There is a program called PGP “Pretty Good Privacy”. It’s a cryptography program for emails and such and does what it’s name implies. The algorithm is good enough to protect your stuff from prying eyes. It’s based on using a set of rules as well as the algorithm and if you follow the rules… It’s not super duper government un-crackable requiring super computers but Pretty Good. It was designed as an educational tool to teach peeps how to wrap one’s head around cryptography. There is an open source version and a commercial version undoubtedly the commercial version is better and suitable for enterprise security.
My last series of articles constitutes PGRP. Pretty Good Retirement Planning
Goalscape Introduces a planning tool that succinctly allows you to encapsulate goals in a pictorial format. The ratios are variable and you can grow granularity. There is a free version to use but its somewhat crippled because it allows only one job at a time and has only 30 conditions to display. The limitation can be overcome by simply pasting screen shots of your Goalscape creation into a personal blog.
Goalscape is a planning tool so use it to make a plan. In retirement you need a portfolio and a cash flow to substitute for your job. There are a multitude of ways to get there and a multitude of accounts you can fund from Bank to Roth to IRA/401K to Brokerage. Money also comes from SS. The accounts are treated differently in distribution and most of them are owned by you AND the government understand the treatment is important since there are consequences to going down one path or another.
RMD Calc and Uses looks at methodology and strategy to help plan those consequences by using Schwab RMD calculator, Tax Plan Calculator and Excel. The tax code is progressive and the RMD % is progressive so through out your retirement the government is taking a larger and larger bite out of “your” (plural) money because IRA money is owned by both you ad the government. By knowing whats waiting at the end you may make different choices at the beginning RMD calc shows you how to think about that prospect.
Where We Stand is an article that looks back on a projected future from death back to accumulation. Very often planning is done from the other perspective from accumulation going forward. By looking backward from a projected future you can start to predict what is more or less important and how to optimize years in advance. You can’t spend Tax Loss Harvest if you never Tax Loss Harvested and you won’t see the advantage of a Brokerage and TLH if all you ever did was max out your tax deferred accounts which are owned by you and the government and taxed as ordinary income. Brokerage has different tax treatment so it’s like tax diversification, suddenly each account has a different risk and a different cost associated with ownership and can be incorporated to serve a different purpose in your old age. Money is fungible meaning you can’t tell one buck from another but the efficiency of how that money is created is specific and the plan and details matter. You only get to keep what the government says you can keep, harsh truth. No biggie, you got tools and a plan! Go slay the dragon!
Personal Capital is an article on using a web based portfolio aggregator, a tool that tracks your portfolio in it’s entirety. Vitally important to making efficient decisions. The ability to accurately track and analyze is absolutely invaluable. It as important as giving sight to the blind. Use it or loose it.
Mint is an article on using a cash flow aggregator aka budgeting tool plus Excel to give you customized information on where the money goes. It’s implementation is trivial to use and it’s depth of knowledge is immense. I didn’t use it when I was getting rich because it didn’t exist. Had I used it I likely would be richer.
How I Knew When to Retire is an article about understanding “enough” on a personal level using SS.gov as a guide. Retirement is not boiler plate it’s personal. Retiring with “not enough” is a drag. Retiring with “too much” may mean you stayed too long. It may also mean your work pays you only in excess risk and stress, bad juju. The method along with the other articles gave me a personal way to understand my future in light of my past and be able to predict with virtual certainty the outcome even though I have yet to experience the outcome.
So there ya go! PGRP I could drone on about portfolio construction etc, but Personal Capital is adequate for that, in fact better than adequate it’s damn good.
Rock the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
Sharif don’t like it
Sometimes my opinions clash