College Savings Calculators
|Download the Free Single Student College Planner Demo||Download the Free Multiple Student College Planner Demo||College Plan Software Directions||Text that Explains the College Funding Reports||Read this Before Investing in 529 Plans|
(is listed below. The financial planning software modules are on the right-side column)
Confused? It Makes More Sense if You Start at the Home Page
Free Downloads and Money Tools
|Prices and ordering information are at the bottom
These are the Most Powerful, Functional, and Flexible College Fund Calculators Ever Created. This is "real" college planning software, not like the usual rinky-dink free online college calculators - which are mostly useless and barely perform basic functions.
Careful planning is needed these days to prepare for the extremely expensive college adventure.
These Excel-based college savings calculators will help you determine how much you'll need to invest, both lump sum, and/or monthly, to reach a future college funding need, assuming out-of-pocket costs and various time-value-of-money input. In English, it tells you how much it will cost to send someone to college, and how much one needs to save to pay for it.
Only our college savings programs use a superior Monte Carlo simulation methodology (most don't have it at all).
There are two college fund calculators: The single college planner is for one student, and the multiple version is for analyzing up to five students at once (but Monte Carlo only works on three due to an Excel limitation).
Both college calculators have a unique financial calculator sheet that takes taxes into account in great detail, so you can compare investing yourself in a non-529 plan discount brokerage account (AKA Doing It Yourself) to 529 college savings plans.
You can run the analysis if they're already in college, afterwards, and see the difference between public vs. private colleges. You can also see the difference in the savings, payout, and expense amounts needed with a Section 529 Qualified Tuition Plan vs. just saving in a taxable account.
With all of the income and expense manual overrides, you have complete control over every dollar in every year. These are the only college savings calculators where you can control out-of-pocket costs, all of the savings, growth rates, taxes, withdrawals, and investment expenses down to the dollar in every year.
This matters because it's important to know exactly how much to save, because it's very expensive, and one needs to avoid having the lack of funds being the reason why they didn't graduate. The only way to know exactly how much is needed, is to input and account for all of these factors that will happen to a student in the Real World.
There is a detailed student budget calculator for both public and private colleges so you can see those differences on the same page.
Excel's built-in Goal Seek function also makes this by far the most flexible, powerful, and functional college planner ever created. You can easily do any "What If" scenario that any other college savings calculator can do, plus dozens more they can't do. For example, if you wanted to see how much rent you could afford, you'd click on cell G36 of a 529 presentation sheet, and then go to Data, What-If Analysis, Goal Seek, click the middle field, input 0, go to the bottom field, and then go back to the input sheet and click on the Monthly Rent input field, and it changes the amount of rent until you don't need to save anymore (see the college planner demo). You can do any "What If" you can think of, like the minimum average rate of return needed or the bottom line rate of return difference between 529 and DIY.
You Just Input:
• Basic factors like the student's name, current age, the age student will start college, how many years in college, etc.
• Total cost (in today's dollars), and how much will be paid out-of-pocket during college. The total cost is accounted for in a detailed monthly student budget. You can also ignore all of the details, and just input total estimated monthly expenses. You can also ignore out-of-pocket all together.
The student budget section is the most functional of any college planning software ever, because it has the most expense items, you can set a different inflation rate for each expense, and you can manually override them to be whatever you want in every year (to account for vacations like a big Europe trip in only one year).
• How much you have saved now, and how much you plan to save.
• Assumed rates of return, inflation, and taxes. You can have different investment growth rates in every year.
Then just look at the results. It has great year-by-year charts that show how much more is needed to graduate on schedule. If there are deficits (the student won't have enough money to make it through college), and then it shows how much, in both lump sum or monthly payments, is needed now to fully fund everything. It basically does everything but look up current costs of a particular college (most other programs' numbers are very much obsolete).
College Planner Features
• This is the one and only financial plan software that fee-based financial planners can use to tap the 529 market and gather those assets. Now you can show your prospects and clients the Advantages and disadvantages of section 529 savings plans. There's little-to-no advantages, and a huge list of real disadvantages. So all you need is this financial tool, the directions for it, and then learn the concepts of how and why 529 plans are obsolete, then how to present sample financial plans; and then you can convince them to let you manage them all in taxable account, and get well paid from them for a change.
• Once you buy a supported college calculator, then after you log into your state 529 plan's website, you'll know the hidden list of investment options, track record of investment performance, and all of their charges, fees, and expenses. Then we'll supply an "Offset Factor" and an expense factor.
So if a plan has an Offset Factor of 3%, then that's how much more return is guesstimated that you'll probably get by having a monkey throw darts at a dozen Vanguard Index funds in a non-tax-qualified brokerage account.
The bottom line is that most of the time, when you add the Offset Factor to the Expenses Factor, it's a no-brainer that you will probably be much better off "doing-it-yourself" in a non-529 discount brokerage account.
• It shows you just about every dollar in every year to help understand how everything works. Everything flows from right to left, and then down, in a logical manner so you can see exactly what's going on at every step.
• It allows you to account for out-of-pocket funds that will be used to pay for college while the student is in college. Out-of-pocket funds will typically come from loans, grants, gifts, family giving money from their checking accounts, students working, etc. Any money coming from anywhere other than the investment account is OOP. This is useful when parents want their children to pay X% for their own education, as it estimates how much is needed in every year.
The difference between the costs of college and what will be paid out-of-pocket is what the program uses to calculate the amount of money that needs to be saved in the investment fund.
• It displays all of the figures for comparing public vs. private colleges at the same time. Everything was just copied, so the only difference between the two scenarios is the increased costs of attending a private college.
This is also very useful when comparing the budgets of different colleges. You don't have to be limited to only comparing public vs. private college costs here; you can also compare living at home vs. dorm, or any other scenario. This allows you to compare the bottom lines of two different budget / expense scenarios. Another example of an expense difference would be expenses of the investment account, like 529 vs. DIY, or commissions vs. ticket charges vs. wrap fees, etc.
This is the only college software that does all of this so you can see the details of both colleges, or modes of living, at the same time.
• Since it's an Excel spreadsheet, you can run and save an unlimited number of versions to compare all of the different scenarios.
• You can input continued savings, and tinker with the amount currently saved, and it will determine the net present value of the funding needed. It shows you all of the important present value numbers so you can see what a huge difference the high cost of college tuition inflation will have - and the difference between 529 college plans and taxable savings.
It also displays the bottom line inflated net present value of money needed to fund the whole education. This answers the question if Grandma just wants to write one big check to fully cover the whole deal today.
• You can have a different rate of return for the accumulation phase and the payout phase. Usually you want to take less risk when the student is actually in college, so you can enter a lower rate of return in the manual override columns for years you want to be more conservative. You can even simulate losing money in down market years.
• You set the rate of return used to calculate the additional funding needed. This can be a different rate of return so you can be more conservative or aggressive than in your regular investments.
• You can set an annual expense inflation factor for each expense individually. These can be different for each student. Also, if you think a particular year will have negative college inflation (where tuition is on sale or something), you can also use the manual overrides to reduce total expenses in any individual year.
So you can input things like trips to Europe while going to a U.S.-based college, while comparing that to attending college in Europe for a short time. This is the only college funding planner that will do any of this.
• You can control savings, investment growth, and withdrawals down to the dollar in every year by using the manual overrides. Both the public and private college calculators have separate manual overrides for complete control over most everything.
For example, you can manually override the contributions (additions to the investment account) to account for unequal cash flows in any year, even during and after college.
• For financial advisors, it summarizes everything on the presentation sheet for a nice, simple, clean bottom-line client presentation.
You can use the 529 vs. DIY comparisons to show how if you can get 1% to 2% more investment return, you can bag the whole 529 mess and get paid.
• It tells you the total amount spent (withdrawn from the account). This tells you the total cost in dollars actually spent.
• It shows you the year, year number, age of the student, and whether they're in college that year; to help you keep everything straight.
• It has a thirty-year window to account for late bloomers and very long periods of college. This large window is especially useful in the five-student college plan because of the larger range of ages between youngest and oldest student.
• You can see how much to save using both Section 529 Plans and non-qualified tuition savings plans - both having public and private budgets.
• With the multiple-student version, you can use a surplus in one student's investment account to fund a deficit in another's.
• It summarizes everything in text / numbers and then has several charts and graphs to show all of the pertinent information. There are too many features to list here with all of the charts, please see the demo.
• The cash flows can be integrated into other modules of the financial plan software (retirement, cash flow, life insurance needs, net worth, etc.).
• The program can be used for other things other than college planning. Any time there is a need for a limited series of annual payments in the future, this will work fine.
You can only perform all of these critical financial planning functions with these college savings programs.
Please note that this college savings program does not calculate or determine eligibility for 529 plans, student loans, nor grants. There is also no database of estimated costs of attending any college. They change too much and are easily found online (the link to that is in the directions).
To download the demo, right click on the link below, and then choose "Save (Target) As..." to save to your hard drive. Then find it and open with Excel.Answers to frequently asked demo questions and how to use demos.
Be sure to see the sheet that shows what colors should look like.
- or -
After you have a "demo," read the instructions
The "demos" are the actual spreadsheets, without formulas, so you won't be able to do anything but look at them.
The pages on the free sample comprehensive financial plan print better than the demo.
This is one of the few personal finance modules that has a "trial period" (but only for professional advisors, not consumers).
|Financial Planning Software Modules For Sale
(are listed below)
Our Unique Financial Services
Miscellaneous Pages of Interest
Buy now with your Visa or MasterCard by calling (800) 658-1824
Buy now using the secure credit card ordering form
Send a check in the mail
College Planning Calculators
|Unsupported||E-mail Support||E-mail and Phone Support|
Single College Planning Software
Single College Planning Software with College Fact Finder
Five-Student College Planning Software
Five-Student College Planning Software with College Fact Finder
© Copyright 1997 - 2013 Tools For Money, All Rights Reserved