Personal Finance Software Support
|Our Updating Policy and/or How to Get Programs that Never Need Updating|
(is listed below. The financial planning software modules are on the right-side column)
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|Phone Support Hours: 8AM - 7PM EST Monday - Friday
Everything people have asked about has been added to the directions, so the vast majority of answers are there, and in the associated Word documents. When there, use "Control F" to search for relevant keywords to find what you're looking for.
Our goal is to have the directions be so good that nobody ever e-mails nor calls for support (we're mostly there already).
Things go better if you print the directions pages so you don't have to switch windows all the time.
When you call, you'll be asked your e-mail address to verify that you purchased phone support.
Send e-mail outside the times listed above, and it will probably be answered the same day, even on weekends.
When E-mailing, Please Include the:
Product / file name (e.g., RWR.xlsx),
Sheet tab name(s),
And the exact cell number(s) you're asking about.
Describe what's going on in that exact cell, and why it's different than what you expected it to be.
In Word documents, and direction webpages, please include file name, page number, and which paragraph.
Answers to Basic Support FAQs:
If you're seeing this: ####, then either increase your monitor Zoom magnification number (using the slider at the bottom right), or make the column width wider. All this is saying is that column or row size isn't big enough to show the whole number (which is there and fine), considering how big your monitor zoom is set to. This is not an error.
If you see this: #REF! or #DIV/0! after completing your input, this means critical data was probably lost. If you did something like delete things, rename sheets, or any other kind of "surgery" to the spreadsheet, then this is because you "broke it."
If so then, just go back to the original program (that you should have stored in a safe place just for this purpose) and use that. If you didn't do that, then go back to the original file attachment in the delivery e-mail.
If it's still like this, then we need to send you another copy because information was lost either via e-mail, zipping, unzipping, or while making a CD (the whole computer and Internet thing is still FAR from perfect, so data stills gets lost in transit).
Most of the time, this #DIV/0! will go away when you complete your input.
If a red Error! dialog box comes up saying your input must be confined to a range of values, and your input was within that range, then the problem is that the input cell doesn't accept pennies. Just Try again rounding the value to the nearest dollar. In general, don't input pennies.
There's more of these kinds of generic answers on the directions pages.
Most Personal Finance Software has Three Prices for Each Level of Support
An unsupported discounted price for experienced users who like reading directions, and don't need support.
Unsupported means when you ask a question, your e-mail address will be looked up to see if you bought support, and if not, and the answer to your question is already in the directions, then you'll just be told that you don't have support, and you'll have to figure everything out yourself. How to upgrade support is below.
If you ask a support question, and the answer is not already in the directions, then you'll be rewarded with freebies (whether you have support or not).
You can still get support if you find a problem / bug with the financial planning software, or if the directions are bad / missing what you want / need work / or are confusing, even if you didn't buy support.
Unsupported users can also get help with getting zipped e-mail attachments onto their hard drive so they can be opened with MS Excel, and similar things to get going.
An e-mail supported price, for getting questions answered via e-mail. E-mail support means you can e-mail your questions, and you'll most likely get an answer the same day (even on weekends and holidays).
With both e-mail and phone support, you can send us programs back with data input, and we'll look it over to ensure you did everything okay. Advisers, this is only for the first few cases, so no you can't be doing this all day every day, it's just to set you on the right path.
A full phone and e-mail supported price. Phone support means you can call and talk with someone that can answer questions, in addition to e-mail.
If a program doesn't have three support prices, then support just doesn't apply to it because there's no need. Just e-mail if you have a question about something support doesn't apply to. If a module has only e-mail and phone support, that means that support is needed for some reason, and/or too many people want support even after they bought the unsupported version.
About "Hand-holding" Support and/or Program Training
Phone support is generally limited to:
Generic overall topics like what each program is used for (why, when, and with whom), which tool does this or that job the best, how to access the directions, and how to get started.
How to input and model oddball scenarios.
How to do complex things that are not covered in the directions.
Things covered in the directions, but are still confusing.
Phone support kicks in after you've made an effort to work with the directions. After doing this for thousands of people, most everything is clearly explained in the directions. But nothing is perfect, and it always has to be something. So if you bought support, please don't hesitate to use it. We want to know about every little thing, as perfection is the goal.
If it seems like you've made the effort to work the program by reading the directions, then phone support will help you.
But if you call and it's obvious that all of your questions are clearly answered in the directions, you'll probably be told that you're falling outside of support. Some people just don't do directions, are too busy, are computer illiterate, or have just been spoiled all their lives and thus want to be "hand-held" through every minor detail of every step of the instructions. Normal phone support does not cover this. This is more training than support.
The hourly rate for training and/or hand-holding for both consumers / investors, and financial advisors, is $25 an hour.
Please don't feel that you're bothering us with this. If you're willing to pay, then we're happy to help. But due to the ubiquitous bad apple, you may need to pay for half an hour's worth up front if you're a brand new customer ($12).
Sending Zipped (compressed) Files via E-mail to Us
Please don't send programs back as e-mail attachments unless we ask you to (zipped or not). The anti-virus / spam software may delete e-mails with large attachments, then you'll think you're being ignored. If we know it's coming, then we can watch for it.
If after talking with support, or sending an e-mail describing the problem, we ask you to zip and send the program back, then here's how to do it:
Go to Windows Explorer (right click on the Start button and click Explore). This is not Internet Explorer (AKA your browser).
Find and select the file / program.
Right click on it, and choose Send To.
Choose Compressed (Zipped) Folder.
If the new file's size is much smaller than the uncompressed file (less than half the size), then it worked fine. Now send the zipped file as an e-mail attachment.
If it didn't, meaning the program and the zipped file are about the same size, then the problem is that the workbook is protected. Unprotect and try again. Protection is under the Review ribbon
There is now a much smaller-sized zipped file with the same name (but the extension is now zip instead of xlsx).
Please send that as an e-mail attachment.
Please don't zip more than one file at a time, as that can make an attachment over 10Mb, which will be rejected by the e-mail server (it won't make it, so you'll be waiting for a response to an e-mail that never arrived).
E-mailing Screen Prints
Please don't e-mail us PDF files unless there's no alternative. Following the steps below is much better (especially for us).
If seeing your input is needed to troubleshoot, then you may be asked to attach a Word document with screen prints to an e-mail. Sometimes this is better and quicker than sending the whole program back (zipped or not).
If we asked you to e-mail program screen prints, then here's how to do it:
On standard desktop computers, there is usually a Print Screen key at the top right of your keyboard in the row of functions keys. When you press it, what's on your monitor is turned into an image file, and is put into the Windows clipboard.
Laptops usually don't have this key, but they all have a magic way of doing screen prints (via function keys), so you can find out how by asking someone, or going to the notebook's web support page. If not, then just search for it, using something like this (Lenovo 3000 is a type of notebook, so input what yours is), "Lenovo 3000 print screen function key"
Then you can open a new Word docx, and paste the screen prints into it (Control V).
Do a page break to separate the images if there's more than one (Insert, Page Break). This helps prevent images from piling up on top of each other (making the ones pasted first hidden behind the latter ones).
You can also use the Drawing Toolbar to add text boxes and arrows (like on the demos) to point to things and write about it. Most of the time, you won't be able to do this when sending the program back, so this is an advantage.
Then e-mail the Word document as an attachment with ALL of your input and also areas in the results pages where you're asking questions about. It's important to send screen prints of every place in the program that you input data (check all of the manual override areas too). This catches the problem being that you did something in a manual override, then forgot.
What we're going to do is use the fresh version, and manually input all of your data just like you did, to duplicate the problem. So we just want to see what you input. We can fix anything once we can duplicate it on our end.
How to Tack-on / Upgrade Support to an Existing Product
Go to the product page (or ordering form) about the money software that you already have.
Use the price difference between what you paid (or what the unsupported price is now), and the supported price, then go here: Use the custom deal secure credit card ordering forms.
Click on that link in the list of prices, then complete the order form as usual, then input "support upgrade" into the comment section at the bottom.
Sending an e-mail telling what you did helps to get your upgrade into the database correctly.
What you cannot do is cancel / downgrade to a lower level of support (and get that amount of money refunded).
How to do basic things in MS Excel is not covered under phone support. If you're so new to Excel that you don't know what a cell, column, row, or sheet tab is, then you should probably not buy this financial planning software. Help on how to get up to speed with Excel. This page about Excel may help too.
The vast majority of the time, all you'll need to do is input numbers and basic data (like people's names) into green-shaded input cells (that tell you exactly what to input most of the time).
So being an intermediate-level Excel user is not required. Excel is hardly ever in the way, so inputting is no harder than with code-driven money calculators. You'll have to input the same basic data into the same type of input field no matter what financial planning software you buy, because computers still cannot read your mind.
Before you buy, you can view most all of the demos and see exactly what type of input information is required by looking over all of the cells that are shaded green / gray on the Input sheets. They change from green to gray when there's a non-zero value input into them (so most will be gray on the demos).
The most complex thing you'll ever have to do in Excel with this financial plan software is use formulas to increase a number by a percentage. For example, if the contents of cell A1 is $100 and you want to increase it by 10% every year, all you need to do is go cell A2 and input =A1*1.1 and press enter. Then you'd just use the drag handle (the black cross on the bottom right of each cell) to drag it down as far as needed. If any more complexity is needed, then details on how to do it will be in the directions. If you mess up, just press control Z to undo it.
Some investment modules (like the asset allocation software) look intimidating at first, so it's common to want to be hand-held through the details of every step of the input process. These programs have had a lot of special attention given to making the details of every step very clear. So please give it a try first.
All of the directions are updated on the site, so you can always read them, while following along with the demo, to get an idea of what you're going to be doing if you were to buy the program. So if you bought the program several months ago, please re-print the directions again, as they've probably changed.
We hope this is now clear to you before you purchase, so you won't be disappointed when you want to call to get hours and hours of training and/or hand-holding support. If it's not, please send e-mail and it will be clarified.
If you send us any information that's valuable to others (either in general or specific to a financial plan software module, or their directions), then you'll probably be offered a freebie of your choice to thank you.
Unlike most other vendors, where support expires after a short period of time, support on these money calculators never expires, but spreadsheets do annually, and need to be updated (every financial software vendor does this).
How to send financial plans to clients via e-mail, without sending the whole program is explained on the bottom of the Excel help page.
If you're interested in having individual programs never expire, then you can do that too. Just take the initial price shown on the pricing tables at the bottom of the product page, then multiply the update price (25% of the current price) by five, then add them together. Then go to that order form here.
Here's an example using the e-mail supported Dual RWR program:
Current price: $200
Dual RWR Life Time Subscription Price:
So for $400 you'll get Dual RWR with no expiration function, plus you'll get free updates whenever that happens.
If you already have Dual RWR, then it would be $250 to turn it into an LTS deal.
To Use These Excel-based Money Calculators, the User Should Already be Proficient in Basic Things Like:
Knowing what sheet tabs are. These are the things at the bottom left of the workbook telling where stuff is - like pages in a book, where the book the workbook; AKA a spreadsheet. You should know how to move around from sheet to sheet within the same workbook.
Opening workbooks (spreadsheets).
Saving workbooks with different names and folders (directories) using the Save As... command.
Moving around from cell to cell (click or use the four arrow keys).
Knowing what a cell is, and how to locate and enter information into cells (press F5 and then enter the cell address to go directly to a certain cell).
Knowing how to copy (Control C) and paste (Control V) data from one cell or range to another.
Changing the view magnification to make sheets look right on your monitor, using the slider at the bottom right.
Changing the size, inserting, deleting, hiding, and unhiding columns and rows.
Tinkering with page setup margins, and row and column sizes, to format sheets to print right on your printer.
How to undo something you just did (Control Z or click the Undo icon).
How to protect and/or unprotect a sheet or a workbook.
And be able to deal with simple formulas, like =sum(b1:b10), and know that this will add the contents of all of the cells from B1 to B10.
Users should familiarize themselves with the basics of using Excel before purchasing these financial tools.
Some money calculators also assume the user has basic knowledge in TVM (Time Value of Money) concepts, and basic principles of investments (e.g., why you wouldnt enter a municipal bond as producing taxable income into an IRA, etc.). There are short explanations of TVM parameters on the financial calc pages.
Please try to find the answers to Windows, MS Office, Word, and Excel questions yourself before calling or e-mailing for support.
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