Computerized Investing > May 25, 2013

Free Retirement Planner

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The Free Retirement Planner spreadsheet by Analyze Now assists users in making retirement decisions, such as deciding when to retire, making Social Security plans, choosing between lump sum versus annuity and much more. This free spreadsheet can be useful to both working individuals and people who have already retired.

There are six different tabs in the spreadsheet, with the most recently added tabs being the Pre-Retirement and Post-Retirement budgeting tabs. These tabs provide an insight into your expenses and detail where your money is going and will go. If you are not currently retired, the Pre-Retirement Budgeting tab acts as a simple budgeting spreadsheet: It ensures that your current income can support your current expenses. The Post-Retirement tab determines what expense cuts you may have to make during retirement to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.

The Base Case tab gives you a holistic view of your retirement. You input information such as your current balance in an IRA account, taxable accounts for retirement and tax-exempt investments as well as the monthly new savings in each of those categories. You can enter any withdrawals you make and your Social Security starting age. As you enter this information, there are two graphs at the top that will update based on that data: the aftertax value of investments vs. age in today’s dollars and the aftertax spending in today’s dollars. Detailed instruction show you how to fill this portion out.

The Optional Case tab can be used in several different ways. The creators of the spreadsheet recommend using it by changing any of your entries on the tab to different values than on the Base Case tab. When you change entries, the graphs for the Optional Case tab will change, making it easy to compare these hypothetical values with the graphs that duplicate the results from the Base Case tab. The spreadsheet makes it easy to see what is different than the Base Case tab because different values will result in an adjacent cell, changing from green to red. Users can alter their information to see the different outcomes and try to find an optimal result. The Optional Case tab can also be used by applying different scenarios from the past. There are two widely different scenarios, including one that uses the annual inflation and returns starting in the year of 1965, which was one of the worst years to retire. The second scenario is set to one of the best times in history to retire, the time period that began in 1948. Although this is a helpful feature of the Free Retirement Planner spreadsheet, the Optional Case tab provides copyrighted and licensed data, so there’s a nominal fee to make this tab fully functional. More details on how to do so are provided in the Introduction tab.

The Tabular Data tab is an added feature for advanced users who want to make their own graphics.

Altogether, Analyze Now's Free Retirement Planner is a useful spreadsheet to help investors plan for retirement or manage their current retirement.

Analyze Now

System Requirements: Microsoft Excel version 97 or later

Size: 435KB

Price: Free


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