Retirement Planner / FIRE Sheet - Request for Feedback

Jon,

  1. You must have drawn the short straw here. Good luck.
  2. The first item you mentioned was investment growth rate. I would like to be able to associate a growth rate with every investment asset that I have. So, if I have three accounts and each account has two positions, I would like to have six different rates that I can use, one for each position. Of course there are practical limitations here. I might suggest six, and maybe no more than ten. I adopt a lazy portfolio so I do not have many positions. I just moved from three to four.
  3. The second item you mentioned was taxes. I know all about taxes, right? You guys need to make the call here. Taxes bring lots of complexity but honestly any worthy tool needs to address income taxes, and that means both federal and state.
  4. Someone mentioned RMD’s. You need to think about the presentation here. In my mind, RMD’s and other IRA transactions are only tax issues. Otherwise, they are no different than moving money from your savings account and your checking account. Obviously, you would not be calculating the RMD, only providing a space for the user to enter an amount.
  5. You are already providing the ability to enter Social Security. The big question for the user is what numbers to use. That is on the user, not Tiller.
  6. You need to consider withdrawal strategies. The three I see are based on spending needs, maximum spending, and fixed percentage withdrawals.
  7. Someone mentioned Portfolio Visualizer. Very sophisticated, all of which I love. They have lots of great tools there but I suspect most of it is beyond the scope of your project.
  8. What is the new projected rollout date?
  9. Finally, I save the best for last. I have mentioned NewRetirement.com many times on this community but have never received much traction. I am sure Tiller has been listening and has looked at their product. If not, go there right now. This is what your are trying to replicate. I like and use their product. No harm in looking at their tool for ideas, presentation, etc. (Enough said…this is where that little man on my shoulder tells me to shut up and I actually listen to him.)

Cheers,

Blake

Thanks @Blake for your helpful feedback and suggestions. You organized some of the issues very clearly.

We don’t have a rollout date yet. I can’t even give you an estimate. I think we were close, but we are trying our best to deal with the complexities.

One concept we are considering is to allow you to put in whatever adjustments you want based on year, amount and growth rate. So each user could make it as complex or simple as they wanted.

Jon

Great feedback, @Blake.

There are some parts of what you’re requesting that we will be able to implement and some parts that are well beyond the scope of our project.

Within a spreadsheet, there are some significant performance, UX and special-case constraints that do not exist within dedicated retirement planning tools. Tax planning & consequences, in particular, are an area where the scenarios are just far too complex for us to keep pace, provide accurate guidance, and not confuse template users. Most spreadsheet-based solutions address this by relying on the spreadsheet user to input “after tax” growth rates, effectively best-effort personalized assumptions provided by each user.

I realize these compromises may be disappointing to users hoping for an end-all-be-all solution to retirement planning in a spreadsheet. Our hope is that this is a first step— we currently don’t have a tool or workflow to address these needs— and that this community can improve & build on the foundation of this simplified first release.

I am well aware of the constraints. You do the best you can with what you have. It is better than nothing. Are you guys going to charge extra for this? Cheers.

These templates will be free just like the rest of the Tiller Money Labs templates.

@randy

What is this then?

That link is to a beta for positions/holdings feeds, @blake.
This thread is about a template.

Thanks everyone in this thread for your feedback and suggestions.
It was very helpful!

We have just released our first version of the new Retirement Planner.
You can read about it and find out how to install it here:

Jon

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I think the issue might be that I have a huge “net actuals” deficit due to moving funds from the sale of my house into various other assets. Those funds appeared in my first Tiller budget as savings so there isn’t income to offset the expenses, and it looks like I’m living with huge negative cash flow.

Hi @aronos,
I’m not completely clear on the issue you are having.
But if you have an unusually large budget amount in a category in the current year that won’t be true going forward, you could create a life event with the same category name in the Cash Flow sheet starting next year with a 0 or lower amount. That should account for the unusual budget in future years.

Jon

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Hey guys. Any update on when the FIRE sheet will be available?

Hi @DL19 ,
We released the FIRE sheet a few weeks ago. But we are calling it the Retirement Planner, since it’s not just for FIRE. It’s for retirement in general.

It was mentioned earlier in this thread. But here’s a link to the details:

Let us know what you think.

Jon

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Finally got a chance to play with the Cash Flow forecast and Retirement Planner spreadsheets and they are great! I don’t have budget data so I had to enter estimates using the life planner section. took me a while to work out MY bugs but I think I have a fairly good representation of my situation. I really like playing with the investment and withdrawal rates. Since I used the life events instead of income and expenses, I can’t see how inflation will affect my spending ability in retirement. Any way to play with having income stop at a certain year and expenses continuing on?

thanks for all you do.
Mark

Hi @markchuteski ,
I’m glad you are enjoying the sheets.

It certainly can work without using budgets.

There are a number of ways to do it. For example you can set-up a life event of Income and another of Expense.

The Income could have a year range so you could adjust the end year. That would let your income stop.

The negative Expense value could have a growth rate which would match your estimated inflation rate.

Does that make sense?

Jon

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So I have it set up with expenses and income in the cash flow, but here is my problem. When I get to the retirement planner I have both the withdrawal rate and the expense part coming out of my investments when in reality it is the withdrawal rate that is paying for the expenses. does that make sense? So I can get rid of expenses once retired and see what withdrawal rate I can support or I can keep expenses in and leave withdrawal rate at 0 and see how my expense effect year end investment amounts.

Hi @markchuteski ,
I’m not fully clear on what you are saying

I have both the withdrawal rate and the expense part coming out of my investments when in reality it is the withdrawal rate that is paying for the expenses.

Are you saying it is double-counting?

Would it be possible to make in an adjustment in the Investment Adjustments section to account for what’s happening? I realize those adjustments don’t include a growth rate. But maybe you can approximate it?

Jon

It is possible to make adjustments in many places, but the best way is to focus on what you want the sheet to analyze, I guess.

Look at this example:

Year Age Spouse Age Current OR Investments Start of Year Investment Growth Rate Investment Gain 5.0% Withdrawal Cash Flow Forecast Investment Adjustments Net Gain/Loss Investments End of Year
2021 59 51 $1,323,270 6.0% $63,738 - $0 + $75,000 + $0 = $138,738 $1,462,008
2022 60 52 $1,462,008 6.0% $87,720 - $0 + $78,075 + $0 = $165,795 $1,627,803
2023 61 53 $1,627,803 6.0% $97,668 - $0 + $81,232 + $0 = $178,900 $1,806,704
2024 62 54 $1,806,704 6.0% $108,402 - $0 + $59,473 + $0 = $167,875 $1,974,579
2025 63 55 $1,974,579 6.0% $118,475 - $0 + $62,425 + $0 = $180,899 $2,155,478
2026 64 56 $2,155,478 6.0% $129,329 - $0 + $65,458 + $0 = $194,787 $2,350,265
2027 65 57 $2,350,265 6.0% $141,016 - $117,513 + -$176,142 + $0 = -$152,639 $2,197,626
2028 66 58 $2,197,626 6.0% $131,858 - $109,881 + -$179,534 + $0 = -$157,558 $2,040,068
2029 67 59 $2,040,068 6.0% $122,404 - $102,003 + -$181,060 + $0 = -$160,659 $1,879,409
2030 68 60 $1,879,409 5.0% $93,970 - $93,970 + -$160,744 + $0 = -$160,744 $1,718,665

In the year 2027 I retire. The spreadsheet starts calculating the withdrawal rate of -$117513 and it brings over the Cash flow forecast of -$176142. Both of these are subtracted from the investment gain to give us the gain/loss (-$176172) and ultimately the investment value at the end of the year.

But that is not the true picture of the year. My investments make $141016, I spend $176142 so I need to take an additional $35126 out of my investments to pay for the expenses, so my end of the year investment value is only reduced by $35126, not $152639.

It just seems like looking at both withdrawal rate and expenses at the same time does not show the true picture. I can leave out expenses and see what withdrawal rate (which pays my expenses) I can sustain or I can include retirement expenses in the cash flow and leave the withdrawal rate at zero to see how that affects my balances, but not both.

Mark

Sorry, this should read:

Both of these are subtracted from the investment gain to give us the gain/loss (-$152639) and ultimately the investment value at the end of the year.

@markchuteski ,
Thanks for sharing all this. It will take me some time to get my head around what you are saying, but I think I will get there.

Do you see a way to solve this issue?

Jon

I am not sure if there is anything to solve or if it is just better to be aware of what you are trying to determine. Both spreadsheets offer great insight.