max spend number it gave us. Not 100% kosher, as we’ll have several years without it if we ER, but a helpful data point.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:29 AM   #6
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I think you ran into the issue described in this thread: Firecalc spending analysis
Firecalc spending analysis
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:31 AM   #7
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I've never put them in sync, just put in the actual dates of each even happening (retirement in 2019, SS starts in 2021, pension starts in 2020. I haven't seen anywhere that said they had to be in sync. I just assumed that FireCalc would make me take from my portfolio until I had the income from the pension, and then from the portfolio and the pension until SS starts. Is that a wrong assumption to make?
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:33 AM   #8
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FWIW, I just tried the same, and darned if I didn't get the same answer.

I used 10k portfolio, 20k pension (inflation adjusted), 20k ss, starting both in 2021, 30k spending and 30 year retirement. Investigate 100% success.

For kicks, I did a normal run, and it gave me 0% success.

I also re-ran my own numbers, and they look OK.

Something funky going on.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyBlue View Post
I've never put them in sync, just put in the actual dates of each even happening (retirement in 2019, SS starts in 2021, pension starts in 2020. I haven't seen anywhere that said they had to be in sync. I just assumed that FireCalc wold make me take from my portfolio until I had the income from the pension, and then from the portfolio and the pension until SS starts. Is that a wrong assumption to make?
There's a tab titled "not retired". The default retirement date is 2018, try changing it to 2019.
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:39 AM   #10
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Did that in my initial calculation...
I sure appreciate your responses - thank you for trying to help me figure this out!
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:42 AM   #11
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I agree - I just read through the thread you sent me (thank you!) and it seems to be the same problem.
When I changed the portfolio to $100,000 it came out more to what I'd expect.
Edited to add: Whoops, I'd put in $1,000,000 - no wonder it came out well (smile!) I'm going back to try $100,000!
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:47 AM   #12
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Just tried $100,000,and $200,000, and still am not up to the minimum that I'd be getting for just the SS and the pension...
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Old 11-04-2018, 09:49 AM   #13
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Thread has been moved to the FIRECalc support forum.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:37 AM   #14
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So, trying to reproduce this issue. It happens when using the "Investigate" function and choosing "Search for settings that will get a success rate of as close to % as possible (usually within 1%) by changing..." It looks like it projecting a spending amount that is only portfolio and doesn't include the pensions. This is an error, I'll make sure to report it.

As a work-around, I would input my pension and SS amounts and dates, the retirement date, the minimum portfolio I expect, and then try different spending amounts to see where the 100% and 95% levels are. Then do the same with different portfolio levels. Change the portfolio, then look at different spending levels. It's a bit cumbersome but gets to the same result.
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:44 PM   #15
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Thank you for helping! I will try what you suggest, and I look forward to the fix (smile!)
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