* All images below are screen shots of the planner. Due to the size reduction needed, the clarity is reduced, but we felt it was still important to illustrate the look and feel of working with the planner. Please contact us if you have any questions!
1. The Expenses Page
- Interview style questions, with notes to guide you, make all entries quick and easy.
- Entries for two mortgages, with the option to pay off early, or sell, either property.
- Total expenses adjust automatically in the year that a mortgage ends.
- Annual mortgage interest and real estate taxes are calculated automatically to provide
accurate tax deductions (real estate taxes are also inflation adjusted).
- Enter an inflation rate for the planner to use (try fractionally different rates to see just how dramatic the effect can be!).
- The inflation rate applies to general expenses, but not to fixed expenses (e.g. auto loans, mortgage payments, etc.)
so that total expenses aren't artificially inflated over time. Also, Health Care Costs use a unique inflation rate of 6%
(per projections from the U.S. Dept. Of The Actuary).
- Select your Federal tax filing status, and enter optional tax deduction amounts for State income/sales tax, Charity, and
Medical expenses. For each year, the planner uses the greater of your Standard Deduction or your itemized deductions.
- Enter your effective State income tax rate to complete the picture of your tax liability. All taxes on income and
taxable Social Security are calculated for each year.
- Your current tax-deferred retirement savings balance(s).
- Your current Roth retirement savings balance(s).
- Your desired retirement age(s).
- The age(s) when you intend to claim Social Security benefits.
- Your expected Social Security benefit(s) at Full Retirement Age (from www.ssa.gov).
- Any cash/investment balances that you would like to use to pay expenses, and the expected interest/return rates for those funds.
Optional - enter up to 7 (only 4 shown here) significant one time events that may affect retirement savings (positively or negatively).
Great for "what if" scenarios!
- Enter your current expenses first, then adjust how, and when, those amounts may change, start, or end, in future time frames.
Over 40 expenses are listed, including the ability to enter another 10 of your own. This offers clarity on how money is being spent
(note the % to total for each expense), creates the ability to calculate expenses for each individual year, and allows for inflation protection for fixed expenses. Easily model different scenarios for various time frames. You're 80% done!
2. The Income Page
- For reference, there's an overview of the most common types of retirement savings accounts and their general rules.
- A guide for how to proceed when entering your income information (don't worry, it's easy!)
helps to keep you on track, and avoid any confusion.
- The investment rate % that you expect to earn on your retirement savings.
- The amount that you plan to contribute to Traditional and Roth 401k's and IRA's.
- The amount that you expect your employer to contribute to your retirement savings (if they offer a matching funds policy).
- Expected taxable income. Every year doesn't have to be the same!
- Flexibility. Life isn't static so you shouldn't be tied into planning it that way.
- So that you can enter actual results after each year, automatically updating all future years so that you don't hold
an inaccurate plan, or have to start over each year.
- To easily model "what if" scenarios with different amounts of income and/or contributions for various time frames.
- Transfer the total for each spouse to the main income column of the planner (shown above) with the click of a button.
3. The Results Page
First, you will see the results for each spouse, by year, for:
- Taxable and interest income.
- Social Security income.
- Traditional and Roth retirement savings balances( includes all contributions).
- Retirement savings distributions - based on total need, and proportionate to both spouse's balances.
Required Minimum Distributions are calculated automatically and will override needed distributions, if larger.
- Total cash/investment savings balances.
- Separate graphs illustrate the effect on each spouse's savings balances over time.
- Gross taxable income.
- Total Federal/State tax liability.
- Income available to pay expenses, including non-taxable income.
- Total expenses.
- Cash/investments available to pay expenses.
- Cash used to pay expenses.
- Traditional and Roth retirement savings balance.
- Total needed distributions from Traditional and Roth retirement savings (includes RMD's).
- The distribution % of total retirement savings.
- Federal tax deductions, and Child Tax Credit (if any).
- Separate graphs illustrate the effect on retirement savings over time, as well as the relationship of expenses to distributions.
Above the total results you will see the note that's most important to you - will your money last as long as you need it to?
The planner uses a life expectancy of age 90 for this purpose, but still calculates all data (listed below the note) up to
age 95 for reference. If you have sufficient savings in the year when both spouses have reached age 90, it will tell you
your savings balance for that year. It looks like this:
If you should come up short, it will tell you the year that your savings will run out, and how much more is needed. Don't despair!
You'll be surprised at how just a few adjustments on the Expenses and/or Income pages (not just saving more) can
make up a large shortfall. After all, learning what adjustments are needed to reach your goals is the whole point!
4. The Social Security Calculator
• Enter different claiming ages to see the effect on your Social Security benefit.
• Side by side entries for spouses quickly model how to maximize benefits.
• Both annual and lifetime benefit totals are shown to help understand the big picture.
• If applicable, divorce and survivor benefits are available options.
5. Health Care
and what the potential costs are. It also offers an estimate for Long Term Care insurance policies. It's a great
resource for estimating health care costs in retirement. One page of reading (no entries!), but it's worth it.
or select the "Buy Now" button at the top of the page.