Financial / Retirement Planning Software Recommendations?

Never too early to start – I’m interested in doing the sort of robust financial modeling that financial advisors can do, but for myself and saving the fees. I want something that can link to accounts – for up to date data – have a good set of economic assumptions that I can tweak, and support Monte Carlo simulation for various ROI, spending, longevity scenarios. I prefer something to run locally on Mac or, if Windows, in a Parallels VM. I’d consider a cloud but I’m leery about privacy and security.

I’ve read lots of roundups – so here I’m looking for suggestions and ratings for software that other MPU readers have actually used, not just heard about.


If you have an account at Fidelity, take a look at their retirement financial planner. If you don’t have an account, open one with a little money and then take a look at their retirement financial planner.


The Fidelity idea is fine – I do the same thing with Schwab – but I don’t entirely trust a model the broker runs. Their primary interest is generating fees. Hence, my search for a model that I control entirely myself.

Follow the money. Understand how the financial service (software or advisor) gets paid. Avoid anything that gets paid on sales commissions. I’d never trust any “free” service. Our financial advisor gets paid a percentage of assets under management so has no incentive to churn accounts and directly benefits from growth in assets. He’s saved us a ton of money over his cost, while saving us time and insuring all of our ducks are in a row. If you are only interested in a one-off analysis, consider a fee for service advisor.

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I understand what your are saying … I guess my view is that you can “trust” the MonteCarlo probability “forecast” to see where you might be heading …

I focus my thinking about the future on that. I paid little to know attention to their investment recommendations–they gave nothing specific just asset allocations by type. Even if it is a real person saying that or something else, it’s just a guess.

I am lucky that now I have access to a really nice tool called MoneyDance. Far as I can tell only available via “professionals” or whatever. My “guy” gave me access. It’s good. But I pay little attention to it’s investment change recommendations. Just another ‘input’ for discussion with real people. Even then, a guess.