The biggest obstacle in planning for retirement is finding the right tools to help you, or realizing that you need a planning tool at all. Creating a plan seems straightforward enough until you try to account for the seemingly endless variables that may occur over the course of several decades. Understanding what influences what, the details of various tax laws, and all the math involved quickly becomes overwhelming. Most people don't have the time, dedication, or even interest, to work through all of those details.
The best option is to search for a financial planning tool that will do the hard work for you. That's what I tried to do, but what I found, or, more importantly, didn't find, was shocking. Financial articles and blogs about retirement planning all like to recommend using retirement calculators, but I don't know how they do that with a straight face. Any financial tool that asks just a few questions, uses generic assumptions (that are erroneous, by the way), and ignores essential personal information, is not helpful, it's misleading at best and dangerous at worst. I guess that's why they're free, but you certainly can't rely on them.
I dug deeper, and found a couple of slightly more robust "planners" (I use that term loosely), but they proved to be overly complex and/or confusing to use, still didn't account for essential variables, and were too costly for what they offered ($100 - $395!). What an exercise in frustration!
Out of options, I decided to create a comprehensive retirement planner with more advanced features and capabilities than anything else that I had found. The complexity of making a planning tool up to this standard was a daunting task, but it was also an opportunity to help anyone else who might be looking for the same level of reliability in a retirement planner (I figured I couldn't be the only one, and it turns out that 74% of households could benefit from such a tool!).
My one advantage was having extensive experience building financial planning and forecasting tools for a Fortune 500 company. I understood sound financial planning principles, and the importance of making sure that even a very complex tool still needs to be intuitive and user friendly. It took many months of research, development, and innumerable, "But what about.....", questions that came from all those who tested it, but The Complete Retirement Planner was finally ready!
The result is a better solution for retirement planning, giving anyone the means to easily create an individualized, flexible, reliable, year by year retirement plan. It offers the essential features needed for detailed accuracy, and still costs far less than any other planner available (I wanted to make a point!). There's nothing else like it. Households from coast to coast use it for their retirement planning, and I have every confidence that you will find it to be just as beneficial.
Creator of The Complete Retirement Planner