2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2009 3:55 PM by ldecola


      I need a useful tool to do retirement planning: track various funds, figure out how to 'pay' myself from SS, annuities, and investments. Any favorites?

      We use Quicken for cash flow, but it doesn't seem to be useful for planning or investments, and my wife is reluctant to use its online version.

      Lee De Cola.
        • Re: software
          A few years ago I did a lot of research on financial planning for retirement.  There are lots of plug in programs online (Fidelity, Schwab had retirement "what if" programs you could use online, as I recall).  Quicken's retirement scenarios are never very reliable in my view. 
          I devised my own spread sheet and worked it out so that I had each of my and my spouse's sources of wealth and income in columns with annual projected changes indicated in one row at the top.  Change that top row variable and the whole column would change.  So, for example, with stocks and bonds I put a 6 or 7% annual gain at the top of the column.  Hello fall 2008!  Some adjustments were needed.  I keep one column of ACTUAL  net worth to compare with the projected.  2008 set things back a couple of years. 
          Then I have columns for expenses and project them according to inflation and changing needs.  I am not good at budgeting and am skeptical about planning too carefully things one can't plan.  You  just have to make an estimate in the end.  There are lots of opinions out there as to whether you will spend more or less after retirement.  The truth is, you control that, and the idea is to see how much you CAN spend for how long. 

          But once you set up your projected net worth and income, then your expenses, and project change over time, such a spreadsheet will give you an individualized retirement plan.