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Firecalc - year field question
Old 08-15-2014, 02:54 PM   #1
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Firecalc - year field question

I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed...

When I put in "what year" questions, such as "What year will I retire?" what does Firecalc assume which month I am talking about? Let's say I enter 2016, does Firecalc assume it is Jan 2016, or Dec 2016, or something else? Knowing which month Firecalc is talking about, I can decide what to put in for "How much will you add to your portfolio until then?" for example.

Same for termination/expiry year, and Social Security year, etc.

Thank you very much.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:05 PM   #2
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I'm assuming (and that's a HUGE risk) that firecalc will have you retire/collect/etc on Jan of the year entered.

So I round appropriately. My birthday is in September, so I put the next year down for income, etc, that are birthday dependent. (Small pension at age 55, SS at age 62, 67, or 70... depending on the day of the week and mood I'm in.)

My husband's birthday is January - so I use the actual year for him.

Keep in mind, many of the birthdate dependent things start the month (or 60 days) after you qualify - so if your birthday is later in the year -it may be very close to the next year for actually seeing the $$.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:31 PM   #3
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My understanding is FIRECalc uses January of the year entered.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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Based on results Ive gotten recently, I thought it used the end of the year. I'm retiring in Jan 2015 and have a pension that starts immediately. Based on the withdrawal percentage that FireCalc reports it seems like it thinks I want to make all withdrawals from my portfolio the first year.

Making up numbers here, but if I have a $25000 pension and want an income of $50000 from a $1 million portfolio, Firecalc should report a first year withdrawal rate of 2.5% but it shows 5% so I assume it starts calculating my pension at the very end of the year..
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
Based on results Ive gotten recently, I thought it used the end of the year. I'm retiring in Jan 2015 and have a pension that starts immediately. Based on the withdrawal percentage that FireCalc reports it seems like it thinks I want to make all withdrawals from my portfolio the first year.

Making up numbers here, but if I have a $25000 pension and want an income of $50000 from a $1 million portfolio, Firecalc should report a first year withdrawal rate of 2.5% but it shows 5% so I assume it starts calculating my pension at the very end of the year..
This may go back to something posted on another thread - Firecalc reports the spending as "withdrawal" on the output. That's a misnomer. It's actually total spending, not investment withdrawals. So what Firecalc reports is the sum of your pension, SS, any other income sources, and your withdrawal to sum up to the "spending" you selected on the first page.

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Old 08-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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As a long range planning tool , I doubt the month of the year you start has much impact. If we could plan to this degree of detail I would already be retired.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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I am adding a little more than 65K per year the next 2 years (unless I get laid off before then), so yeah, for me it matters.... That matters probably more than what year I may die or not die....
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #8
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So it looks like it is the beginning of the year....

Thank you all for your replies!
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:53 PM   #9
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OK, that clears it up, but it makes no sense to say "This spending level is 5.0% of your starting portfolio". Who cares what percentage my spending is of my portfolio? I only care what percentage of my portfolio I'm spending.
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