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Old 09-04-2007, 07:56 AM   #41
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Note that not only would you need to use the ending portfolio balance of 'seq A' to start 'seq B', but you would need to use the ending 'spend' numbers also.

It seems these would vary for each 'seq A' run, depending upon inflation and the percent of your portfolio that is inflation protected.


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Defined pension plans
Old 09-06-2007, 01:49 PM   #42
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Defined pension plans

Hi,
First thank you so much for Firecalc. I recently found it after reading Scott Burns recent column in the WSJ Sunday pages.
I am not very proficient yet with use of Firecalc but would make a suggestion or two.
1. SS for self and spouse is included in FC. I would like to see a place to enter defined pension plan(s). They should include a provision for inflation , or not, depending on the type of plan. (and one for spouse too).
2. An easy way to print results for study would be very helpful.
Again, thank you.

Jimmy
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Jimmyrd View Post
... I would like to see a place to enter defined pension plan(s). They should include a provision for inflation , or not, depending on the type of plan. (and one for spouse too).
Jimmy, the Advanced FIRECalc version has a provision for multiple pensions.

Look on the "How Much Will You Spend" tab at the three "Increase/Decrease withdrawals by" options near the bottom of the page. For a pension, you would click the "decrease withdrawals by" button, put in the amount of pension, the year it starts, then check the box if it is adjusted for inflation.
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Dory - Suggestion
Old 09-07-2007, 08:22 PM   #44
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Dory - Suggestion

Dory

Re: the upcoming new Firecalc:

On the Options Page, where it asks "What Year Will You Retire?" is it possible to add the option to answer a different question instead, namely "What Year DID You Retire?"

This way you could run Firecalc to make sure your retirement is on track if you've already exited the work force.

Can this be done?

Thanks!
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Feature Request
Old 09-24-2007, 03:18 PM   #45
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Feature Request

If one could have more options for downloading spreadsheets with the formulas and factors, that would be very useful. For instance, could you allow one to start in any year (not just 1960) and to go for more years (i.e.: up to 40 vs 30 now)?

Want to say, though, this is wonderful work you are doing. it is impressive and it is much appreciated! Thanks, Ziggy
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:41 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halo View Post
Dory

Re: the upcoming new Firecalc:

On the Options Page, where it asks "What Year Will You Retire?" is it possible to add the option to answer a different question instead, namely "What Year DID You Retire?"

This way you could run Firecalc to make sure your retirement is on track if you've already exited the work force.

Can this be done?

Thanks!
halo,

You can just put your current data in and it will tell you if you're on track. Just pretend like you're a new retiree...your money doesn't know any differently.

2Cor521
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Clarification
Old 09-24-2007, 07:23 PM   #47
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Clarification

I guess I meant to say that if you could enter a year in the past when you've already retired, then you could know if your current SPENDING is on track.

This is how I use firecalc: I enter my data and start my retirement in the current year (2007) and use the CPI inflation option. I ask for results in the form of the "100% safe" withdrawal amount. Then, having retired on January 1, 2004, I apply the annual compound CPI inflation rates for 2004, 2005 and 2006 (2.68%, 3.39% and 3.24% respectively) to this initial 100% safe withdrawal amount, in effect positing 2007 back to 2004. Using this method, I can be more or less certain of how much in inflation-adjustted dollars I can spend in 2007 and still be "100% safe."

Presumably the calculator always has all the most recent annual inflation rates built into it. If this is the case, it would be nice not to have to posit back to your actual past retirement year, but simply have the calculator do it for you, so it can just tell you how much you can spend currently to be "100% safe."

Perhaps I am missing something or is there something wrong with my method? Please let me know if this is the case or if there is any way to use the current version of the calculator to do what I want. if not, it would be great to see the new version be able to do it. Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:05 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halo View Post
I guess I meant to say that if you could enter a year in the past when you've already retired, then you could know if your current SPENDING is on track.

This is how I use firecalc: I enter my data and start my retirement in the current year (2007) and use the CPI inflation option. I ask for results in the form of the "100% safe" withdrawal amount. Then, having retired on January 1, 2004, I apply the annual compound CPI inflation rates for 2004, 2005 and 2006 (2.68%, 3.39% and 3.24% respectively) to this initial 100% safe withdrawal amount, in effect positing 2007 back to 2004. Using this method, I can be more or less certain of how much in inflation-adjustted dollars I can spend in 2007 and still be "100% safe."

Presumably the calculator always has all the most recent annual inflation rates built into it. If this is the case, it would be nice not to have to posit back to your actual past retirement year, but simply have the calculator do it for you, so it can just tell you how much you can spend currently to be "100% safe."

Perhaps I am missing something or is there something wrong with my method? Please let me know if this is the case or if there is any way to use the current version of the calculator to do what I want. if not, it would be great to see the new version be able to do it. Thanks!
Yes, I understood what you meant.

I think you are missing my point. If I were in your shoes, I would put in my 2007 portfolio balance and my 2007 spending amount. Then FIREcalc will tell you whether that amount going forward is 100% safe or not. The point is that there is no need to do the "go back to 2004 and inflation adjust your spending by the CPI" stuff.

Let's do a thought experiment. Suppose your next door neighbor is still working and wonders if he can retire or not. He knows he has $X in his portfolio and spends $Y per year. Since he is very similar to you, he has the same Social Security income, investment allocation, investment expenses, and so forth. You could say to him, "Hey, just stick your numbers into FIREcalc and it will tell you if your spending is 100% safe or not!" He does, and the next day delightedly reports to you that FIREcalc says he is 100% safe to retire now. You then discover to your surprise, that his $X is exactly identical to your portfolio and his $Y is exactly identical to your spending amount.

The point here is that FIREcalc doesn't care that you've been retired for 3 years and your neighbor hasn't. All that matters is what happens from now on. And you and your neighbor, starting from identical positions, have exactly the same historical chances of success now as far as FIREcalc is concerned.

Here's another way of looking at it. Think about flipping coins, and say heads=success and tails=failure. You flip your coin three times and it comes up heads three times in a row. Then you and your neighbor both flip your coins. You both have a 50% chance that your coins will come up heads. Your previous three coin flips have no effect on the outcome of your fourth flip and his first flip.

Hope that makes sense.

2Cor521
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:26 PM   #49
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I imagine I am too late but here goes.

In addition to using a series of historical periods to test success can you have the program randomly select years and the order of years of data. Then rerun the calc several times to provide a probability of success. Kind of a poor man's monte carlo simulation.
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:51 PM   #50
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This article in the Journal of Financial Planning is full of great withdrawal rate decision rule ideas to incorporate in the next version of Firecalc:

FPA Journal - Using Decision Rules to Create Retirement Withdrawal Profiles
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Old 10-10-2007, 03:21 PM   #51
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Great article!
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New FireCalc
Old 11-01-2007, 09:13 AM   #52
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New FireCalc

I have not heard anything about the new version of FireCalc for a while and was wondering how it is going? And when it might appear?

I think many of us are interested in seeing how this great tool evolves.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:19 AM   #53
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I think dory36 is currently busy, relocating his yacht from the Atlantic seaboard to a secure and undisclosed location. Might be a while before he decides to get serious about the rewrite.

Then again, maybe he'll take issue with my statements above and chime in to correct me...
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:54 AM   #54
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Uh oh, you told on where the yacht USED to be.

Dick Cheney is gonna be ticked.
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New FireCalc
Old 11-21-2007, 12:39 PM   #55
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New FireCalc

Sure hope dory36 is enjoying the long trip to "a secure and undisclosed location" and has not fallen into a state of "rendition"
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:24 AM   #56
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Hi everybody!

I've used the trial version of the new FireCalc with two browsers, Firefox and Safari.

I have a Mac, processor is "2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo", Mac OS is 10.4.11. I bought it in August.

I'm having problems with the graphs. I allow cookies (erase when I close the browser), and I use Adblock on some sites but not that one.

A graph appears only after I use the "start here" page. When I go farther and use any other page, like entering my portfolio allocation or making lump sum changes, I get a results page that refers to graphs but has blank spaces except for text about the red line. I also, as I recall, never had graphs type outcomes in the "old" FireCalc, but also got a reference "Here's how your portfolio would look...." with nothing there.

My only talent is reporting what I experienced -- I have no tech abilities!

Also, I have had only two other problems online with this computer. Vanguard keeps giving me error messages saying I don't have Adobe Reader when I do when I try to look at statements online. I get multiple error messages, but everything works. (They know they have that problem with Mac and Adobe.)

And on a blog I frequent often, the graph only appears when you move down the page. If you creep the page back up a bit, the whole graph disappears! Sometimes that means you miss the top part of it.

I'm just curious about what's going on. And I LIKE the new spiffy graphs and want to be able to use them!

Any thoughts?

kate
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:17 AM   #57
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kat, it seems to work for me with an older G5 Mac running 10.3.9.

Problems may be more related to the browser than the OS specifically. I'm running Camino (a FireFox variant). If you are using Safari, make sure it is updated, you could try downloading Camino or FireFox, but Safari is a very 'compliant' browser, and *should* be fine.

Maybe close the old window, or make sure you are not blocking pop ups or new windows? The graphs open in new windows, maybe that has something to do with it? Just a guess.

One minor comment on the new form is this: I think the 'Start Here' page should also be labeled with something stating that your portfolio value is entered there. Yes, minor, but it is a bit disorienting once you enter the other pages, and you look to change your portfolio - what page was that on again?

-ERD50
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:10 AM   #58
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No problem on my intel Mac running 10.4.11.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:21 AM   #59
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wow!

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No problem on my intel Mac running 10.4.11.
What browser are you using?
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:26 AM   #60
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Hi Kat

No graph problems here too using Mac OS 10.4.11, using Safari 3.0.4 on a Powerbook.

I just get the line graphs, though. Dory eliminated the bar graphs in this new version of Firecalc, correct? Or not? Should there be bar graphs on any of the possible results pages?

Halo
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