The Pralana Gold 2020 Retirement Calculator

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A foundational leg of this site has long been its retirement calculator reviews. Those started with my somewhat tongue-in-cheek article on Why Most Retirement Calculators Don’t Work in 2012. I went on to write my very first set of calculator reviews in The 3 Best Free Retirement Calculators the next year. This I followed eventually with The Best Retirement Calculators which, though somewhat dated now, is still the only comprehensive attempt to compare retirement calculators that I’m aware of on the web.

Pralana Retirement CalculatorDrawing on everything I had learned from reviewing dozens of calculators, I also wrote The “Perfect” Retirement Calculator in 2013, which was my specification for the features, functions, and user interface that would constitute the best possible retirement calculator. At that time, such a calculator didn’t exist.

Now it does. One calculator developer stepped up to the plate, and implemented most of my wish list. I reviewed his efforts in The Pralana Retirement Calculator in 2014.

My Retirement Planning Trajectory

Despite my past focus on retirement calculators, and my general interest in the topic (I’m a software engineer by trade), the fact is that I’d gone several years without seriously exercising one. That was partly due to my “sabbatical” from the blog as Chris came onboard and took over more tasks. But there were other reasons too:

The older I get, the more cautious I am about attempts to predict the future decades hence. At this point, I’ve seen scores of failed financial predictions from even the most qualified “experts.” Retirement calculators are invaluable, but they can’t predict the future.

I’ve already established that Caroline and I have enough money, as long as our lifestyle doesn’t change substantially, and long-term market performance doesn’t deviate significantly from my relatively conservative projections. So why revisit those numbers constantly, when I could be doing other things I love?

Our net worth has held steady for a long while, which can only be a positive indicator as we get older and closer to Social Security and our “no-go” years. Further, I have never counted inheritances or Medicare into my financial planning, yet each get more certain with every passing year.

The best use of a retirement calculator is not to predict the future, but to encourage wise financial decisions and behavior now. With that in mind, immediate tactical maneuvers have seemed a more productive use of my time than chasing ever more accurate retirement predictions. We chose better rewards credit cards, refined how we track our expenses, and diversified our conservative investments.

A final reason I’d gone so long without running retirement calculators was a factor we all suffer from every day: information overwhelm. There are dozens of good calculators available, and regular additions to the field. For me, trying to evaluate multiple calculators, the input requirements were a burden. A lot of data is required to load your life into a high-fidelity retirement calculator. Without standardizing on just one calculator, my workload was multiplied. Eventually, I just decided the diminishing benefits weren’t worth the time.

But now that’s changed….

Pralana Gold 2020

The solution to my retirement calculator conundrum, and possibly yours, was simple: standardize on one of the best, if not the best, and then focus my efforts on it. That way, I’d be keeping all my financial planning data in just one location, I would only have to learn one set of functions, and I could be sure my answers would be as accurate as possible now, and going forward.

My solution, as long-time readers might have guessed, is Pralana Gold, historically one of my top-ranked retirement calculators, and just out in a new 2020 version featuring more updates and powerful new features like modeling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the brand new SECURE Act.

But there’s more to my decision than that. Not only am I standardizing on Pralana as my personal retirement calculator, but Can I Retire Yet? and Pralana Consulting have launched a new partnership. Now, for the first time, we have an affiliate relationship for featuring Pralana on this blog.

We are advertising the Pralana calculator here. We will also be writing about applications for it from time to time — showing how to use the calculator to analyze specific retirement scenarios. We think that focusing on a single great calculator will be more valuable to our readers, than struggling to keep up with the expanding universe of all available retirement calculators.

If you are interested in Pralana Gold at this point, you can get it for $99. The price entitles you to one of the most powerful personal financial models ever created, an extensive user’s manual, technical support, and all 2020 updates. It’s a good deal. More accurate retirement planning using Pralana Gold could easily save you thousands over the years.

Full Disclosure

The many calculator reviews I wrote in the past here were as impartial as I could make them. But we no longer have the bandwidth to keep updating retirement calculator reviews regularly. So we are changing our focus from reviewing calculators to applying one of the best. We intend to focus on Pralana Gold going forward. (We know those older reviews have been helpful to many thousands of people, so we will leave them posted as a historical resource.)

Please understand the change in our relationship with Pralana Consulting: For many years, Pralana and Can I Retire Yet? were engaged in an informal technical collaboration aimed at raising standards for accuracy in retirement modeling. We had no business relationship. Can I Retire Yet? was an impartial voice in the retirement calculator market. However, we now have an affiliate relationship with Pralana Consulting. That means if you choose to buy a Pralana product through this web site, we will receive a portion of the sale as income.

Historically, there hasn’t been much money in our retirement blogging or calculator business. We’re talking a few thousand dollars of income in our best months. That’s a pittance given our expenses, the engineering and editorial talent involved, and the thousands of hours invested. This is a labor of love.

Yes, it’s a for-profit business too, but money is not our top priority. What we are most concerned with these days is the long-term viability of Pralana and Can I Retire Yet? as the principals get older. We want to align the businesses, pool resources, and ensure operating funds so that our younger partners can keep the ideas going far into the future.

As always, we’ll strive to be transparent and keep readers informed as relationships evolve here!

Pralana Gold Features

Pralana Gold provides a wealth of control over your retirement scenario, with numerous options for assets, accounts, income, inflation, investment returns, tax rates, Social Security, pensions, annuities, life insurance, property, children, healthcare, and other expenses.

The program has far too many features to list them all here. That’s what makes it one of the leading retirement calculators. If you want the full treatment, click over to the Pralana web site or read my old review.

But, just because Pralana Gold is so powerful, doesn’t mean it is hard to use. It offers a “Simplified Inputs” screen that lets you optionally input just a dozen or so variables to get started. You can then run an initial simulation, and later dive much deeper into the program for a more refined and sophisticated analysis. There is also an extensive User’s Manual, written by the developer, and free technical support, also from the developer. Both of those are rarities in today’s software world.

Assets

Pralana Gold features very flexible input for your assets. You can set the average rate of return, standard deviation, and investment expenses for each asset class. You can also associate a historical sequence of returns — the program’s or your own — with any asset class. And you can set an asset allocation for each type of account (regular, tax-deferred, and Roth) for multiple periods.

The program includes extensive capabilities for modeling real estate. You can set up scenarios for downsizing a home, and model changing ownership costs such as interest, taxes, insurance, and maintenance, for example.

The latest version models cash value life insurance in addition to term life insurance, reverse mortgages, and Health Savings Accounts. It also models RMD’s and QCD’s per the just-passed SECURE Act.

Income

Pralana Gold allows for describing income streams in great detail. You can control pre-retirement, self-employment, pension, post-retirement, alimony, child support, windfalls (stock options, inheritance), and a fixed annuity — in most cases for both a retiree and spouse, separately.

It calculates your actual Social Security benefit based on your start age and also handles spousal and survivor benefits. And it potentially replaces dedicated Social Security calculators, by analyzing your optimal Social Security start age.

Expenses

Pralana Gold offers extensive support for modeling miscellaneous discretionary expenses. These can be set for up to four phases of life: pre-retirement, early post-retirement, late post-retirement, as well as after the death of a retiree or spouse.

Much attention has gone into the modeling of healthcare expenses. You can set a separate inflation rate for healthcare. And you can model those expenses for up to five phases of financial life: working, retirement for one or both of you, on Medicare, and after one spouse has died.

The program models the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the associated subsidies, and its Roth conversion modeling has the ability to avoid the ACA subsidy cliff when you purchase ACA health insurance. It also handles Medicare Part B premiums.

Pralana Gold is almost unique in the realm of retirement calculators in performing detailed federal income and FICA tax calculations, as well as estimating state and local taxes. No company can call their retirement calculator truly accurate, if it doesn’t include these detailed tax calculations using marginal rates.

Analysis

Pralana Gold offers all three popular methods for simulating investment returns: fixed rate analysis which uses the same average annual rate of return for a period of years in retirement; Monte Carlo analysis which uses an average return plus standard deviation to create “artificial” randomness; and historical analysis which uses sequences of real-world returns from history.

The program also plots the output from these various simulations on a single output graph, so you can see and judge for yourself whether the differences are important in your case.

It includes a bevy of advanced analysis features including consumption smoothing, variable spending strategies, Roth Conversion planning, and Social Security optimization.

And the latest version contains two new optimization features: earliest safe retirement date, and supplemental retirement income requirement.

Output

Pralana Gold output is notably rich in both graphical and tabular formats: summary panels provide a quick check of input data, easy-to-understand graphs illustrate simulation results, and detailed tables are available for precisely displaying all calculation results.

There are numerous views of all the variables for each year along with net worth, making it easy to see input data, calculations, and cash flow. You can also create fully custom views, to display just those columns of interest.

Some of the more useful output variables, rare to find in other calculators, include year-by-year tax rates — both effective and marginal, withdrawal rates, and asset allocations across all accounts. These numbers are invaluable for detailed financial planning.

Summary

In summary, Pralana Gold offers flexible financial events, variable portfolio mix, taxable/tax-deferred/tax-free accounts, detailed tax calculations, scenario analysis, average/historical/Monte Carlo simulations, and detailed, verifiable output. It also includes features to optimize specific financial scenarios in your future, such as Social Security claiming and IRA conversions.

Pralana Gold is much more than just a “retirement calculator.” It is a generalized financial model that can improve decision-making at all stages of life: early career, young family, empty-nesters, near retirees, retirees, and their survivors.

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[The founder of CanIRetireYet.com, Darrow Kirkpatrick relied on a modest lifestyle, high savings rate, and simple passive index investing to retire at age 50 from a career as a civil and software engineer. He has been quoted or published in The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Kiplinger, The Huffington Post, Consumer Reports, and Money Magazine among others. His books include Retiring Sooner: How to Accelerate Your Financial Independence and Can I Retire Yet? How to Make the Biggest Financial Decision of the Rest of Your Life.]

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Note: For many years, Pralana Consulting and Can I Retire Yet? were engaged in an informal technical collaboration aimed at raising standards for accuracy in retirement modeling, with no business relationship. However, as of January 2020 we have an affiliate relationship. That means, if you purchase a Pralana product here, a portion of the sale goes to support this site.


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Valuable Resources

  • The Best Retirement Calculators can help you perform detailed retirement simulations including modeling withdrawal strategies, federal and state income taxes, healthcare expenses, and more. Can I Retire Yet? partners with two of the best.
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Disclosure: Can I Retire Yet? has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Can I Retire Yet? and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Other links on this site, like the Amazon, NewRetirement, Pralana, and Personal Capital links are also affiliate links. As an affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on one of these links and buy from the affiliated company, then we receive some compensation. The income helps to keep this blog going. Affiliate links do not increase your cost, and we only use them for products or services that we're familiar with and that we feel may deliver value to you. By contrast, we have limited control over most of the display ads on this site. Though we do attempt to block objectionable content. Buyer beware.

27 Comments

  1. This is great news. I am on the verge of retirement (a few years earlier than traditional retire age). I have been following Can I Retire Yet? (CIRY) for a number of years as part of my multi-year planning before pulling the retirement pin. I am also an engineer so the years of advance planning is what we engineers do. I also have been using Pralana Retirement Calculator (PRC) Gold for more than 4 years, thanks in full to Darrow’s past reviews. I can share with complete confidence that both Darrow and Chris at CIRY along with Stuart at Pralana will make a great alliance. Both groups are outstanding at what they do. I look forward to CIRY user guidance for PRC Gold.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence Michael. Sounds like you’ve done your homework. Best wishes on your retirement!

    2. I am in the same situation… a few years to retirement. And I too read the calculator reviews here ( Thanks Darrow) and opted for Pralana several years ago. I am a fan of both. I renew my software license very year because of the solid updates.

  2. Sorry you did not have a good experience.

    Software developers have to be careful about money back guarantees because customers can easily take advantage. That said, I know that Stuart bends over backwards to help customers, and willingly refunds purchases when necessary. (As a reader above attests.)

    Contact information is on the Get It page. Here is the email address: mail@pralanaconsulting.com.

    Pralana Gold has extensive support for Roth withdrawals. If you have further questions, please contact Pralana.

  3. Bought a Pralana Gold subscription and have been using for the past 6 weeks. Have found this is an excellent tool, lots of helpful details, and allows me to easily simulate “what-if” options. In my opinion, much more complete than other online calculators (I’ve tried most of them), and much easier to understand assumptions and tweak as necessary. I like being able to see all of the year-by-year details and all of the assumptions spelled out, as opposed to just a final “score.” Also have to say that I’ve had a few questions along the way and I got email responses within a day.

  4. Have purchased and updated Pralana Gold for past 3 years. A very comprehensive tool. Would appreciate articles on usability, any shortcuts, etc. in this blog. There are many “moving parts” and helpful hints would be appreciated. I seem to find the analysis section a bit challenging.
    Thanks

  5. Darrow, where I and possibly others could benefit is to help make the case why we need to use a retirement modeling tool. Putting aside price, are the detailed simulation scenarios really worth it ? Do you actually take action based on the findings ? It seems like most of us get the value of low overhead investing, can sum up expenses on a napkin, and then sort of ball park if investments will cover those expenses.

    It does sound haphazard when I hear myself say it, but there is time / money investment in using any tool. How much risk is there not using an advanced tool ?

    1. Thanks Jim. I think this is an important question. Those who read between the lines here know that I’ve wrestled with it myself in posts like these:

      Should You Pay for a Retirement Calculator?
      Is Your Retirement Calculator Designed for Accuracy?
      How Accurate Should Your Retirement Calculation Be?

      Where I come down on it today, is that either position is defensible. If you are financially comfortable, you don’t need to do detailed retirement modeling to stay that way, in my opinion. However, you can possibly save a lot of money by modeling scenarios such as Social Security/RMDs/Roth conversions, if that is important to you.

  6. I have used Pralana Gold for years and got the original recommendation on the calculator from this blog. I have setup and used 10 or 15 calculators and there is nothing close to Pralana. It’s an eye opener in regards to your tax calculations in retirement and options like the smoothing are incredibly valuable. I, too, am a software engineer and I’m dumbfounded on how quickly defects and questions are addressed and how quickly he builds in features handling new tax implications for every state. Its power does require a commitment to setup and enter your information, but it pays off because it can be your only calculator and re-visited often for tactical changes, as you stated. Always surprised it is not more popular, but I’m guessing it doesn’t help that it isn’t cloud-based. The old school Pralana website and Excel licensing probably isn’t helping either 🙂

    Would have used the link, but already upgraded to 2020 Gold the day it was released. I happily upgrade to support Pralana each year.

    1. Thanks for the support greg. Agree about the software. Stuart and I worked very closely on verification a few years ago, and I just couldn’t believe how quickly and accurately he could implement very complex calculations. It’s a good argument for building on a higher-level tool like Excel. We’re working at making it more popular, but the obstacles you noted are valid.

  7. Good article, thank you for the update on Gold. I may go the Gold path as I approach the S.S. decision. As a retiree in my late 50’s I have been using Todd Tresidder’s Ultimate Retirement calculator based on your review a few years ago, but I may need a little more horsepower when approaching this decision. Thank you also for spelling out clearly the new relationship with Pralana. As a frequent reader of this blog I think this was a great next step in the evolution of this site. I look forward to future posts on this subject!

    1. Thanks for the confidence Rick. Yes, I enjoyed using the Ultimate Retirement Calculator in the early days, and appreciated the simple interface, but you’ll find that Pralana Gold is in another league for analyzing retirement income.

  8. Darrow, I’ve been reading CIRY for many years now and have been a user of Pralana Gold. I think your new website design looks great and it’s good news for all concerned that you all now have a commercial relationship with Stuart at Pralana. You have been serving this “retirement decision” community in a uniquely valuable way for a long time. I know you’ve had your books out (and I have them). I believe that you and all involved have definitely earned our gratitude and also earned the right to make some money from the site and your various products. There’s a awful lot of noise and nonsense out there. CIRY is a beacon of usefulness. PRC Gold is, too.
    Good for you. And thank you for your work.

  9. Thank you Darrow. The new design is nice and your choice of the new commercial relationship with Pralana is wntirely your choice; N one free user can object to that.

    Since I read you from Spain, and being a spain’s citizen, we have similar in concept but different retirement and health insurance products, and tax regulations,

    My question to you would be whether this calculator (or any other) is worth it for me. I mean, it is for the savings part, simjlating different SWRs and scenarios, but if the deepness of Pralana is in tax optimization issues, then maybe it is not better than the free ones?

    Can I model my types of accounts and products and my own tax brackets or does the calculator force you to use the US product and tax regulations?

    Thank you

    1. Thanks Javier. I’m going to say that Pralana is not the first choice for international users due to the extent to which U.S. Social Security, retirement account, and tax rules are embedded. Those features are a huge advantage to U.S. users, and lead to greater accuracy, but would need to be disabled for international users. You can possibly do that, and still get some value, but first I would reach out to Pralana with this question before purchasing. A simpler, though less accurate, calculator that just simulates growth of assets, expenses, inflation etc. may be your best choice.

  10. I heartily applaud your new relationship with Pralana Gold. I have used the Pralana Gold calculator extensively, for several years, since finding out about it in your hugely helpful (earlier) reviews of retirement calculators. I have upgraded each year for several years. I have used Pralana Gold for countless hours over the last several years, as I tried to decide, “Can I retire yet?”

    Being the financially (very) conservative type, I was not at all comfortable with making this decision based on various meetings with financial planners and their financial plans: I couldn’t see their inputs, I didn’t necessarily trust their software (or competence), and I couldn’t change financial variables at will, to test various what-if scenarios. While their input was reassuring, I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger on retirement.

    I worked with several other retirement calculators that you mentioned in your earlier reviews, but have found Pralana Gold not just “better,” but I’ve found it to be entirely in another league, compared to all of the other retirement calculators that I worked with.

    Yes, the input of data takes time, and there is a learning curve – BUT any other high- fidelity retirement calculator also takes significant time to input one’s data, and any other high-fidelity retirement calculator involves a significant learning curve.

    That’s why I doubly applaud your choice of Pralana Gold, particularly in terms of focusing on this first-rate tool and using it to demonstrate/test various retirement concepts for your blog!

    Due to the learning curve and time required to input data into any high-fidelity retirement calculator, I have often felt that having detailed “usage” examples can be quite helpful. I am excited to see future blog articles in this light.

    That said, once one has input their financial data into a high-fidelity retirement calculator, it becomes an irreplaceable tool for financial modeling. Once the data has been input, and the learning curve overcome, a high-fidelity retirement calculator is HUGELY useful; after all, you only input the data once, and only have the initial learning curve once; after that, you can use the tool for an amazing variety of what-if scenarios.

    As you’ve said, even if you are financially comfortable, a very high quality, holistic high-fidelity retirement calculator can save (or make) one large sums of money.

    Here are some examples I gave a few years ago when I reviewed Pralana Gold, in terms of how useful it is (these are all what-if questions that I have, or am currently, grappling with):

    “The tool’s ability to effortlessly model various financial what-if scenarios with a holistic view of the results is truly invaluable (Roth conversion vs. no Roth conversion, moving from a high tax state to a lower-cost home in a low tax state, should I work part time or not?, should I pay off a rental property or not?, should I keep on working or retire now?, should I delay taking social security?, etc.). Additionally, Pralana Gold’s ability to do stress testing is exceptional (testing lower rates of return, higher inflation, longer life spans, higher expenses, etc.) . . . The support from the developer is truly excellent. I highly recommend this tool for young people all the way up to people in retirement, and for everyone in between.”

    Finally, I should have said thank you before, as your earlier reviews of financial calculators led me to Pralana Gold, and your books were indispensable in making me comfortable enough to retire (which I did 1.5 years ago).

    Thank you both for content and inspiration that’s been of tremendous personal value to me!

    Shayne

    1. Thanks so much Shayne for the detailed and in-depth review. It’s really helpful to hear from someone who has spent so much time working with Pralana Gold, as well as other tools. You make the point very well that the one-time input data step is justified by the results over the long haul.

      We’re looking forward to applying Pralana Gold to various financial planning concepts over the course of future articles. We’re definitely hearing the interest in that from readers.

      Thanks again for taking time to comment. Glad the blog and books have been helpful on your journey. Lastly, congrats on your retirement!

  11. Hi Darrow,

    Great new website design. I wish you and Chris much success. I recently retired at age 57 and it was a difficult emotional and financial decision. The knowledge I gained through your blog and book, Can I Retire Yet?, and Stuarts PRC Gold helped give me the confidence I was making the right decision. When someone asked me about early retirement planning I tell them to either buy your book or Dana Anspach’s, Control Your Retirement Destiny. I’ve read a lot on the subject and your book is one of the two best published on the topic, in my opinion!

    I’ve emailed Stuart a few times that I find it hard to believe PRC Gold isn’t mentioned more often in financial blogs. I hope your new relationship gives it the exposure it deserves. I was very easily able to model the benefit of working a few more years (which I ended up doing). We’ve always lived frugally and will continue to do so. But the income smoothing function showed to what extent we can loosen the purse strings if we want. It was incredibly enlightening to see the detailed federal and state tax calculations and to what extent my IRA is a partnership between me and the federal and state government. I’m happy to learn from your post that PRC 2020 is stepping into the ACA subsidy versus Roth Conversion conundrum. Well, I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Best of luck to you and Chris as you step it up to the next level.

    1. Thanks for all the kind words Pete. Glad the book was helpful. And great to hear from another Pralana user. We’re going to try to get the word out about it. As you note, it has a number of sophisticated modeling capabilities that put it in a class of its own. Lastly, congrats on your early retirement!

  12. Does Pralana Gold 2020 model scenarios of how much $ exactly from the 3 differently tax-treated accounts to withdraw from (e.g., tIRA, after-tax and tax-free Roth) to the top of various income brackets scenarios as well as capital gains brackets during retirement drawdown phase while considering IRMAA, 3.8% NIIT surcharge, capital gains brackets, rmds, social security, real estate distributions that are initially tax-shielded by depreciation but facing recapture tax and capital gains down the road) Finally, does it factor in the jump in rates after one’s spouse passes away? Does it assume rate changes starting in 2026 in these calculations?

    1. Jeff,
      Pralana Gold allows the user to specify the withdrawal order from the three account types for each of three different user-specified time periods but it does not do any form of optimization of the withdrawal order. That’s on the candidate enhancement list for 2021. With that said, all of its calculations do consider IRMAA, the 3.8% NIIT surcharge, capital gains brackets, RMDs, Social Security, rental real estate taxation and the change in income tax rates when one spouse passes away. Yes, it models the sunset of TCJA in 2026.

  13. Hello,

    After reading mix reviews here about the tool, I still noticed there were more people in favor than not. So this draws my interest in the tool at its due time when I need it. However, here are my questions and concerns and hopefully, you can address all or some of them?

    1. Does this tool use Monte Carlo type of analysis when projecting market conditions out in the future or some other historical data sets? I think FireCalc uses the last few decades projects success or not other the next 30 years?

    2. Can an early retiree in 30’s or 40’s use this tool which means projections for 50-60 years?

    3. What version of Microsoft Excel is needed to use this tool? I’ve got perhaps 2010 or maybe 2007 version that I keep downloading with each new PC purchase (luckily I have a DVD and the key #, so it’s all legal, but not sure if MS will allow downloading such old Excel version when I need to buy a new PC in 5-10 years)

    4. What about the people who use a free alternative of MS Excel?

    5. How many scenarios can be created and plotted and reused on this tool?

    6. I get a feeling that this tool is driven more for an engineer’s mind than a simple person who doesn’t have a great skill set in Excel and numbers and that’s one of my resistances before buying this program.
    My suggestion would be when you start writing articles about this tool to get down from the ‘engineer’s throne’ and explain how to use the tool with examples in very simplistic terms. I’d say to start with a simple scenario in one article and start building the next articles of that so the readers who are scared of numbers and graphs and charts don’t get overwhelmed. Otherwise you might scare people from considering this tool instead of driving sales of it.

    I have some other questions but I’ll wait until I see your first article. If the tutorials are user-friendly I might consider and drop $100+ on this program.

    1. Yes, while it is hard to design a tool that pleases everyone, the vast majority of Pralana Gold users are very happy with it. Here are answers to your questions:

      1. Pralana Gold offers both Monte Carlo and historical analysis (like FireCalc).

      2. Yes there are no reasonable limits to how long the simulations can run.

      3. It requires Excel 2007 or later for Windows and Excel 2011 or later for Mac.

      4. It only works with Excel.

      5. It supports three scenarios simultaneously. However, since the tool can handle export and import of its data, you can ultimately work on as many different scenarios as you wish. But only three can be compared at a time.

      6. Thanks for the observations. There is no doubt that Pralana Gold is a sophisticated tool. However it does offer a Simplified Inputs page for building your initial scenario. I will keep this in mind as I write about it in the future.

  14. Back in 2013 as I was making a decision on FIRE, I came across your calculator reviews and decided to go with ESPlanner. It has been a great tool which I continue to use extensively. I’ve since switched over to their online version MaxiFi. I’ve tried out Pralana Bronze in the past and found it much more complicated and rudimentary in its output as compared to ESPlanner. I also have more faith in the ESP team led by Prof Laurence Kotlikoff. Their annual updated have been very timely and have always included adjustment for the latest tax updates to both state and federal tax codes.

    I’m not trying to step on your toes, but I believe folks should be aware of the other viable option to Pralana. I do believe cutting out all the other retirement calculators is a disservice to your readers and is a concerning development. Can’t see it would be worth the money you may attain via the affiliation with only one vendor.

    1. To clarify TJ, we’re not “cutting out” anyone. The old reviews are still on the site and in fact if you go to our “Start Here” page, those calculator review posts are prominently featured. It is simply too time consuming to try to keep up with the updates to all of them as well as new calculators as they are released. And retirement calculators are only a small percent of our overall content. So we’ve elected to focus on the one that Darrow found to be the best based on his extensive research when we write about them for now and the foreseeable future.

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