Thursday, October 27, 2016

Functionality of RetireWare


I am interested in a subscription but before doing so wanted to know the extent of your program - is there a 30 day trial version.

I tried another product but the program was not detailed enough. Does your software allow you to enter your lifestyle needs item by item. e.g., housing expenses, living expenses including food, entertainment, travel , transportation expenses etc.

Then does it allow you to enter RRSP and TFSA balances and unregistered investment accounts separately for myself and my spouse and then set different returns for different investment products i.e. cash (1%), bonds (2%), Canadian equities (5%), foreign equities (7%).

Does to allow you to set annual contributions to the RRSP an TFSA and then set dates when withdrawals may or may not take place. What about personal residence and recreational property?


Here are answers to your questions:

1. You can base your income goal on a detailed post-retirement budget that includes nearly 50 different items.

2. balances are separate by type of account and include RRSP, TFSA, non-registered and locked-in, also separated for each spouse.

3. You can customize expected investment returns for the following asset classes: cash, fixed income, Canadian equity, US equity and international equity. The program suggests defaults as well. The expected return will depend on the asset mix selected for the calculations.

4. You formulate an annual savings goal and select one of several savings rules, such as maximizing the RRSP, then contributing to the TFSA. RRSP and TFSA limits are applied and carried forward.

5.  Withdrawals are driven by the retirement income goals. After taking into account annual income from public and private pensions, shortfalls are funded from non-registered assets, TFSAs, locked-in assets and the RRIF.

6. You can also include the disposition of the personal residence, other property, business or other future assets in your plan.

As opposed to a free trial, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee. If you're not satisfied with the product, we will refund your credit card in full - no questions asked. Simply email us and request a refund and we will oblige within 24 hours.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Retirement income goal and rates of returns


As I am new to this program, I just have a couple of questions before I start rolling it out to  my clients.

When it asks for Annual retirement objective (total dollar amount), will this include all sources such as CPP , OAS , and then net of tax if indicated below? Or, is this just going to draw from one’s own savings?

Standard forecast rates of returns: what rates are used? How does that work ? The other two choices (Historical and Custom ) seem straight forward.


The retirement income objective is how much you want to have each year during retirement. The income forecast tries to meet the goal with CPP, OAS, other income or company pensions, and make up any gap from invested assets. Note that the retirement objective is in terms of "today's dollars". So if you enter say $50,000, and retirement takes place in 10 years, and inflation is 2%, the actual retirement objective in the year of retirement will be 50,000 x 1.02 ^ 10 or $60,949.

The standard are the default values shown in the Custom Forecast.

  • Cash and equivalents: 2.25%
  • Fixed income: 6%
  • Canadian equity: 7%
  • US equity: 8%
  • International equity: 8%

The above are exclusive of investment management fees.

The standard also has values for inflation, real estate and wage increase, also shown in the default values..

Note that these do change each year based on historical averages adjusted for current trends.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Saving in a holding company


You can include the value of a business from which you can pay dividends. You will find this on the 'Other Assets' tab on the Financial Information page. I'm not sure if this addresses what you want to do with a holding company.

I do have a question on how to optimize the plan. I know we have lots of extra cash flow but it doesn't appear to be putting any money into the TFSA or RRSP or Non-Registered where is the excess cash flow going? Can you please advise how I tell the system to "auto direct budget surpluses to savings"?


Please note that before retirement, extra cash is assumed to be spent.

After retirement surpluses are saved to the non-registered account and available to cover shortfalls in future years.

If you have excesses before retirement, manually increase your annual savings amount and it will be directed in the RRSP, TFSA and non-registered according to the savings rule you selected on the Forecast page.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pre-retirement Planning


I do not plan to retire for another 10 years. So does the software allow me to input my current income details (indexed for inflation) and asset (residence, RRSPs, investment portfolio) and liability balances as well as current expense budget (indexed for inflation) to see how I am trending to reach my retirement goals


Yes you enter your income before retirement and it will increase each year in line with a wage increase assumption. You can also enter all assets and liabilities (in particular mortgage balances on properties and remaining term).

For the budget, you can complete a pre-retirement budget and a post-retirement budget separately. Your post-retirement budget will be used for setting your retirement income goals (and is indexed as well to retirement and each year thereafter).

Monday, October 17, 2016

Survivor pension benefits


I have a 57 year old receiving roughly $10,000 of QPP survivor benefits and roughly $1,200 annually of private pension survivor benefits. Keep in mind the client will begin receiving regular reduced QPP retirement benefits sometime after age 60.

How do I enter these amounts?


I've looked briefly at the plan and have a few comments.

  1. You can put the $10,000 of QPP survivor benefits in non-registered or TFSA (I assume it's a one-time lump sum and has been paid). If it's coming in the future put it as an 'Other Asset' in the Financial Information page.
  2. You have $1,680 annual pension of $1,680 at 65, with an actuarial reduction to age 50. You may want instead put this as a 'Pension or Annuity Income from Registered Pension Plan' on the Financial Information page. 
  3. You have QPP starting at 65 not 60. Enter the age you want the QPP to start.
  4. In 'Asset Mix for Projections' on the Options page, you have the asset allocation percentages for non-registered adding up to 110%. It should add up to 100%.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Asset mix profiles


What are the asset mixes used in the historical returns application for conservative, moderate, balanced, growth and aggressive. I an an investment advisor and results are difficult to explain without some specific parameters. I've also found that the more I get into the program, the more questions I have. Is there any documentation dealing with assumptions etc rather than just data input. For example, I have been trying to determine how to input how to max out a TFSA in later years from the sale of a principle residence. Any help is appreciated,


You will find the asset mixes on the Investor Profile tab on the Review page of the RetireWare application. There is also information in the help files.

The software automatically deposits part of the proceeds into a TFSA if there is contributions room, and any excess goes to the non-registered account.

There are a few tutorials you can view on our YouTube page:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Defined Benefit Accruals


I tried to input my husband's pension, which starts collecting on Jan 1, 2022. I am entering the lifetime amount and the bridge benefit from his pension statement, which are $32,484 and $10,218, respectively. However, when I put this into the input page, the output I get is far more than these numbers.


If it is a defined benefit pension from a current employer, the program estimates future accruals between now and 2022, so the bridge and pension include years of service all the way to 2002. If you want the amounts unchanged, enter them as a defined benefit pension from a former employer.

Thursday, October 6, 2016



I have a client who would like to input their RESP assets and also build into their plan the expense they will incur to put their two children through university so that the financial impact of this is built into their retirement plan.


First, on the File Manager page, go to the Applications tab and select 'Education Planning'. This will help determine the annual amounts that need to be saved toward education.

Then, go in the RetireWare file of your user, and on the Finances menu, select 'Budget Information'. You can Enter the planned annual savings and existing balance in Non-retirement Savings and Assets under RESP.

The savings will show in the income forecast and in the (pre-retirement) budget on the Review page. It may be a good idea to complete the information in 'Pre-retirement Expenses' to get a complete budget.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Asset Mix Changing Over Time


I would like to have more detail about the change in Asset mix when I select 'Move gradually to conservative portfolio until 80'.


The amount held in fixed income will increase gradually each year until it reaches the amount of the conservative profile. Thereafter it will be assumed that the funds are invested in accordance to the conservative profile. You will find the asset allocation of the conservative and all other profiles in the help files.

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RetireWare is a Web-based risk management and retirement planning software for individuals and financial advisors that's easy-to-use, full of rich visuals and comprehensive analysis. Try today and take advantage of our unconditional money-back guarantee. Know how much retirement income you can have. Build a plan and know where you stand.

Equisoft Inc.

Founded in 1994, Equisoft offers advanced digital business solutions to its clients in the insurance and wealth management industries to support their growth. The firm develops and markets innovative front-end applications (InsuranceElements and WealthElements) featuring industry-leading user interfaces and state-of-the-art technology.

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