Author Topic: PC Retirement calculator?  (Read 1856 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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PC Retirement calculator?
« on: October 19, 2018, 11:15:18 PM »
Does anyone use personal capital retirement calculator?

The number is very different from 4% number that I been using. Putting in 4% number only give a 30% success rate.

Why is the number so different? How much trust should I place in the PC retirement calculator?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: PC Retirement calculator?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 10:20:27 PM »
I use PC and also plugged my data into their retirement calculator when it first came out.  It is fairly simplistic compared to FIREcalc or cFIREsim but it is better than some other calculators out there.  I provided feedback on the initial version of the PC calculator directly to the developers.

If your numbers are way off, you should double check your data and assumptions on both systems.  Something is wrong.

That said PC is one of those calculators that will never give you 100%.  Even if your WR is crazy low, <1% for example, it will not give you better than 99%.  This is just the way they hedge for the future being uncertain.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: PC Retirement calculator?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2018, 11:52:29 PM »
Putting in 4% number only give a 30% success rate.
To get a 30% success rate in Vanguard's calculator, I had to:
* use a 50 year retirement time frame
* only allocate 7% stocks, and 93% bonds

Switch that to 60% stocks / 40% bonds and the success rate goes up to 80% (for 50 years, for 30 years that would be 91% successful).  You can run those same numbers yourself here:

What criteria did you use for the software to spit out a 30% chance of the 4% withdrawal approach working?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: PC Retirement calculator?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2018, 09:27:09 AM »
The assumption I have are retire now with ~60years timeframe with 5% tax rate and 3.5% inflation. There is no option for allocation, I think it just use my current portfolio allocation, which is around 75/25.

Yeah, not sure why the number is so far off. I have 3.6% annual withdraw rate (current annual withdraw / current portfolio size) and the success rate by calculator is 30%.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 07:19:38 PM by vagavince »


  • Stubble
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Re: PC Retirement calculator?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2018, 04:55:33 PM »
1) They don't have an elegant way to account for the combination of inflation and returns, in my opinion, that makes it difficult to say too much about this.
2) Are you already at your portfolio and actively withdrawing? Specifically, their calculator is set up around age, not stash size, so if not that might be messing with things. So, if you expect to have $1,000,000 in 10 years and withdraw 4% of that, they are accounting for the fact that we might see a market drop in 9 years but you retire anyway. That's different than working an extra however long to get back to 1 million then retiring.
3) They use monte carlo simulations. Some people have icky feelings about this. Not "30% success rate at 4% withrdawal" icky, but there can be meaningful statistical discussions about the validity of this approach and why it might be a little pessimistic. If you aren't already deep in understanding this mathematically or particularly interested, I'd ignore this bullet point because it doesn't matter really.