The 2024 version of The Complete Retirement Planner (TCRP 2024) has just been released!
As always, the 2024 update includes the most current tax laws, retirement savings contribution limits, I.R.S. RMD rules, and Medicare costs, as well as several new features that further enhance the already extensive capabilities of TCRP:
• The biggest change for 2024, especially for returning customers, is that there are no more Excel macros (or our famous green buttons)! Hopefully, even new customers will appreciate our commitment to keeping TCRP as easy to use as possible. TCRP has always used Excel macros to allow users to click a button to perform certain actions,
and for navigation from page to page. But when Microsoft started automatically blocking the use of Excel macros in downloaded files, it became difficult for some to unblock them, causing a good bit of frustration for many users.
No one should have to struggle to use an Excel file, so we eliminated the macros! No more issues with Microsoft flexing their muscle, and no more special instructions needed to unblock macros just to get past the first page!
While it was nice to have a more streamlined look (no Excel page tabs), and to be able to click on a green button to quickly auto-fill varying return %'s for all years at once (and other actions), we decided that ease of use is more essential than looking pretty. Yes, now you will see page tabs at the bottom of the page (similar to other Excel files), and have to hide sections, freeze rows, or perform other tasks manually, but we thought that looking a little more "Excel-ish" was much better than taking the chance that anyone might struggle to use TCRP. We hope that you agree!
• A column was added on the Results page to show how much excess income (including any excess RMD's) is being auto-saved each year. The Set Up page (previously the Expenses page) used to show a total for all years, but now you can see the amounts being saved and added to Non-Retirement savings year by year. You asked for it, you got it!
• The upper limit of the entry for what percentage of excess income can be "auto-saved" has been raised to 90%.
This allows for a little more excess income to be saved, and a little less to be unaccounted for. It also helps to build a small margin of error into your plan. In case you are wondering, the limit is not (and never will be) 100% because it just isn't reasonable (advisable?) to expect that anyone (even super-savers) will be able to save every penny of excess income, every year, for decades.
• Entries for a 3rd mortgage have been added. You may never have 3 mortgages at once, but this allows more flexibility for selling one property, and purchasing another, and/or for planning to purchase a property at some point in the future. It also allows for real estate taxes (and those tax deductions) to change if/when you change homes.
• For those wanting to pay off a mortgage early, "Extra Mortgage Payments" have been added to the Itemized Expenses section, with the amounts directly reducing a mortgage balance. The ending year for the mortgage automatically recalculates based on these payments. Also, these expenses are not inflation adjusted, so even if you do not use them as true extra mortgage payments, they offer an option to use them for other expenses that you may not want to be inflation adjusted.
• Many users asked about re-naming some of the 54 named expenses that they did not need. Two additional expenses that can be named as you like have been added (bringing the total up to 10), and the names of 10 existing expenses have been unlocked so that they can be re-named as well. This brings the total of expenses that you can name as you like up to 20.
• The optional Income Worksheets on the Income page (to aid with totaling multiple sources of income) have been
re-worked and now have an option to add an inflation amount for wage or pension income. For example, if you have a salary or pension that you expect to increase by a set inflation amount each year, just enter that % and the total for each future year will be calculated for you. You can't transfer the income totals to Taxable Income with the click of a button anymore (no more macros!), but you can still do it with a simple copy and paste (instructions are included!).
• The Social Security Calculator (which works independently from the rest of the planner) now shows the results of your Social Security entries/benefits from the main part of the planner. This allows you to change claiming ages in the calculator and easily compare the results to your entries in the main section of the planner without having to switch back and forth between pages. Convenience!
We did what we could to keep certain conveniences at your fingertips without the use of the macro buttons.
- You can hide certain sections of the planner on the Set Up and Income pages by clicking on a "-" sign in the margin.
Just as easy as clicking a button!
- You can now freeze panes (freeze column headers) by using the usual Excel actions to make scrolling easier when working with the long list of Itemized Expenses, or years of entries on the Income page. No clicking of a button,
but it's almost as easy!
- To switch pages, just click on the tabs at the bottom of the screen. Not as cool as clicking a button, but just as easy.
There is no other financial planning tool that offers the unique mix of individualized planning capabilities and the unbeatable value of TCRP. There is also no better way to gain a greater understanding of your finances than with a comprehensive financial plan. We are committed to making it easy for anyone, with or without financial planning experience, to create a comprehensive, individualized financial plan for their future. Helping others to gain a greater understanding of their finances is what TCRP is all about.
Stop guessing, start planning, retire with confidence.