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Sep 21 2010 12:00AM

Question


Can you recommend two financial planning software programs that would be good predictors of being able to retire? We want something that takes into account varying tax rates, investment return rates, and changing inflation rates that we could manipulate to see different outcomes.

Answer


FPA member Steven W. Medland, CFP®, a partner with TABR Capital Management, said he uses a program called Money Guide Pro for his financial-planning clients. “This is a comprehensive financial planning software program, but it is expensive and geared toward professionals,” he said. 

“If you would like to create your own financial plan, you may want to take a look at Quicken and mint.com,” Medland said. “We have quite a few clients that are happy using Quicken. I have used mint.com, which is a great (free) way to organize your finances. It also includes some financial planning elements, like goals and budgets. However, I’m not sure if either of these programs would go into the detail that you’ll need regarding varying tax rates, investment return rates, and changing inflation rates that you could manipulate to see different outcomes.”

“When you find software that you like, you’ll have to make some assumptions,” Medland said. 

Read this article about some of the pitfalls of making assumptions when creating a financial plan.

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