Real World Retirement Software
|Dual RWR||Download the Retirement Software User's Manual||Retirement Strategy Explanation Text||How to Make Quickie Retirement Plans|
|Download the Current RWR Demo||Download the Proposed RWR Demo||Changes in Proposed Retirement Strategies (read about the differences in the two demos)||Menu of Retirement Planning Software|
(is listed below. The financial planning software modules are on the right-side column)
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RWR is the King of Retirement Software
RWR is by far the most powerful and flexible stand-alone retirement software program ever created. In technical terms, it has the most functionality of any retirement analysis software available today.
This means it's capable of performing more useful and valuable functions than anything else - regardless of who makes it, how well it's advertised, or how much it costs. No other retirement planner is even close to being in the ballpark, when it comes to matching and projecting an actual person's life, to what will most likely happen in the Real World.
The one and only way to project a person's financial future better and more accurately than RWR is to use actual cash-flow based (and not goal based or goal focused) comprehensive and integrated financial planning software, which is a whole nuther ballgame.
We did the only actual reviews of most all other retirement planners (eventually, we'll get to them all), and proved this is the case, in excruciating detail, here. The best place to read the difference between cash-flow based and goal based is here.
There are two versions of RWR. The regular single version is described on this page. Dual RWR is just two RWRs combined so you can see both current and proposed scenarios at the same time. To minimize confusion, about Dual RWR is here.
RWR uses a superior Monte Carlo simulation methodology compared to other retirement tools, which is explained in the manual and the Monte Carlo page.
You can use Excel's built-in "Goal Seek" function to do any "What-If" scenario and goal seeking function that all other retirement tools can do, plus dozens more they can't.
Most other retirement planning calculators are written in some arcane programming language where you can't even see how the numbers are generated (AKA code-driven). With RWR being written in Excel, you can see the flow of each calculation, so you can trace and solve all mysteries back to your input. All of our financial planning software has complete transparency.
Consumers and Investors: Now you can accurately analyze every retirement scenario, accounting for all of the details that happen in the Real World - before, during, and after retirement.
Basic operation is to enter information into input areas (just like code-driven software), and then analyze the results. Usually the goal is to optimize the retirement strategy that will allow you to reach your retirement goals without running out of money before a certain age. You can do this in around 15 minutes by reading the quickie retirement plan page.
RWR will help give you peace of mind and a greater understanding of what's needed to build, maintain, and use your retirement savings to provide retirement income security. With RWR, minimal Excel know-how, and the user's manual; you can run the most elaborate retirement scenarios, strategies, and projections all by yourself. Or you can ignore detail to keep it simple.
Now you can get better results and more meaningful answers to questions about preparing for, and living in retirement; for a small fraction of the costs of hiring a financial planner. They would charge several times what this retirement planner costs to run your numbers just once. Forget all that, now you can do it all yourself
RWR is a very sharp tool that will help answer your questions about the financial aspects of retirement (or any alternative lifestyle you may be considering). This is in contrast to all other retirement saving software, which are blunt tools that barely get you in the ballpark, and usually costs more than twice as much.
With the Cash Flow Projector, you can dial-in your retirement income needs more precisely than with any other financial planning software. Other than using our IFP, there is no other way to get more accurate results, even if you spend thousands on the most comprehensive and integrated financial planning software. This is because with RWR and the Cash Flow Projector, you can account for everything, and have total control over every number, over 70 years into the future.
You can also use the programs to determine how much disability and/or nursing home insurance you need to maintain. RWR calculates the need for disability and long-term care insurance better than any other financial planning software. Even MoneyTree Silver, which just says your need for DI is just 65% of income. Dual RWR is better because you can just make the Current version show what will happen if income stops and expenses escalate, then show premiums and benefits in the Proposed version.
Financial Advisors: RWR is the solution if you're frustrated with "code-driven" retirement softwares' lack of functionality, accuracy, flexibility, input detail, and forecasting ability. You'll also have total control over all of the printed reports and financial variables, which leads to a better understanding of the final numbers. You can only explain what you understand, so this leads to a more acceptable and thorough explanation to clients.
All you'll need is Dual RWR, the Cash Flow Projector, and the Fact Finders, and you'll be able to do more valuable work for your clients than anyone else; no matter how smart or rich and famous they are, what professional designations they have, how well-staffed / big / or fancy their firm is, or how much they spend on financial software.
Assuming you know the basics of Excel, all it takes is reading the user's manual and collecting data from clients, and you can run the most robust multiple scenarios (Current vs. Proposed versions) quicker and easier than any other retirement savings calculator.
There's custom Word document fact finders you just print, send, or e-mail to clients. Then they fill it out and send or e-mail it back. Then you'll input their data into the retirement software. You can easily customize everything to fit your practice, then print out as many as you want for free.
Retirement assets can easily be set up using the "bucket" approach, where you'd input investment accounts according to what kind of financial asset class it's in. This way you can control when, and where, retirement income comes from using different points of view - income, growth rates, qualified vs. non-qualified, asset class, etc. This makes depleting one type of asset bucket before tapping into other buckets easy to model and explain.
This is one of the few personal finance modules that has a "trial period" (but only for financial advisors, not for consumers).
This is also one of the programs that has the automatic updater spreadsheet, so it's only a few clicks to update from the old to new version (so there's no manual copying and pasting of inputs required, it's all automatic).
Below the Download Section is a Detailed Description of this Retirement Software's Unique Features and Benefits
Prices and ordering information are at the bottom
Free Demo Downloads
The Current retirement plan demo has informational text boxes that point out features. The Proposed demo doesn't, so it looks more like what you'll see with the actual program.
There are five demos for Dual RWR to show the "Bucket Approach," normal "Gap Funding," and disability insurance and long-term care insurance needs.
To download a demo, right click on a link below, and then choose "Save (Target) As..." to save to your hard drive. Then find it and open with Excel
Download the single RWR Current Retirement Plan demo
Then download the Proposed Retirement Analysis, showing changes from the current plan that allowed John & Mary Sample to retire as hoped
- or -
- then -
Download text that explains details of the retirement reports
The free example financial plan PDF prints better than the demos
Be sure to see the sheet that shows what colors should look like
RWR is not a trivial program. It is an enormous, complex, and serious retirement program that's designed for the most demanding, detail-oriented financial advisors (and control-freak consumers). One of the reasons why it's so large, is to make it easy to operate.
Below is a list of important features needed to fully analyze retirement strategies. Most are illustrated in the demos, so having one open may help.
Some other retirement planners will perform a few of these functions here and there, but RWR is the only retirement income calculator that will do them all. If your experienced with other retirement tools, you'll see RWR solves the problems, bugs, and limitations they're infamous for.
Functions RWR Will Perform that Other Retirement Software Can't:
Both client and spouse can have ten Real World assets each (20 total).
They're called "Real World" assets because RWR is the only retirement planner where investment buckets are treated as stand-alone entities, each with ten income payout methods, all operating independently of everything else, and able to be controlled like investment accounts in real life. You have total control over ownership, when investments start, how they grow or shrink, how and when new retirement savings are added, how they're taxed, and how and when they pay out income, down to the dollar in every year.
The Ten Asset Payout Methods are:
1) Lump Sum: 100% of the investment's balance is paid out as a lump sum at any year specified (even way past the first year of anyone's retirement).
You can still use the manual withdrawal column to take out partial amounts before the lump sum year. You can also control how much is taxed, and tax rates can be different in these two payout phases (manual withdrawals and then the final lump sum).
2) Yield Only: The biggest use for this retirement withdrawal method is when you want to keep principal intact forever, but it also has more uses.
For example, to account for CDs or individual bonds in the Real World, you can account for just the income, and then use the manual withdrawal column to lump sum the maturity proceeds. You can also simulate any number of individual CDs or bonds maturing in different years by using the withdrawal manual override column in conjunction with the rate of return manual override column. You can also account for some maturing while others are reinvested.
Another practical use of this withdrawal method is modeling investments like bond mutual funds. You can assume a total return of 7%, taking out 6% interest income, and having the principal grow by some small amount (1% in this case). Or slowly deplete it by 1% by taking out 7% and growing it at 6%.
Taxes on municipal bonds, or mutual funds, can be simulated correctly too by setting the amount taxable input field (cell A10) to 0%. If there are capital gains to pay when it's sold or matured, enter that tax inclusion rate into cell A11. Or the tax rate on any mix of state and federally taxable scenarios can be run too.
With this payout option, you'll have control over every bond, CD, or fixed-income strategy where a fixed or variable percentage of the investment's balance is paid out as retirement income.
3) Inflation-adjusted Income Stream Generator: This unique retirement withdrawal method automatically answers the question, "What's the most retirement withdrawal I can take out of this investment account every year, account for taxes, have it keep up with inflation, and have it last until I'm 100?"
You'd just input the year it starts to pay out, a life expectancy age, a rate of return, a tax rate, and it automatically figures out the rest.
You can still use the manual income withdrawal column before payout starts.
This retirement income distribution method is also known as calculating a systematic withdrawal plan, or in IRS language, "substantially equal periodic payments over life expectancy."
4) IRS Age 70½ Minimum Required Distributions (MRD, or AKA MDIB and RMD): RWR will estimate the annual minimum distribution amounts that need to be withdrawn from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s.
You can still use the income withdrawal manual override column at any age, so you can tap into it more when needed, and then have it go back to paying just the required minimum distributions.
5) Specific Annual Withdrawal Amounts: This withdrawal method just disables the other nine payout methods, so only amounts input into the withdrawal manual override column inject income into the retirement plan.
In short, you manually input how much of an investment's balance you want to withdraw, and to be spent as retirement income, in every year. Then the calculator forces that much net income into the picture. If there's a surplus over what's needed, then it's added back to active Flexible assets (discussed next).
6) Flexible Withdrawal: This payment method pays out retirement income in a manner that does not have a structured payout option (methods 1 - 4, or 7 - 10). Its an easy way to just let it figure everything out based on what's needed.
A Flexible Asset is different because it frees the retirement account to pay out retirement income needs that remain after all non-asset income from the Summing & Input sheet, and assets with structured payout methods, have paid out. It basically funds whatever is needed to reach annual income goals after everything else has paid out (e.g., Social Security, pensions, earned income, and all non-flexible asset buckets).
If there is more than one Flexible Asset, then withdrawals are calculated on a pro-rata basis, according to size. For example, if there are only four investment buckets with values of $500,000, $250,000, $150,000, and $100,000, and the income need was $100,000 in that year; then $50,000 would come out of the $500k fund, $25,000 out of the $250k fund, $15,000 out of the $150k, and $10,000 out of the $100k fund. So all investments will run out at the same time.
Flexible Assets also accept income surpluses when there's a forced surplus (theres more money coming in than being spent). These surpluses get added back to their market value, so it can grow until needed in the future.
7) Single Life Fixed Annuity: This method of paying out retirement income trades in the investment's market value for a permanent income stream. This income stream most resembles a single life fixed annuity (or old-style defined benefit pension plan).
It wipes out the investment's market value when it starts to pay out, it pays until death, and cannot be altered once it begins. It basically allows you to simulate what will happen in the Real World if you were to annuitize a fixed-rate annuity, without an inflation rider benefit. If you want to model a fixed annuity with an inflation rider, then you can use one of the income generators discussed below.
8) Inherited IRA or IRS 72(t) Distributions using the Life Expectancy Method: Calculate early tax-qualified retirement plan distributions without getting hit with the before age 59½ penalty tax (or calculate how much is required to be distributed annually from an inherited IRA at any age).
You can tap your IRA, and other tax-qualified investments, without paying penalties before you turn 60, as long as you use what the IRS calls, "A substantially equal series of payments lasting until life expectancy." There are three standardized ways to do this, listed in Section 72(t) of the Code.
This retirement payout method is similar (opposite to, really) to the RMD method (Payout #4), but it starts before age 70½.
9) IRS 72(t) using the Fixed Amortization Method: This uses the same concept as Payout method #8, but gives the highest annual income distribution.
10) IRS 72(t) using the Annuitization Method: The same concept as Payout method #8 applies, but gives the lowest annual income distribution.
There's much more about 72t on sheet #21's section of the financial tools page, with links to IRS pages describing the concepts, how to avoid premature penalties by using 72(t) distributions, how calculations are made, etc.
You can change asset payout methods midstream. If you want to have an investment pay out using a certain method for the first ten years, and then change to another payout method, you can do that only with RWR.
Each of the 20 assets can have its own unique effective / starting date. This allows you to start an investment's life at any year - before anyone's year of retirement, the same year, or any year after retirement has begun for anyone.
For example, if you're expecting an inheritance at 70 (and you're 50 now and expect to be retired at 65), you can start this new investment's life in the year you're 70.
Each asset bucket also has its own year when its income payout becomes effective. This can be any year, on or after retirement.
The retirement investment account grows without distributions until payout begins, even if someone retired ten years ago. You can also withdraw income before this payout age by using the manual withdrawal column.
For example, if you own a trust fund now that wont pay anything until age 66, when you retired at 60. You can grow it just like it would in the Real World, then it will pay out income just like the trust document dictates at 66.
Each asset bucket has its own growth rate of return (compounded annually), and it can be manually overridden in each year.
If you think an investment will have different rates of return in different years, or even a loss in some years, you can model this. This is great for laddered bond portfolios that have staggered maturities or limited partnerships with vastly different rates of return (and income distributions) from year-to-year.
Each asset bucket has a unique year when retirement savings to the investment will start and stop. This can be any year, even a year after retirement has begun. Contributions can be any number of years too, even just one. You can also manually override every contribution at every year.
For example, you can specify $100 monthly contributions to a 401(k) plan starting next year, inflating at 2% annually, with no contributions in the 4th year, a $50 contribution the 6th year, and a $200 withdrawal (or loan) in the 12th year. In years before (or after) the manual contributions, it will just default to the $100 +2% automatic inflation number.
RWR is the only retirement tool that lets you start and stop unequal contributions at any year (even after the investment has been alive for years and retirement has begun), and lets you manually override all of the contributions in any year. You basically have total control over contributions to retirement investments in every year down to the dollar.
RWR gives you complete control over calculating taxes.
Since you're taking all income into account, marginal tax rates are irrelevant. The Average Tax Bracket Calculator (included on the far right sheet) determines your overall average / effective tax rate with just a few inputs.
You can also manually override the global tax rate every year. So if you expect it to decrease when you're retired, or change in one year, you can model that.
The tax inclusion rate (how much of an investment's income is subject to the global tax rate) can be different for every investment bucket. You can also have a different tax rate on manual income withdrawal overrides (which means you can have different tax rates on two sources of income from the same bucket).
No other retirement planner allows this amount of control over taxes, which stem from both incomes coming from investments, and non-investment sources of income (e.g., Social Security, earned incomes, and pensions).
Some retirement planners make a fuss over calculating current year's taxes in great detail, but the problem with estimating future taxes is laws frequently change. Retirement planning software that calculate taxes owed assumes current tax law will be the same ten years from now. This has never happened. So you're locked into using these assumptions, and they cannot be changed. So even though it does a good job for the first few years, you'll be using rates you know will be wrong after that. You can change rates in any year with RWR. We could have made a resource-sucking fuss over calculating taxes in great detail, like most of our competition does. But we chose not to. Click the link in the same paragraph above to read why:
The retirement planner has a separate tax presentation page that shows how much taxes were paid in every year. It shows this both for everything that pays taxes individually, then everything combined. Everything that pays income has a tax totaler at the bottom of its column so you can see how much in taxes were paid over your lifetime(s). It also has charts to show taxes paid visually.
You can run What-ifs to see whether to use Roth or traditional IRAs, or whether to use Roth Conversions on your existing IRAs / 401(k)s. This is the most accurate way to see if converting is really what you want to do after considering taxes, payouts, and everything else.
You can choose to automatically generate Social Security income, or manually override both Social Security incomes, and its tax inclusion rate, in every year.
You can specify ages both client and spouse start to collect Social Security, separately and at any year (not just 62 to 72).
If someone wants to work past age 72 to get the maximum benefit, they can do that, regardless of when the other spouse started collecting theirs. If someone gets survivor's benefits at 60, then you can model that. If someone is disabled at age 50 and is already getting their lifetime PIA (Primary Benefit Amount), or wants to work way past 70 to get the maximum benefit, they can do that, regardless of when the other spouse started collecting theirs.
You can control their annual inflation rates (COLA), separately too.
You can also change the Social Security tax inclusion rate to be different in every year.
Most retirement tools make both people collect at the same ages or are limited to just 62 and 65. RWR is the only retirement planning calculator where you can control everything having to do with Social Security on a year-by-year basis, for both people, all independently of each other. This way, you'll have total control and will be able to correctly account for what's really happening in your life, and all future changes to the system.
You can see, print, and change most every number in every year. There is complete transparency, so you can solve all mysteries by tracing cash flows back to your input. Most other retirement planning tools are written in code where you can't even see how any of the numbers are generated, let alone be able to change them.
Both client and spouse can have their own separate income goals. An annual income goal is how much money you'll need, or want, to spend when you retire. Both client and spouse income goals can start separately, and at any year. As a corollary to the above feature, since clients can retire separately at any age, it's only logical that they have their own separate income goals too.
For example, assume husband and wife are both age 60. The husband can retire at age 60 with a goal of $75,000 per year, while the wife keeps working five more years after the husband retires, then she retires on $25,000 per year. Other retirement calculators may not handle this well because they may force both to retire in the same year, with only one combined annual income goal.
Both client and spouse can have their income goals overridden on a year-by-year basis. With other retirement software, you'd input an income goal in today's dollars, and an inflation rate. The income goal then increases every year by that inflation rate, both before retirement and afterwards. This is the normal way of things and is how RWR does it too. But with RWR, both the inflation rate and the annual income goals can be manually overridden every year to be whatever you need them to be.
For example, say someone wants $4,000 per month in today's dollars inflated at 3%, but they also want it to go to $5,000 per month starting at age 70 ending at age 80, inflating at 4%, and then have it go back to the way it was. You can model all of that, change it year-by-year, and anything else you want.
This is great for accounting for lowering expenses due to home downsizings, increasing expenses from going into nursing homes, long vacations, etc.
You can use annual cash flow numbers from other financial planning software that doesn't do retirement plans well, and enter (or integrate) these numbers into the retirement spreadsheet to complement them (that's how RP got started). Then you can format RWR's printed pages to look just like them, to be consistent.
You can also perform the reverse of this. Because RWR is the master of forecasting one's financial future, you can use its end-of-year asset values (after retirement income has been withdrawn) in other modules. This is useful when integrating with other comprehensive asset allocation software, or net worth software. So you'd let RWR calculate post-withdrawal asset values, then have the net worth and asset allocation modules get them from RWR.
Our Cash Flow Projector is the best financial tool for using actual projected budget amounts as retirement income goals. After calculating how much money you're projected to need in the year you retire, you just link / integrate them into RWR for maximum accuracy. Then in every year, RWR will use the most accurate annual income need numbers possible.
The first phase of the process is to create a current snapshot of incomes and expenses (family budget making). Then if you have big future expenses, like children's college, you'd crunch the numbers using the College Funding Software, and integrate them into the financial plan. Then you'd project these amounts into the future using the Cash Flow Projector. Then in the year you'll retire, you'll start using the detailed annual Cash Flow Projector amounts as income goal inputs into RWR. You'd only have to integrate this once, then changes in one module will automatically flow into the others.
For financial planners, you can use just RWR (without having the Cash Flow Projector) to easily sell disability and/or long-term care insurance by illustrating the long-term effects of disability and/or nursing home, both before retirement and afterwards.
In the Current version, use the manual expense areas (described below) to input the catastrophic costs of uninsured disability and/or long-term care. These would be ~$5,000 per month in nursing home bills, plus all of the extra medical bills, plus the loss of years worth of earned income resulting in no more retirement savings, all with lower Social Security benefits. The results will usually be little-to-no "retirement" for anyone as planned.
Then save this version as the Current version. Now save it again as the Proposed version.
This time input into another manual area, the DI and/or LTC premiums needed to insure for the ~$5,000 per month benefit. Then in another, input the insurance benefits paid to cover the ~$5,000 per month LTC and other medical expenses. You also can show DI benefits funding retirement savings.
The bottom-line is that you can easily model any Real World scenario to show two completely different, and totally realistic, financial futures. The Current version would show no gold during the Golden Years and the Proposed version would show things working out "okay," considering the alternatives. The night and day differences in all of the results then sell the DI and/or LTC policy for you without even needing the usual sales pitches.
So if you sell these insurance policies, then this is the best financial tool ever created to wake people up, because it forecasts their financial futures in more detail than anything else ever created. Everyone will agree with your words saying you need to buy this or that insurance policy, but it's the numbers that make people get out their checkbooks and sign applications.
For consumers and investors, you should know these facts and buy the appropriate amount of insurance. RWR will tell you how much you need.
The Cash Flow Projector's disability functions, combined with RWR, allows you to create mini-financial plans that will account for disability and/or LTC better than anything else. You can create eight versions of future cash flows with the CFP, then integrate them into eight versions of RWR. Then the differences in what the Golden Years would be like will sell insurance for you.
The first four would be the scenarios without paying these insurance premiums:
1) Risky retirement as if everything went as planned (no disability nor LTC)
The next four versions would show scenarios with these insurance premiums:
5) Insured retirement as if everything went as planned (no disability nor LTC)
With the manual income and expense input areas discussed below, you can do the same disability and/or LTC scenarios, without the Cash Flow Projector.
Here's two simple example retirement plan demos showing how to this. It's pretty much the same thing using RP (without the Cash Flow Projector) too:
Download the Dual RWR DI demo showing the difference between risky living without disability insurance. The Current version shows being disabled at age 60 and the Proposed version shows being insured. So the Current version shows losing it all, and Proposed shows being just fine, considering, and paying DI premiums (and getting the policy benefits).
Download the Dual RWR LTC demo showing the difference between risky living without long-term care insurance. The Current version shows being disabled at age 50 and needing long-term care. The Proposed version shows being insured for that. So the Current version shows losing it all, and Proposed shows being just fine, considering, and paying LTC premiums, then having the policy benefits pay the nursing home.
Both client and spouse can each have separate post-retirement earned incomes. They can start and stop at any year, be automatically inflated, taxed, and manually overridden in each year. For example, these are used when someone wants to retire at 60, but also wants to run a side business from 66 to 75. If there are multiple post-retirement earned incomes, then you can just input the annual totals using the manual overrides.
Both people can have up to four miscellaneous incomes or expenses each. They can start and stop at any year, be automatically inflated, and taxed. These are great for adding things with constant (or just inflating) cash flows, like childcare expenses, debt payments, or recommended disability and/or long-term care insurance premiums into the Proposed version.
There are also four jointly-owned miscellaneous incomes or expenses that work the same as the four above.
Both client and spouse can each have up to three totally manually-input expenses or incomes (six total, without market values, rate of returns, or regular cash flows). There is nothing automatic here, like inflators, start or stop years, nor taxes switches.
These are great for accounting for things with unequal cash flows. You can use any Excel formula for complete control. An example of the need for this is accounting for vehicle replacements every few years. You can even have something alternate between income and expense, it doesn't matter.
These six, plus the previous eight, allows RWR to accommodate up to 14 additional incomes and/or expenses into the retirement plan. You'll never use this many, but if you needed too, then just get the Cash Flow Projector, and account for them even better there.
RWR is the only retirement software that does this for so many unique incomes and expenses (ten total), while giving you complete control over every income or expense item.
RWR is the only standalone retirement planning calculator that can account for rental real estate properties of any kind. Detailed directions are in the manual.
RWR has a text comment column next to every manual override column, so you can make notes to remember why you used them.
You can specify ages when the calculations stop, and separately, when all of the presentation data stops.
Most retirement planners just keep on cranking out numbers way past the point of futility - after running out of money and/or way past life expectancy. This is annoying because it's usually just a long list of meaningless negative numbers. With RWR, you can just enter the age the oldest client will assume to pass away at, and/or when the annual numbers on the presentation pages stop, and everything just disappears the next year.
You can also tell the retirement spreadsheet to calculate numbers assuming life expectancy is 95, and at the same time tell it to stop printing numbers after age 90. This is useful in estate planning when you have this scenario, "I plan to croak at age 90, and I want there to be $500,000 left over to give to my kids. How much money can I have to retire on monthly?"
You can change the titling on the presentation pages from Current to Proposed with one drop down menu. When you choose "Current," the titles on all of the presentation pages say, "Current Illustration, before recommendations." Choose "Proposed" and they change to "Illustration for Proposed Plan." Choose "Neither," and all of this text goes away.
You can also change this text on a client-by-client basis, or on a template basis, that will automatically toggle from this input area.
This way you can perform the same "being able to see Current vs. Proposed scenarios at the same time," by having two workbooks open at the same time, without having Dual RWR.
There are three layers of income goal inflation: Average over the next 1-5, 1-10, & 1-20+ years. Actually there are five, and it's explained in the manual.
These averages are all "implied" meaning when you specify a 2% rate over the next 1-5 years, and 3% over the next 1-10 years, these are the true rates for each separate period. In other words, changing the first 1-10 year's rate does not affect the other rates. It asks for these values in the retirement fact finder.
Income goal inflation also can be manually overridden each year, as explained above. For example, assume inflation is expected to be 6% for the next year instead of 3%, and then back to 3% afterwards. You can easily model all that.
The income goal inflation number on the first presentation page is the average over the next 30 years. This is just about the only retirement calculator that allows this much control over assumed income goal inflation over three time periods, and on a year-by-year basis.
There is a "number rounder" that allows control over the amount of trailing zeros on the presentation pages. This allows you to round everything to the nearest $1, $10, $100 or $1,000.
Other retirement tools just calculate numbers and show them all down to the nearest dollar. RWR will do that too, but most people don't want to convey this much accuracy. You can control how many trailing zeros are in all of the numbers on all of the presentation pages with one keystroke. For example, you can change this $123,456 to this $123,000, or to this $123,500.
Important Things RWR, and a Few Other Retirement Planners, Can Do:
You can use Excel's built-in "Goal Seek" function to do more "What-if" scenarios than any other retirement calculator. This isn't in the section above because other retirement planning software is also based in Excel.
For example, just click on cell B35 of the Assumptions and Additional Need sheet, then go to Data, What-If Analysis, Goal Seek. Then change the "To value:" field to zero, then click on the bottom field. Then click on any input cell that will help make the retirement plan reach the goals better, like investment account rate of return. Click OK, and Excel will automatically increase the rate of return on that investment until the amount of more money needed to reach the goal, shown in cell B35, goes to zero. Then you'll know the minimum average rate of return needed, assuming all other input stayed the same.
You can also run Goal Seek to solve for funding retirement only up until the selected year. In other words, if you want to see how much more money is needed now, or in five years, to fund retirement only up until 80, you can do that.
You can use any result cell with any input cell. With this feature, you can do all of the What If? and Goal Seeking functions any other retirement software can, plus dozens more retirement strategies they can't model at all.
Assets can easily be set up using the "bucket" approach, where you'd input investment accounts according to what kind of financial asset class it's in.
RWR uses a superior Monte Carlo simulation methodology compared to other retirement planners. Read about it on the Monte Carlo page.
The retirement spreadsheet illustrates a true 70-year window. In other words, it will take a 25-year-old investor up to age 95.
You can run an unlimited number of current and proposed scenario versions.
Both client and spouse can have two pensions (or retirement savings with life incomes and no market values, like annuitized annuities), and this income can be automatically inflated, and taxed or not. Other retirement planner spreadsheets can model pensions too, but RWR has four, with only four input fields so it's easy to use, and doesn't use up asset slots.
The retirement planning software is written in Excel, so you can change or customize most anything on the presentation pages on a client-by-client, or template basis. You can insert images, arrows, make more explanation text, add more charts which will automatically get data from anywhere else, enable you to download investment account values from the Internet, etc. All of the sheets to the left of the Summing and Input sheet are presentation pages (or the Master Input sheet on Dual RWR).
Each investment sheet also shows all of its cash flows over 70 years (and can be printed). So there's no more mysteries when it comes to figuring out how income distributions are calculated.
Each individual investment has its own end-of-year balance column to show its value after contributions and/or withdrawals, then rate of return compounding, are all considered. Then they're all summed on the results page.
The Annual Summary Numbers sheet shows the total end-of-year balance and weighted rate of return of all retirement savings combined every year. This answers the question, "What's the rate of return on my whole retirement nest egg portfolio expected to be in every year from now until I'm 100?"
It basically figures out the rate of return on all of the investments every year, weights them according to size, and displays an average. For example: If there are two buckets - a $100,000 stock fund at 10% and a $100,000 bond fund at 5%, the average weighted rate of return would be 7.5% (as long as the market values were equal at year end).
RWR displays life expectancy using IRS Unisex Mortality Tables on both the input and presentation pages. Tip: If you see a mortality table that gives different life expectancy ages for male and female, then it's very obsolete.
The retirement planner figures out how much more you'd need to invest, at the rate of return specified, to make up for income goal deficits. This is displayed as a lump sum needed to be made today, or a monthly amount needed to fund the deficits, paying from now until the year before retirement.
This is similar to other retirement withdrawal calculators, but RWR lets you input an assumed discount rate needed for these calculations. The lower and more conservative this growth rate, the higher the additional lump sum or monthly payments will be, and vice versa. Some retirement plan calculators have been known to make this discount rate be the inputted inflation rate. This artificially low rate greatly inflates the needed monthly contributions. So you'll need to have control over this, instead of having it default to something unrealistic.
RWR has a disclaimer on the first presentation page that disclaims everything to keep everyone out of trouble, which can be changed.
Retirement savings buckets are segregated by oldest and youngest client to simulate Real World scenarios as closely as possible. This also resolves the battle of who gets to be client, and who "has to be" the spouse.
Client and spouse names, all investment names, current or proposed Illustration, current ages, retirement ages, and calendar years are automatically filled in everywhere throughout the program for user friendliness. When there is no spouse, all of the spouse data disappears everywhere for ease of input, use, and maximum white space. This is important because you won't lose your train of thought looking for information in other places.
RWR is the most flexible retirement calculating program when dealing with client names. Most retirement calculators simply can't handle some client names (e.g., Dr. John A. Smith and Mary Jones-Smith, CPA).
There are error messages that tell you about input errors made, and how to correct them (by telling exactly which cell needs to be changed and how). RWR also uses input validation to minimize input typos. This helps guide input and point out common input errors, so you won't have to chase your tail figuring out where you went wrong.
All input cells are color-coded to make it faster and easier to use. For example, if it's not green then it's not an input cell. There are three shades of green to indicate if an input is just for client, spouse, or affects both. Inputs also change from green to gray after data is input, so you can quickly see if you missed anything. Peach cells are those that change with input. Gray cells are those that don't change with input. Non-input cells are also usually protected to prevent user errors from destroying the program.
There's a 68-page "how to" user's manual that gives step-by-step instructions on how to use the retirement software. Just like this page, everything is covered in great detail. It's an MS Word document, so you can search to find things, add notes either in text or in handwriting, print it, etc.
More Functions RWR has that RP doesn't:
RWR displays the percentage of income goal being met, both every year, and then an average for all years. For example, if you need $100,000 of retirement income in a certain year, and there is only $90,000 available, it will show 90%.
With Dual RWR, you can see both current and Proposed versions at the same time, and have most all inputs on one page, so you can compare scenarios.
The Income & Expense Detail sheet shows the many miscellaneous incomes and expenses for every year, including all of the manual overrides. RWR shows several more columns of investment data on the Asset & Misc. Summaries sheet, and several more columns of annual bottom-lines on the Annual Summary Numbers sheet.
This part of the retirement software tool makes it a "mini-financial plan" software program all by itself. Because it will handle most everything that will come up, so it forecasts people's financial futures much better than financial planning software costing several times as much.
RP ignores taxes, so it lacks the Taxes presentation sheet.
RWR displays the present value of additional capital needed to fund the combined income goal deficits in every year. In short, how much more retirement investment is needed for every year in today's dollars. It also displays this cumulatively to show running totals of how much more money will be needed in a lump sum both now, and at the year the first investor retires.
It has dozens of graphs to show things like how much income goals are eroded every year by inflation. None of the charts are protected, so you can do anything you want to with them, even make more. RP just has one graph.
All 20 assets and four miscellaneous income and expense input areas can be designated as jointly-owned.
RWR allows total control over Social Security, and RP doesn't.
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|RWR with Retirement and Cash Flow Fact Finders
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|RWR with Cashflow Projector
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|RWR with Cash Flow Projector and Retirement and Cash Flow Fact Finders
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