Each year we strive to enhance the capabilities of TCRP to maintain its leadership position in personal financial planning tools and to best fit the needs of our present and future customers. We are pleased to announce that the 2020 Complete Retirement Planner lives up to that goal. As always, this annual update includes the most current tax laws, retirement account contribution limits, and Medicare costs, but there are also several significant improvements that easily make this our most advanced planning tool to date:
• A Social Security calculator has been built into the planner (replacing the College Savings Calculator, which is still available for free on the web site) providing a clear overview of benefit options and allowing you to quickly model monthly and lifetime benefit results, by spouse, for any claiming age. Easily determine how to maximize your benefits right inside the planner!
• For those who qualify, a supplemental Social Security spousal benefit is automatically calculated and added to a spouse's benefit in the appropriate year (if your spouse claims their benefit after you, and 50% of their benefit (up to Full Retirement Age) is greater than your benefit, the difference between the two benefits may be added to your benefit).
• There are now separate entries for Traditional 401k and IRA, and Roth 401k and IRA, contributions. This allows for better tracking of contributions to each type of account as well as for separate calculations of Traditional 401k/IRA and Roth 401k Required Minimum Distributions (there are no RMD's for Roth IRA's).
• There is a new entry for Non-Taxable income, by year, by spouse (e.g. V.A. Benefit, Disability, Alimony, etc.).
• Order Of Funds Used - This is an important change. Expenses will be paid annually using income first, then a proportionate mix of cash/investments and Traditional 401k/IRA's, and finally from Roth 401k/IRA's. Cash equal to 2 years expenses (less income) is held in reserve to help protect against having to sell investments during market downturns. This hybrid approach helps to maintain liquidity, reduce Required Minimum Distributions and tax liability in later years, and allows Roth IRA's more time to grow. Savings last longer and tax liability is less than if only one fund type was exhausted at a time.
• In any year when Required Minimum Distributions (RMD's) are greater than what is needed to pay expenses, 70% of the excess will be saved automatically and applied to future expenses. Previously, only 50% of the excess was saved. This amount was increased since there is no tax on Roth 401k RMD's (which are becoming more widely used), and to restrict too much money from excess RMD's from being unaccounted for. (To plan on saving more than 70% of any excess distributions would likely be unrealistic in the long term and counter to conservative planning principles.)
In addition, there will also be no price increase for 2020, and existing customers may still upgrade to the new version for only $9.99! There is no other financial planning tool that offers such in-depth capabilities for anywhere near the price and we are committed to keeping it that way. Our goal is to keep this planner as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people. There is no better way to gain a greater understanding of your finances and to take control of your financial future than with an individualized financial plan, and everyone deserves easy access to a tool that helps them to do that.
The strongest endorsement of TCRP is when users share its benefits with friends, family, and colleagues, as so many have. Our success across the country has largely been through word of mouth (we do not advertise, helping to maintain the low price) so if you find this planner to be beneficial, please "pay that knowledge forward" by letting others know. Helping others to gain a greater understanding of their finances is what this is all about.
Stop guessing, and start planning, to retire with confidence.