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Tiller Retirement Stories

Read how Tiller empowers retirees and pre-retirees to take control of their finances. From budgeting to long-term planning, see real stories of financial success.

“Tiller is the foundation for my retirement planning.”

by Kyle B.

Tiller is the foundation for my retirement planning.  I use all the data as a foundation to project forward my retirement. 

I have created a custom excel spreadsheet that takes all my transactional (spending) information and balance history and uses that to overwrite and project forward my retirement. 

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My model considers all factors: tax returns, RMDs, Social Security, ACA, spending profile, optimal withdrawal strategy, etc. 

The model also then applies historical asset returns to generate conditional probabilities of success, conditional on current stock market valuation. 

This model gives me confidence to retire when the long future is greatly unknown.  Tiller is the foundation of this work.

“I have a multifaceted financial life as I’m sure many others using Tiller do”

By Rayfes

I was a long time Mint user and fortunately found Tiller when they stepped away from this space.

I have a multifaceted financial life as I’m sure many others using Tiller do.  I have assets in pre-tax retirement and non-retirement brokerage accounts along with owning income producing real estate and RSUs.

Many solutions allow me to track the values of these accounts and assets but for retirement planning I need something that would account for taxes at minimum.

Since all of my account data is in a spreadsheet I control and can access directly it was straightforward for me to create a custom sheet showing much income my assets would actually generate in retirement.

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One example detail is that Tiller gets my 401k balance but does not know what portion is pre-tax, Roth, and after-tax Roth conversions but I know and used that information to determine the after-tax amount in the account for planning purposes.

Tiller also has detailed reports of my spending based on previous transactions so I know exactly how much I spend and which expenses are discretionary or living.

Combining all of that along with an estimate of how much health care will cost when retiring early allows me to see exactly where I am at in terms of hitting Financial Independence.

I’m not a very good writer (and can try to clean this up if you want to use this) but this screenshot may illustrate what I’m doing:

C7 is my trailing 12 months of expenses.  C9 is how much annual income B9 is expected to generate using 4% SWR.  It’s not shown directly but my rental income and expected health insurance costs are in the formula for B9.

Even though my net worth in B1 is 3.8M almost 1M of that is tied up in real estate that isn’t expected to be sold and a bunch of that number is also pre-tax so having the raw account balances isn’t enough.

If I were more ambitious I’d create a community template.


“It can be scary when paychecks stop coming in”

Rachel G.

I retired last year at age 54 after three decades working in Silicon Valley, and it was only after I retired that I started getting serious about establishing a budget and tracking my spending.

It can be scary when the paychecks stop coming in after you’ve spent your whole adult life working.

At first I was manually creating and maintaining separate Google Sheets for key spending categories in my budget (groceries, travel, content subscriptions, etc.). At some point in the past I had tried software like Mint, but I never stuck with it because I found it cumbersome compared to Google Sheets, which I use for all sorts of things, both professionally and personally. 

So it was great to come across Tiller and automate so much of what I was already doing manually, plus a lot more.


journal time

65 is just around the corner and it will give me more financial freedom

by Laura H

“I retired at 61 and have been using Tiller to help me budget so I do not lose my healthcare subsidy of about $371 – $500+ per month depending on my annual IRA amount I pull for the year. 

If I go over, I pay a penalty at the end of the year, which is not fun and snowballs into the next year.  Tiller makes it easy to set up my monthly budget and then track against that. It keeps me in check.

I just recently got AutoCat set up and that makes Tiller even sweeter to use.  

I love receiving the daily snapshot emails as that helps me stay on budget too.

Age 65 is just around the corner and it will give me more financial freedom, but I will still use Tiller


“The market crash of 2008-2009 resulted in a loss of over 65% of our retirement reserves”

by Kip G.

Pat and I retired from our respective jobs in 2007. We had a very popular and renowned money management company convert our 401Ks to IRA accounts and prepare balanced portfolios in each.

We were doing fine with more than $1 million in retirement reserves in our portfolios.

Bad Decision

Like many folks our age at the time, we custom-built our retirement home with the idea of not having any debt.

However, tying up over half a million dollars of equity in a non-liquid property proved to be a bad decision.

We had major equity tied up in the property that we couldn’t easily access, the value of which was tied directly to property values. This situation was not at all optimal.

Bad Decision

Thinking that a professional money manager would protect us from severe equity loss ended up being a paralyzingly wrong decision.

The market crash of 2008-2009 resulted in a loss of over 65% of our retirement reserves. Knowing that so many other retirees suffered similar losses or that the market would probably return to normal in 5 or 6 years was not very comforting. We had to control our financial situation and be smart about it. Time was not on our side since our income situation was nominal, being retired.

Best Decision

After that, we decided to manage our own resources. We used Quicken to track everything, including pensions, social security, income from consulting work, and all our personal and business expenses. Quicken was a one-time purchase when we started using it.

After H.I.G. Capital acquired Quicken from Intuit in 2016, payment for the use of the software became a subscription, making it more difficult and expensive to use for our purposes. We needed another alternative.

After much searching, we discovered Tiller in 2022. With Tiller, we not only accurately track all our income and expenses but also can break out all our separate tax reporting entities using the Tiller Transactions table and a pivot table.

KG

I’ve been using an “Ad Hoc Subcategories” method from day-one with Tiller. It works very well and is a major method that allows me to utilize the slicers in Excel and generate the P&L pivot table you see in the attached screenshot I sent.

Slicers and timelines make printing out P&L statements for each of our business entities a snap, along with preparing financials for our individual tax reporting.


Granular insight has enabled our family to make smarter money moves

by Nathan N

My spouse and I have leveraged Tiller to manage our discretionary expenditures including restaurants, subscriptions, and consumer goods.

Our cell phone bill is a prime example of how the Tiller spreadsheet can have an impact. We share our cell phone plan with several friends but we opted to cover the total bill using autopay each month.

Everyone agreed to pay their fair share but it was not until we saw the Tiller year-to-date spend that we realized we forgot to actually collect money from our friends!

This type of granular insight has enabled our family to make smarter money moves.  

Armed with clarity on our spending habits, we have been able to adjust our savings objectives. We have been able to increase our contributions to our tax-advantaged retirement accounts, build a robust emergency fund, and contribute to our sons’ 529 accounts.

With Tiller’s help, we have bolstered our family’s financial confidence and laid the foundation of financial legacy for our children.


These days there are so many “little things” that slowly bleed cash from your bottom line

Terry S.

I retired a few years ago and I’ve been using Tiller since 2022.  Tiller has to be the greatest app I’ve ever used to control my spending!

I believe Tiller can be an enormous help to other seniors like me, especially on a fixed income.  In the past, I would track spending manually using paper receipts, bank statements, credit card statements and hard copy bills.  It was time-consuming and NOT a pleasant experience.  It was a challenge to get a full picture of my spending.

Now that I use Tiller, I can see every transaction that occurs through any of my accounts. It takes less than a minute to download the transactions from my linked accounts.  All transactions from my checking account, saving account, and multiple credit card accounts then appear in an easy-to-use spreadsheet.  You can then use Tiller to break down spending into understandable categories and groups. Tiller is preloaded with categories, and it’s simple to create additional categories.  

These days there are so many “little things” that slowly bleed cash from your bottom line (especially recurring subscriptions!)  With Tiller, I was able to quickly see recurring subscriptions that I wasn’t using (do I really need to give Netflix $16 a month?) and cancel them right away.  

Tiller is very easy to use, even if you’re not an Excel expert!  You can use Tiller to create a budget, and then you can see how your spending matches your budget by the month and year. 

Tiller also retains every transaction form your accounts, so the longer you use it the more valuable data you have to track your spending and saving.  I highly recommend this program if you want to save some money and improve your bottom line – and who doesn’t want to do that?

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"There isn’t another tool on the market that does what Tiller can do.”
Will Hinton, Google Review October 30, 2023