The Pralana Retirement Calculator facilitates an effective long term financial planning process for you and your family:  Allows you to begin with simple scenarios with few inputs and then graduate to complex scenarios; saves your data from one session to the next so you can re-engage the ongoing planning process with no start-up overhead; contains special design features for modeling multiple income streams, property-related expenses, college educations and healthcare expenses; and supports easy product upgrades by automatically importing your data from the previous version.

It does ALL the math, you do NONE (translation: it’s very user-friendly); it makes NONE of the common simplifying approximations so typical of other calculators and which contribute significantly to calculator output distortion.

It models three independent scenarios simultaneously with three analysis methods (fixed rate, Monte Carlo and historical) and presents a range of outcomes in a side-by-side manner for easy comparison.

It helps you establish your maximum sustainable living standard and calculates the amount of term life insurance you and your spouse need to maintain that living standard in the event of either of your untimely deaths.

Go deep into uncharted territory with the personal financial planning capabilities of PRC2015/Gold and PRC2015/Silver retirement calculators!

Gold Edition of the Pralana Retirement Calculator provides you with unprecedented capabilities for financial modeling, analysis and presentation of results

Silver Edition of the Pralana Retirement Calculator is specially made for the person who desires to go well beyond a quick-and-dirty financial analysis but prefers to keep it simple


In actual practice, PRC May Be the Simplest Calculator Available What might “seem” simple can be deceiving.  The “simpler” a calculator appears to be and the “fewer” input fields a user has to complete, the greater the amount of math and “outside the calculator work” the user must perform to be able to provide the “simple” inputs.  Conversely, a calculator with rich data input capabilities and robust calculation capabilities is actually “simpler” for getting to quality results, and from that frame of reference PRC may be the simplest calculator available. More...

A Few of the Dangers of On-Line Calculators (Part 2)  Virtually all free on-line retirement calculators exhibit flaws you should be aware of because these flaws contribute to the errors embedded in the results produced by these calculators, and this translates into risk in the retirement planning of anyone who uses them for any purpose other than a quick and dirty glimpse into their financial future.  More...

A Life Cycle Model Financially balancing all the competing factors in your life can be daunting, but a calculator designed for that purpose can be an invaluable tool.  More...

Starting Your Social Security Benefits  When should my wife and I start collecting Social Security?  More...

Retirement Income Requirements  For an optimized retirement plan, your planning process should disregard the time-honored rules of thumb regarding how much income you’ll need in retirement. More...

Contributions to Savings During the Accumulation Phase  This principle is fundamental to accurately modeling the growth and/or decline of your savings over your lifetime and yet, amazingly, PRC is extremely rare in applying it.  More...

Consumption Smoothing  What is “consumption smoothing” and why should I care whether my retirement calculator does it or not?  More...

Traditional vs. Roth IRA I’ve often wondered which was better: traditional IRA’s or Roth IRA’s.  My gut feel has always been that traditional IRA’s were preferable because they paid immediate benefits through the reduction in current-year taxes, but I’ve heard some people suggest that Roth IRA’s might be better in the long run, particularly if Congress raises our taxes prior to taking withdrawals. More...

A Few of the Dangers of On-Line Calculators (Part 1)  Many people are of the belief that there is little value in attempting to model your future with the precision of a “paid for” calculator because that precision can be overwhelmed by the uncertainty due to such “unknowables” as inflation, market returns, taxes, Social Security and Medicare, life expectancy, etc.  All plans, retirement and otherwise, are based on assumptions on which you can easily perform sensitivity analyses; however, to disregard the influence of certain “knowables” because of the argument that they don’t really matter because of the magnitude of the “unknowables” can lead to significant errors in the range of outcomes produced by your calculator.  PRC’s design philosophy is to get these “knowable” things right because they’re SO EASY TO DO and CAN BE CRITICAL in producing valid projections.  Further, this philosophy applies every bit as much to our free version as it does to our “paid” version.  More...

Effects of Simplifying Approximations on Calculator Projections    Simplifying approximations are “front and center” with free retirement calculators and the purpose of this article is to put the spotlight on two of those areas that can cause significant errors in the long term projection of your savingsMore...

It puts the power at your fingertips to make changes and model a vast array of lifestyle decisions in mere seconds to enable you to see the resulting impact on your living standard and the range of potential outcomes.

From Art Kingsley, Leonardtown, MD: “I have used a number of PC-based financial planning software packages, some free, some at a cost. By far, PRC offers the best value and capability! You get what you spend with most free calculators. Not only does PRC calculate a standard of living based on accurate expense and income calculations, its output is fully transparent, easy to follow, and verifiable. If you don’t want to verify, rest assured complex calculations are being correctly applied. You can start with a simple model and add complexity as you go along. With its historic analysis capabilities and superior input and output interface, the Pralana Retirement Calculator now far exceeds the more expensive ESPlanner.  Its capabilities are truly immense.”

We have conducted an in-depth comparison of retirement calculators and are presenting commentary on topics relevant to their use for DIY financial and retirement planning.  Additional calculators will be added to the evaluation in the near future.   Read on...

Calculator Evaluation list:

Pralana Retirement Calculator


Flexible Retirement Planner


Ultimate Retirement Calculator

SmartMoney Retirement

T Rowe Price Retirement Income

AARP Retirement Calculator

MSN Money Retirement Calc

Charles Schwab Retirement Calc

Vanguard Retirement Income

Vanguard Nest Egg Calculator

Fidelity Retirement Income Planner

Pralana Consulting LLC, Plano, TX

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Pralana Retirement Calculator