VeriPlan Overview 1: Personal Finance Decisions
VeriPlan Overview: Part 1 of 7
Improving personal finance decisions with VeriPlan
VeriPlan gives you significant personal insight into your most important personal finance and investment portfolio decisions. Through comprehensive and customized lifetime projections, VeriPlan’s integrated financial calculators and investment calculators model your particular financial situation across your adult lifetime. VeriPlan projects fully integrated scenarios about your income, expense budget, debts, investment portfolio assets, investment returns, and investment costs within the context of the U.S. federal, state, and local income taxes that apply to you. VeriPlan presents all your personal lifetime financial modeling information in clear graphics and data tables.
You can easily customize any of your personal data and settings in VeriPlan. After you make any modification, VeriPlan’s financial calculators and investment calculators automatically and instantaneously revise your complete lifetime projection. As you use VeriPlan’s rich set of fully integrated “what if” financial modeling tools, you take control of your own financial, investment, and retirement planning.
Personal Users: VeriPlan helps self-directed personal users to understand the possible future implications of current financial planning behaviors. VeriPlan projections model the lifetime finances of one or two adult users and their dependents. Any family member who resides in the same household may use VeriPlan.
Advisory Users: VeriPlan is a valuable tool for financial advisors who serve the fiduciary interests of their financial planning clients. Advisors can obtain a right-to-use VeriPlan on behalf of their clients, when they provide VeriPlan to their clients.
VeriPlan can help you to analyze important personal finance decisions, including:
- What tradeoffs are associated with accelerating mortgage loan payments or other debt repayments?
- Will I be have enough college savings to pay for my children’s education?
- How could my savings rate and investment strategy affect the size of my estate?
- After my living expenses, how much could I give or bequeath to family and charities?
- How large might my exposures to insurable financial risks be over time?
- How might different budgets for insurance premiums affect my lifecycle financial plan?
Investment Cost Reduction:
- What investment returns might I earn net of investment costs?
- How much could I waste on unproductive investment costs?
- How might I optimize my investment returns, while keeping costs to a minimum?
- How does my current investment strategy compare with a scientific strategy focused on long-term, risk-adjusted returns net of investment costs and capital gains tax?
Investment Risk Management:
- What returns might I expect from the balance of expected investment returns and investment risks that I have chosen?
- Am I saving enough to stay in my investment risk and return comfort zone and still reach my financial planning goals?
- If I were to lose income in the future, how long would my liquid investment portfolio assets cover my projected expense budget?
New Business Ventures:
- What are the likely long-term benefits and risks, if I fore-go current income to start a business?
- Could I self-fund my business venture or would I need external capital?
Personal Career Planning:
- What are the long-term economic benefits of changing positions or employers?
- Would returning to school to improve my career skills make economic sense?
- Could starting a business lead to both entrepreneurial and financial success?
Real Estate Planning:
- When will I have sufficient capital for a real estate purchase?
- How would increased mortgage debt affect my investment portfolio and other financial goals?
- Would I have sufficient investment assets to retire early?
- Would my investment assets be adequate to cover my expenses, if I live a very long time?
- What is a relatively safe asset portfolio withdrawal plan?
- Am I saving at a sufficient rate to fund all our future financial planning goals?
- How much benefit might I expect from increasing my income and/or reducing my expense budget?
- What is the long-term value of saving most of my bonus?
- Am I managing my investments from an income tax efficiency standpoint?
- How much should I put into either taxable, traditional retirement accounts, or Roth retirement accounts?
- Would my retirement portfolio assets be adequate after my income taxes and other taxes are paid?
Personal Financial Planning Software for Individuals
- Where to buy investment funds (Where to purchase mutual funds and ETFs
Whenever possible, low cost no load mutual funds should be purchased directly from mutual fund families that deal with the public. Otherwise they should be acquired through some other low cost channel such as a discount brokerage account. It only makes sense to purchase funds through the most inexpensive [...])
- 2014-01: January 2014 What Works in Personal Finance Newsletter (
- IRA, 401k, and Roth IRA Retirement Planning (Deciding between traditional retirement plan contributions and Roth retirement plan contributions
Whether or not to make investments into "traditional" tax-advantaged employer accounts and IRAs versus investing in "Roth" tax-advantaged employer accounts and personal IRAs is never a straightforward nor simple financial planning decision. The decision on the trade offs happens to be one of the most [...])
- Municipal Bonds and Marginal Income Tax Rates (Municipal Bond Investments and Marginal Income Tax Rates
Some investors hold municipal bonds in an attempt to reduce their tax burden. This article discusses the relationships between tax-exempt municipal bonds, marginal tax rates, and investment asset tax location.
An investor’s marginal tax rate is important, when making tax-related investment portfolio decisions. By combining your federal, state, and [...])
- Best Investment Strategy (Personal investing seems incredibly complex, but the best investment strategy also tends to be a more simple investment strategy
The complexity of personal investment management is driven by the nature of investing in securities that have uncertain and unknowable future values. Nobody -- amateur or professional -- has a working crystal ball that can predict future [...])
- Tactical asset allocation and market timing (The best individual financial planning and investment rules and practices are enduring and should not change due to market cycles or a financial crisis.
This article looks at asset allocation strategy in light of the recent credit crisis. The credit crisis was a systemic, global financial event that affected any financial or securities instrument influenced [...])
- Deciding when to begin initial Social Security retirement payments (Deciding when to begin initial Social Security retirement payments
In general, whether to accept Social Security payments early, at full retirement age, or later is a decision you will need to make as you approach retirement. This decision can depend upon many factors, including but not limited to your expected cash flow requirements, your health and [...])
- Measure Your Investment Portfolio Diversification (Gauge the level of your portfolio’s overall diversification with this free on-line tool
Whenever you invest in multiple mutual funds and ETFs, you may wonder how broadly and appropriately diversified your aggregate portfolio might be. Have your investment holdings and mutual funds that you have chosen increased the global diversification of your personal financial asset portfolio? [...])
- Whole stock market investments versus strategy skews (Whole stock market investments versus investment strategy skews
Investors who decide to pursue passive equity index strategies still have a few very important strategy decisions to make. They can choose to buy the whole stock market or to adopt a “strategy skew,” when choosing stock index investment funds.
If an investor buys the whole stock market, they [...])
- Buy investment funds through low cost channels (Do not buy mutual funds and ETFs through high cost vendors
All mutual funds and ETFs are not created equally. Most are created to serve the business interests of the financial industry rather than to deliver investment vehicles that are likely to serve the best interests of individual investors.
Do not purchase any mutual funds or ETFs through [...])
- Fixed Income Investing (Use the best bond investment calculator to understand the projected value of your bond and fixed income assets across your lifetime
To develop your lifetime and retirement calculator projections using VeriPlan's compound investment calculator software, you can enter as many as 24 separate bond and fixed income asset holdings. For each of your current bond and [...])
- Economic ETF trade size cost considerations (Economic ETF trading size considerations
This article discusses some considerations regarding efficient ETF trading and economic trade sizes. At the end of this section, you will also find two tables on ETF brokerage and trading cost amortization over 1, 3, 5, 10, and 20 year holding periods. There is one table on do-it-yourself ETF discount brokerage [...])
- Too few low cost mutual funds and ETFs (Too few low cost mutual funds and ETFs – Far too many high cost funds
In screening and selecting low cost mutual funds and ETFs, you should understand this involves sorting and screening thousands of mutual funds and ETFs using databases from data vendors such as Morningstar and/or Lipper. It is shameful just how few low cost [...])
- VeriPlan Lifetime Financial Planner — Annual Version Enhancements (2014 VeriPlan financial planning worksheet enhancements
The 2014 version focused on taxation and parameter updates:
1) Updated US Federal and 50 state + DC tax rates, limits, phaseouts, and other tax parameters using the latest information available. Updated tax information related to traditional and Roth tax-advantaged IRA and employer-sponsored retirement plan contributions and withdrawals.
2) Updated user adjustable [...])
- Lifetime Savings Rate Calculator (Understand the current savings rate that is sufficient to meet your lifetime personal savings needs
If wealth were to be measured solely as assets currently owned, then financial and investment planning would be relatively simple. However, a much broader view is necessary. While higher income and more current assets obviously help, consumption differences between one person [...])
- Asset Allocation Calculator (Understand how your lifetime investment asset allocation strategy would affect the growth of your financial asset portfolio
Your tolerance for investment risk is a relative concept -- rather than an absolute concept. Your tolerance for investment risk is relative to the investment risk tolerance of all other investors. Few people like investment risk, but some can [...])
- Cash Asset Allocation (VeriPlan's investment growth calculator helps you to understand the projected value of your cash assets across your lifetime
To develop your lifetime projections, the VeriPlan compound investment calculator allows you to enter as many as 24 separate cash and cash equivalent asset holdings. For each of your current cash holding in your investment portfolio, you can [...])
- ETFs are for experienced securities traders (ETFs are for experienced securities traders with open eyes
Some of my time, I work directly with paying clients to develop comprehensive lifetime financial plans and investment plans. I always explain the virtues of a globally diversified, fully passive, very low cost, index fund investment strategy. This is consistent with this website and with my other [...])
- Roth Estate Planning Strategies (Roth IRA and Roth 401k Accounts and Roth Estate Planning Strategies
There are trade-offs when deciding whether to allocate contributions to Roth retirement savings accounts versus traditional retirement savings accounts that have deferred income taxation features. In the majority of personal finance situations, making 100% of allowable contributions to Roth retirement plans would probably not yield [...])
- Roth IRA Conversion Calculator (Best Roth Conversion Calculator
This is the first part of a three-part article on Roth retirement account contributions, Roth IRA contribution calculators, and traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversion calculators and strategies.
Part 2) Evaluating Roth IRA Conversions --->
Part 3) Roth IRA Calculators --->
The Roth IRA Conversion Media Storm
The Roth IRA conversion and designated Roth 401k conversion [...])
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