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Retirement Planning Calculator Evaluations
Old 07-27-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Retirement Planning Calculator Evaluations

Here is the most in-depth analysis of quite a few retirement planning calculators I have ever seen. If you are like me, you are always looking for a new calculator to validate what you might know already; and another calculator is always welcome. I was aware of most of the calculators in the review, so I think I have covered most, if not all of the calculators known to man. It’s a great list of calculators if nothing else.

And I even create my own spreadsheets too, in case I have a better understanding of money than Fidelity, Vanguard or Schwab… And I run the projections daily, or more often, in case something has changed in the past few hours.
Here is what was evaluated
  • Economic Security Planner/Basic (2 versions)
  • Pralana Retirement Calculator (2 versions)
  • Flexible Retirement Planner
  • Ultimate Retirement Calculator
  • FIRECalc
  • SmartMoney Retirement Planner
  • T Rowe Price Retirement Income Planner
  • CNN Money Retirement Calculators
  • AARP Retirement Calculator
  • MSN Money (CalcXML) Retirement Calculator
  • Charles Schwab Retirement Calculator
  • Vanguard Retirement Income Calculator
  • Vanguard Nest Egg Calculator
He doesn't evaluate Fidelity Income Planner or Quicken Lifetime Planner. Whether that was intentional (i.e. they out-shined his tool?) , or it was outside his scope, I am not sure. He is trying to sell his calculator and has a free version too.

I have been playing around with his free calculator. It is a bit cryptic and has a few things that are not as intuitive as some of the other calculators, but it is another validation. If I only knew how long I would live, it would make the planning a lot easier… And I am very optimistic in my life expectancy.

Spoiler Alert: I like FireCalc as another method of validating a plan, but FireCalc is not the comparison favorite.

Calculator Evaluations

FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:46 AM   #2
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Note: From the linked website
I am in the business of designing and selling a family of retirement calculators, so I am somewhat biased.
Caveat emptor

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Old 07-27-2014, 10:47 AM   #3
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Posts: 5,804
I would like one that took into consideration the ACA subsidies.

Here's a free one that I discovered today (re-discovered?) while searching this site for wisdom on an unrelated topic:

Retiree Portfolio Model - Bogleheads
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