Ken's Review of FIRECalc Retirement Calculator
A solid #1 rating.
FIRECalc retirement calculator may not be the easiest to use, but the logic behind the program is second to none. The small effort required to learn to use it will be highly rewarded. (Note: You can post questions to a very active discussion group if you need help.)
Where else can you test your portfolio and planned withdrawal rate against how it would have fared during the past 130+ years - including the Great Depression?
Ken, we appreciate your views. FIRECalc has been available for a number of years and we continue to get positive comments on it from those who have been researching to find the appropriate online retirement planning calculator.
As with any such calculator, one should research and understand the underlying assumptions and variables for the calculator. Many times individuals are trying to get a question answered that the calculator was not designed to provide. Others may not go to the level of detail that the reader desires. Still others provide so much input and detail that they can be confusing to the user.
It is interesting that you can compare your planned withdrawal rate versus the past 130 years. Great Depression and the Great Recession are key areas to examine.
I personally believe FIRECalc retirement calculator is one of the top ones available online. As you mentioned, the Early Retirement Forum that is located on the resources page at the FIRECalc site is an excellent place to go to get your questions answered. You can take the direct approach and insert your question, or research questions, answers and comments from others.
It is also interesting that the Optimal Retirement Planner
(ORP) is another item identified on the FIRECalc Resources page. The ORP is another online retirement planning calculator that was reviewed on Enjoy-Retirement-Jobs.com. You can take a look and give me your opinions about it.
Thanks again for your comments and participation. That is what makes our site so valuable to others. Join us again soon.
Don at ERJ