ImThinking2019, I also just purchased Pralana Gold 2020 (PRC Gold) and have found it very useful. It takes some time to become familiar with all of it's functions, but once configured, it's an excellent tool to help you analyze your situation. It goes beyond the many excellent free tools that allow you to plan by rounding off to a thousand and allow you to dive deeply and comprehensively into your situation to 2 decimal points detail - very powerful and allows you to follow along with year by year tabular and graphical data.
Below are some specific functions that Pralana Gold 2020 offers I think make it well worth it's current cost of $99 and it's future cost of $129:
1. The option to choose the drawdown order of retirement assets. As Michael Kitces makes clear in his "Finding Your Tax Equilibrium Rate for Retirement Liquidations" post (https://www.kitces.com/blog/tax-rate...h-conversions/
), the best way to balance maximizing disposable income, net worth and minimizing your overall tax payments is to consider drawing down your tIRA early, versus the typical order of after tax first, tIRA second, and Roth IRA last. PRC Gold 2020 actually has instituted a tool implementing a similar approach - I'm still investigating it.
2. Real estate. PRC Gold allows you to accurately model the costs, income, mortgage loan details, cost basis, depreciation and taxes from personal and rental real estate very easily.
3. Roth conversion analysis. Allows you to set up different scenarios for Roth conversions. PRC Gold has allowed DW and I to accurately model the impact of doing no, 22% and 24% Roth conversions under scenarios where we both live a long time and if one of us were to pass early, subjecting the survivor to the dreaded "tax torpedo".
Interestingly enough for us, the benefit of early, aggressive Roth conversions is essentially a wash tax and net worth wise if we both make it into our late 80's+ . However, if one of us passes early, PRC Gold shows us that the tax torpedo equates to a x2.5 increase in our annual federal and state tax burden once the survivor begins filing Single, not MFJ - ouch.
4. Accurately models IRMAA and NIIT.
5. Includes a SS optimizer. A nice feature is that it allows you to specify the level of optimization you want, i.e., the total percentage of optimization (i.e., 95%) from THE optimal solution. Based upon the parameters you give it (FRA, PIA, life span, etc.), provides an easy to understand matrix of you and spouses ages to take SS that meet the level of optimization.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and in our case, the SS Optimizer result is pasted below.
So for us, if were happy to be within 98% (user can change the % level for comparison purposes) of the optimum solution (the darkest green block), then taking SS in any age combination with a lighter green block above works. Since DW and I don't stress about achieving perfection, it's nice to know what our right and left limits are.
6. Ability to model ACA costs. I'm not taking advantage of this feature as a military retiree with Tricare, but it looks powerful.
7. Contains a Monte Carlo and Historical returns feature so you can stress test your situation.
This isn't a full feature review by any means, but in summary, PRC Gold 2020 is a tremendously valuable tool that has given DW and I a much higher level of confidence in our plan to retire later this year.
Everyone's situation is different, but in our situation with a military pension and rental real estate we get a much higher fidelity result to evaluate different financial decisions in one place than any other calculator I've found. You can go to the Pralana website and download the user manual for free to see if it addresses the issues most important to your situation.