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Retirement Planning Spreadsheet

The powerful Retirement Planner for Google Sheets estimates the total value of your investments into the future. You can experiment with different growth rate scenarios and project outcomes in real time.

The Retirement Planner solution works well in combination with the Cash Flow Forecast sheet. Any expected future income or expenses (e.g. college expenses for a child, a home or car purchase, etc) should first be entered on the Cash Flow Forecast sheet.

The Retirement Planner uses your cash flow information from the Cash Flow Forecast sheet then adds Investments totals, Investment Growth, Withdrawal rates, and Transfers/Adjustments to the forecast.

Benefits of the Retirement Planner include:

  • Quick & easy setup (only a handful of inputs are required)
  • Presents forecast by year in both chart and table formats
  • Projects when you will reach a your Portfolio Goal
  • Responsive scenario planning with instantaneous updates to plan changes
  • Renders multiple growth rate scenarios
  • Integrates with your existing account balances and Cash Flow Forecast
  • Can model changing risk profile

Retirement planning is a very complex & personal task with individuals each bringing a unique set of goals, inputs, and expectations. We have tried to build a solution that leverages your existing Tiller information and provides best-effort future retirement guidance.

We’ve made the sheet flexible so you can add your own basic adjustments and options. At the same time, we realize this sheet might not provide all the features some may want. We welcome your feedback in the comments below.

Questions

Can the sheet be used without the Cash Flow Forecast?

Yes. If the Cash Flow Forecast sheet is not installed, the sheet will still work. It just won’t import your yearly Cash Flows in column N.

You can set the number of years to show in the hidden part of the sheet in cell AD2. The default is 30.

Why doesn’t the current year show the full investment gain based on the growth rate?

The first year investment gain is pro-rated based on the day of the year. For example, if the growth rate is 10%, on July 1st, it will use 5% to calculate the growth rate.

Where are the calculations for the Upper and Lower range growth rates?

Look at the hidden section of the sheet to the right of column S.

What if I have more Assets than fit in Rows 25 to 49 or more Other Accounts?

Try this:

  • Under the View menu, select Show formulas.
  • Select row 49 or 79, right click and select Insert 1 below.
  • Notice that some of the formulas will be missing on the new row. So, fill down the formulas from the row above the gap to fill in the blank row. Do this both in the viewable and the hidden part of the sheet.
  • When all the gaps are filled in, de-select the View menu Show formulas.

This should allow additional rows to list your assets.

Video Replay

Tiller Community Builder’s Workshop: Retirement Planner Spreadsheet

Q&A

How do you recommend modeling inflation so you can play with different inflation amounts and impacts?

Enter different “Expense Budget Change / Year” growth rates in the Cash Flow Forecast sheet in cell E6. That adjusts the inflation rate of your yearly expense budget. If you want to set different inflation rates for different Categories, set up Life Events for those categories and use the Change/Year column to set inflation rates for a category.

Is the community badge checked by someone at Tiller to verify it doesn’t store user data?

Per the guidelines the solution should not store nor transmit user data in order to use the badge, but we don’t have tooling that automates any type of verification of this right now. Any solutions that we decided to feature in the add-on or gallery after being submitted would have more of an official verification process. Hopefully, that helps. What are the guidelines for using the Tiller Community Badge?

I downloaded this solution, and contrary to Jono’s statement, the cash flow sheet is pre-populated with values I do not recognize

These are just examples of what you might include on the cash flow sheet. Feel free to clear those out and customize based on your situation.

I’m semi-retired (52/coast fire) and the sheet seems to be intended for those fully employed and contributing to retirement. Could you talk about the sheet in this scenario?

The sheet should work for people fully employed, semi-retired, and fully retired. The Withdrawal Rate can be set to start at any year in the future. Your salary (whether fully employed or semi-retired) would get recorded based on the income amount listed in your Budget. If you want to pick a year that you decide to stop working and have no salary income, add a Life Event to the Cash Flow Forecast with the name of the category that matches your Salary category and make the amount/year zero and the change/year zero. This will remove your salary from the future cash flow. If you predict you will have just half your salary in a future year, you can set up a Life Event for that as well.

Is the Other Accounts section a good place to enter annual savings goals per year to capture planned additions to investments? Example 2021 – $5,000, 2022 – $6,000.

The Other Accounts section doesn’t let you add an amount for future years. If an amount is listed there, it will be applied to the current value of your investments, not starting in a future year.

You might want to use the Investment Adjustments to model future planned additions to your investments, since that section allows you to set a future year. You might use the same start and end year if the amount is for just one year.

One problem with this is that you have to get the money to add to your savings from somewhere. Ideally, you would have excess Cash Flow generated by your model. And any excess Cash Flow gets automatically added to the investment value at the end of the year and beginning of the next year. You wouldn’t have to make an Investment Adjustment to add this excess Cash Flow.

Please review that investment adj again, please. How did that window open?

Click the Plus sign above column S. To close it, click the Minus sign.

Looks like Investment Adjustments might be the answer to my question.

Good. The Investment Adjustments section can be used for a wide variety of scenarios. In general, they will likely be used with Transfer transactions. Income and Expense changes should happen in the budgets in your Category sheet for the current year and in Life Events on the Cash Flow Forecast sheet for future years.

I’m not really understanding why I might use investment adjustments. Seems like large expenses like college are covered by cash flow sheet. Can you give an example?

Yes, expenses should be handled by the cash flow sheet. See the answer above.

Shouldn’t “Investment Adjustment” also be made for you regular contributions to retirements accounts (ex. 19,500 + Employer match for each year)?

If you consider your regular contributions to retirement accounts as Transfer type, then yes, you might include them as Investment Adjustments.

Can I make the sheet go out more years?

Use the number value in the Cash Flow Forecast sheet in cell A1 to adjust the number of future years in the Cash Flow Forecast and the Retirement Planner. Since the original sheet only goes down to row 79, if you add years that go below row 79 of the Retirement Planner, you will need to manually fill down all of row 79 (including the hidden part of the sheet) to fill down to your final year. Some of the table columns use formulas in each cell.

In the yearly growth rate table can I add more years?

I believe this can work, but it hasn’t been fully tested. Pick a row like row 12 or 13 and insert a row below it. I did a small test and it seemed to work, but I can’t 100% guarantee it.

Have you examined the other free retirement forecast tools out there? Does this sheet have any major differences?

Yes, we looked at a bunch of other forecast tools before designing this sheet. We also used our community for feedback. See this post: Retirement Planner / FIRE Sheet – Request for Feedback – #15 by adekunledauda 11

I believe some other tools were mentioned in that post.

We discovered there are many different approaches and financial models for people take to planning for retirement. We tried to build a solution that leveraged the data you already have in Tiller as well as making it flexible for many scenarios.

Better example is how to add the annual IRA contribution

I’m not exactly clear on this question. But to record an annual IRA contribution, I would consider it a Transfer transaction from the funding account to the IRA account. This wouldn’t show up as Income or Expense. Prior IRA contributions would show up as part of the current IRA investment asset value. Future IRA contribution could probably be added using the Investment Adjustments section. There might be other ways to do it as well.

If you were going to modify either the cash flow or retirement planner sheets, what future features do you think would be really cool to add? This is purely a hypothetical question that’s along the lines of brainstorming for future things to add.

Let us know what you think we should add. I thought a spreadsheet that helped manage and optimize with Investments should be withdrawn and in what order might make a useful addition. But solving the tax impact details might make it too complex.

There are three rows that are green and blank in the investment yearly growth rate – implying that you could add more years in rows 13 through 15. You should make that area white.

You can add more years in the green rows in Row 13 and 14. But you don’t have to. Since you can add values, the cells are green.

You shouldn’t add values in Row 15, which is white. Values there won’t be picked up in the chart.

Cash Flow Forecast is not getting pulled into my retirement planner sheet. Any ideas what I might have done wrong? I haven’t changed anything outside of the green cells.

I’d try re-loading both sheets from the Add-On. I haven’t seen this issue before.

Unrelated to Retirement Planning, or not really specific to it…but is there a way you can add multiple accounts to Foundation and only make some of them active for transactions

There isn’t a way to pick which accounts feed transactions vs balances right now, but there is a feature request 2 for this already you can vote for.

Installation

If you are now already using the Cash Flow Forecast sheet, it is recommended to install and setup that sheet first. Use the same instructions above but in step 5, Click on “Cash Flow Forecast”.

If you don’t want to use the Cash Flow Forecast, see the Questions section below.

Feedback and Questions

Share your feedback and questions here in the Tiller Community.

FAQ

This is a free template built by a member of the Tiller Community. While it’s free for anyone to use, it’s designed for spreadsheets automated by Tiller. Additionally, it’s recommended for use within the Foundation Template.

Tiller is the only automated personal finance service for Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Tiller automatically imports your daily spending, income, and balances in your spreadsheets, so you can see all your finances in one place and manage your money, your way. Learn more →

Unless otherwise noted above, this free template is installed with the Tiller Community Solutions add-on for Google Sheets. It's an easy way to browse and install dozens of free, prebuilt sheets for tracking budgets, debt payoff goals, net worth, savings, and more, all from the Google Sheets sidebar.

This template for Excel works best when installed in Tiller’s Foundation Template.

Visit the Tiller Community with any questions about this template.

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