Author Topic: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator  (Read 2137 times)

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I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« on: April 10, 2019, 07:45:13 AM »

It seems that being a mustachian does not fit into vanguard's concept of a retirement plan.

the savings maxed out at 60K. Guess it's not possible to save more than 50% at higher salaries than 120K.

a super low retirement income isn't possible either.

have fun :)

https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/pubeducation/calculators/RetirementIncomeCalc.jsf

SciLearner357

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 07:49:37 AM »
The real issue seems to be that you can't save more than $60,000 for retirement, no matter your income.

SwitchActiveDWG

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 07:57:27 AM »
Why would you save more? Talk to your financial advisor and see how you can afford to upgrade your house, buy a new car, move to a higher cost of living area, pay more for financial services, etc.

nereo

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 08:04:16 AM »

It seems that being a mustachian does not fit into vanguard's concept of a retirement plan.

the savings maxed out at 60K. Guess it's not possible to save more than 50% at higher salaries than 120K.

a super low retirement income isn't possible either.

have fun :)

https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/pubeducation/calculators/RetirementIncomeCalc.jsf

AS retirement calculators go it's not terrible...
what frustrated me about VG's is that you cannot need less than 60% of your income, nor more than 110%. My income doesn't dictate my spending, and for high-savers who might have a paid off home in retirement it's fairly easy to imagine a scenario where you'd need only 30, 40% of your current income.

Having the savings maxed out at $60k is strange.  I'm certain many of Vanguard's clients earn north of $200k (e.g. white-collar DINKs) - saving >$60k isn't an absurd suggestion for very high earners, even among non-mustachians. 
According to their own slider-limits  if you are 35 years old and make >$250k you won't be able to retire before you are in your mid 60s.

sol

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 08:28:48 AM »
The real issue seems to be that you can't save more than $60,000 for retirement, no matter your income.

I suspect that people who save more than $60k/year for retirement are not the type of people relying on Vanguard's online tools to do their planning for them.  It might even be a deliberate lure on Vanguard's part, a screen to identify potential customers with deep pockets who write to them with this complaint.  Then they can say "Well you're clearly too advanced for this simple tool, we'll put you in touch with one of our personalized wealth advisors..."

I had a similar experience at a bank, once, when I was holding $70,000 in a savings account in preparation for buying a house.  I went in to a branch for some routine checking account business and the teller looked at her screen for a few seconds and then tried to hand me off to one of the other bank employees to discuss my investment and personal banking options.  No thanks.

rantk81

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 09:06:20 AM »
Just divide all your inputs by 10... and multiply all the outputs by 10.  Problem solved.

LPG

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 09:19:32 AM »
Why would you save more? Talk to your financial advisor and see how you can afford to upgrade your house, buy a new car, move to a higher cost of living area, pay more for financial services, etc.

I actually thought you were serious for a minute! Well done.

CheapScholar

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 10:18:54 AM »
As said above, you cannot need less than 60% of your current income with the calculator.  My math says Iíll need 19% of my current income.  I think a hard majority of people on this forum are below 60%.

jlcnuke

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 10:55:01 AM »
The real issue seems to be that you can't save more than $60,000 for retirement, no matter your income.

No one mentioned that the other real issue is you can't retire before 50??

BlueHouse

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 10:55:21 AM »
The real issue seems to be that you can't save more than $60,000 for retirement, no matter your income.

I suspect that people who save more than $60k/year for retirement are not the type of people relying on Vanguard's online tools to do their planning for them.  It might even be a deliberate lure on Vanguard's part, a screen to identify potential customers with deep pockets who write to them with this complaint.  Then they can say "Well you're clearly too advanced for this simple tool, we'll put you in touch with one of our personalized wealth advisors..."

I had a similar experience at a bank, once, when I was holding $70,000 in a savings account in preparation for buying a house.  I went in to a branch for some routine checking account business and the teller looked at her screen for a few seconds and then tried to hand me off to one of the other bank employees to discuss my investment and personal banking options.  No thanks.
I don't look at it that way.  I went into a bank to open up a checking account.  Once the bank found out that I held TWO mortgages totalling almost a million dollars, then I got traded up to the "important people" banker.  Suddenly I had a comfy chair, free beverages and warm cookies, and all the sycophants I could ask for.  All for owing a whole lot of money!  Who knew?! 

StarBright

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2019, 11:40:52 AM »

AS retirement calculators go it's not terrible...
what frustrated me about VG's is that you cannot need less than 60% of your income, nor more than 110%. My income doesn't dictate my spending, and for high-savers who might have a paid off home in retirement it's fairly easy to imagine a scenario where you'd need only 30, 40% of your current income.

Having the savings maxed out at $60k is strange.  I'm certain many of Vanguard's clients earn north of $200k (e.g. white-collar DINKs) - saving >$60k isn't an absurd suggestion for very high earners, even among non-mustachians. 
According to their own slider-limits  if you are 35 years old and make >$250k you won't be able to retire before you are in your mid 60s.

I did wonder if it wouldn't let you go any lower on income percentage because it was taking health care costs into account and so many people (not on this board, but in general) seem to forget about that.

Our three biggest costs (in order) are childcare, mortgage, and health insurance. Obviously we plan on getting rid of childcare and mortgage before we cut the work plug, but who knows what insurance costs will be in 10 years. Seems smart to put a big buffer into even a basic calculator.

nereo

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 12:26:00 PM »

I did wonder if it wouldn't let you go any lower on income percentage because it was taking health care costs into account and so many people (not on this board, but in general) seem to forget about that.

Our three biggest costs (in order) are childcare, mortgage, and health insurance. Obviously we plan on getting rid of childcare and mortgage before we cut the work plug, but who knows what insurance costs will be in 10 years. Seems smart to put a big buffer into even a basic calculator.

Nope - it's tied retirement to a percentage of current income.  It has nothing as sophisticated as setting a 'floor' for fixed-price things like healthcare.  If you are a household that earns $250k/year the calculator will not go any lower than saying you need $12,500/month in monthly retirement income ($150k annual).

ixtap

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2019, 12:53:45 PM »
It isn't just standard calculators. FIL has his own home grown retirement spreadsheet.

-How much do you make?
-<DH makes eye contact with me> Well, we SPEND about X.
-That's ridiculous. No one can live on that. We will put in 1.5X.

nereo

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2019, 12:58:36 PM »
It isn't just standard calculators. FIL has his own home grown retirement spreadsheet.

-How much do you make?
-<DH makes eye contact with me> Well, we SPEND about X.
-That's ridiculous. No one can live on that. We will put in 1.5X.

I've gotten into a similar argument with more than one person on this very forum when they tell me "you can't possibly live a decent life on $X".  really?  because $x is more than I've ever spent in a year...

ysette9

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Re: I broke the vanguard retirement calculator
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2019, 01:12:54 PM »
I had a similar problem with the USAA retirement calculator. It had artificial limits on how much you could save and spend. I had a long phone conversation with one of their advisors years ago trying to double check my calculations and find a workaround for the limitations. We ended up dividing by some number on the income to last then. To their credit, after that they amended their tool to allow for custom retirement spending input.

During that conversation when the advisor found out we had a NW of $1M and no debt he asked if we were interested in adopting a 40-year old man. :-)