Author Topic: Launch of the 2019 Retireator!  (Read 1677 times)

Retireatee1

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Launch of the 2019 Retireator!
« on: March 19, 2019, 06:24:50 PM »
Hello all, reformed forum lurker / new member here.

I'm a software engineer by trade with 25 years experience (still employed).  About five years ago I worked for MegaCorp and had recurring daydreams of early retirement.  I was frustrated by the inflexibility and limitations of the available free retirement calculators, so clearly it made sense to build my own totally from scratch.  :-)

Enter the Retireator.  Five years in development as a side-project, it is written in Microsoft Excel.  This started off as my personal financial planner and evolved into a sophisticated, full-featured simulation platform. I decided to release it as free software GPL'd under GNU Affero v3.0. Development is hosted as a public open source project on GitHub.  The tool and its website are ad-free.

Here are a few highlights:

  • It is built using Excel so you "own" your data.  No data is pushed to a server.  There are context-sensitive URL links to documentation on the website.
  • It's a tax calculator, a mortgage calculator, a Social Security calculator, and many others...all in one.
  • It runs a full simulation and "solves" your simulation parameters, finally projecting an exact retirement date.
  • Adjustments can be made to simulation parameters, and the affect on the retirement date is reported (very addictive!)
  • Simulation parameters can be imported from old versions to new versions, going back to 2015.
  • Macros are required to initially set up the spreadsheet, after which minor simulation parameter changes can be made using Excel Online.
  • It provides an easier, more straightforward user experience than is normally achieved with a spreadsheet.

While not endorsed by the Mr. Money Mustache forum, I did ask permission from the administrators prior to launching here (thanks arebelspy!)

The landing page is here complete with documentation, a download page, and links to the GitHub project:

http://www.retireator.org/

I look forward to any feedback from the Mustachian community and plan to keep the tool completely free moving forward and hope there will be some interest in it. 


lexde

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Re: Launch of the 2019 Retireator!
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2019, 10:22:44 PM »
I am really looking forward to giving this a spin. It looks very well thought out and executed. I will update once I’ve had a chance to use it! Thank you!

Retireatee1

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Re: Launch of the 2019 Retireator!
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 08:19:37 AM »
Just to clarify based on feedback, here are the system requirements:

  • Microsoft® Windows®
  • Microsoft® Excel® 2007, 2010, 2013, or 2016 (32-bit or 64-bit, requires macros)
  • Microsoft® Excel® Online (limited functionality)

The tool has extensive VBA (macro) code for running the setup and dashboard forms and isn't compatible with LibreOffice.  There was some testing on Excel for Mac a few years ago, and at that time the Mac was using an old VBA technology that wasn't compatible.  It's unclear if that is still the case.

Once the setup process has been completed, the sheet can be used in Excel Online and saved in a non-macro form if desired.  It may or may not be compatible with LibreOffice/Google Sheets/Excel for Mac at that point (any feedback would be appreciated).

Also, this is targeted at the USA.

One major strength of this tool's design is that the retirement simulation is based on your expenses.  It essentially runs the federal and state tax calculations backwards to determine the gross retirement income amounts needed to meet these expenses.  This gap can vary widely from year to year as different types of retirement income sources come online.


thesis

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Re: Launch of the 2019 Retireator!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 12:28:04 PM »
Cool. I may have to check this out sometime. Although it is worth noting that many people here on the forums are notoriously cheap. I use Libre Office at home, but do have Excel at work. Next project? ;)

I'm Fred

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Re: Launch of the 2019 Retireator!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 04:58:30 PM »
Thanks for doing this.  As soon as I locate a free copy of excel I'll give it a run.

ForeverPoor

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Re: Launch of the 2019 Retireator!
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2019, 09:16:26 PM »
Thank you for sharing - currently deciding between whether to use yours or FI V3. Will have to play around with both and make a decision - want something that's comprehensive but also keep it to 1 file only.