Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning properly

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websight
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Re: Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning prop

Post by websight »

Jim,

I've found some conflicts regarding your post above on 9/22 @ 10:16 AM that reads:

That doesn't sound right. It's true that you can override the income tax rate from the main page on a year by year basis using additional inputs, but if you don't enter any income tax rate entries in additional inputs, the amount from the main page should be used for all years. You may want to check the detailed year by year output to see what the simulation is actually doing with this income on a year by year basis (in aggregate at least). If you use the 'show more detail' you can see some more columns of data. Also, you can export the table to excel using right-mouse anywhere on the table in the standalone planner.

Contrary to your explanation, I am finding that if I enter any income tax rates in Additional Inputs, they do NOT override the income tax rate on the main page. In the detailed view the "After Tax" income amounts are deducting taxes at all and the totals are actually 100% of the income amounts I entered. Seems like there's some mathematical correlation between the main page income tax rate and the additional inputs. I need for the additional income inputs to be different tax rates.

Thanks in advance for any additional insight or fix you can provide.

jimr
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:48 pm

Re: Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning prop

Post by jimr »

If possible, could you email a sample .frp data file to info@flexibleRetirementPlanner.com that shows this. I can't seem to reproduce it on my end with some quick entries, but I'm guessing I'm just missing something.

Please be sure to change the numbers enough so there's no personal information in the data file you send.

Thanks,

Jim

websight
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Re: Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning prop

Post by websight »

Hmmmm...Unfortunately, my concerns for your application are growing as I get into it further. Today I tried to prepare the sample.frp scenario as you requested. I basically copied it from the existing scenario I originally created and I indicated is now resulting in issues when I enter tax rates under "Additional Inputs". In the course of preparing the sample file by deleting the other scenarios in the original .frp file, all kinds of weird things started to occur after I tried to run the simulator. Data in some fields reverted back to defaults, the summary graph generated different results each time I re-ran the simulator and the detailed view completely zeroed out. Very strange! Has this application been properly tested and debugged for the Mac platform (which is what I'm using it in)? Just seems like I'm experiencing far too many glitches. P.S. I sent the sample.frp file to the info@ email address but keep in mind that the data now in that file is apparently corrupted because of what I described above.

jimr
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:48 pm

Re: Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning prop

Post by jimr »

Websight - Thanks for emailing the frp file.

frp files are basically text files and although they shouldn't be manually edited, they can be viewed. So I brought up the file in an editor and I went through the data line by line to validate it. Everything checks out and the file doesn't show any signs of corruption. It's tough to say what might be happening in terms of the strangeness you're seeing. The scenario management code is several years old and has been used by thousands of people without any reports of problems, but that doesn't assure that there isn't some combination of OS, Java version, and user input that might expose a previously well hidden bug.

The file you sent didn't show any additional inputs entries, so I created one and made a few other small changes to show that income tax rates in additional inputs do override the main input page rates (at least for me).

Here's what I changed:

-Added tax deferred portfolio value of $600k
-Set spending policy to stable (makes the year-by-year results easier to follow)
-Changed retirement age to age 60
-Created additional inputs entry to set income tax rate to 5% starting at age 65

I attached a screenshot of the detailed output table (I hid a few columns to make it less cluttered). Starting at age 60, withdrawals are taxed at 20% ($12.5k/$62.5k). Starting at age 65, the rate drops to 5% ($2631/$52631). Once RMDs start at age 70, the RMDs are more than enough to fund the requested spending so no extra withdrawals needed and the additional withdrawal column is zeroed out.
Attachments
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websight
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:20 pm

Re: Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning prop

Post by websight »

Sorry Jim, but I'm just feeling like my particular application appears to be performing differently than yours both in how it's calculating results and how it's even displaying data in reports. Some of the column headings I'm seeing in your latest sample report don't appear in my report, and I don't see anywhere in the settings where I can add columns, e.g., the RMD columns that don't appear in my report .

FYI- the reason additional inputs didn't appear in the sample file I sent you is because for whatever reason when I saved the file after entering all the data (including the additional inputs), it apparently didn't save the data. I know for sure I saved the file and yet when I just reopened it to check against what you shared in the changes you made, I could see that it had my current age set to 40 which is not what it was set at when I saved it.

Pretty frustrating and not sure what to tell you. I certainly appreciate all the time you've spent trying to help me to better understand the app and address my questions/issues. But I've used other retirement planning calculators and not experienced the issues I'm having with this one. It might be a bug that's at the root of it but apparently it's not one that you or I can easily uncover. Thanks again and I wish it had worked out differently because your app looks like it has many of the features I was looking for.

jimr
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:48 pm

Re: Issue with the Sensitivity Analysis not functioning prop

Post by jimr »

websight wrote:Some of the column headings I'm seeing in your latest sample report don't appear in my report, and I don't see anywhere in the settings where I can add columns, e.g., the RMD columns that don't appear in my report .
There's a set of radio buttons at the top of the detailed output view labeled show more detail & show less detail. The show more detail selection adds a bunch of extra columns. The table view gets really crowded with this option, but using right-mouse on the table header allows you to hide any columns that aren't interesting.
...when I saved the file after entering all the data (including the additional inputs), it apparently didn't save the data. I know for sure I saved the file and yet when I just reopened it to check against what you shared in the changes you made, I could see that it had my current age set to 40 which is not what it was set at when I saved it.
Something is definitely fundamentally different/broken in your environment. While the planner works well for tens of thousands of users, including many mac users, it seems that in this case something about your specific environment is either exposing a hidden planner bug or just broken and causing the planner to malfunction.

I know it's a mac, but is there any chance your computer has a virus? Have you tried uninstalling Java and reinstalling it? Finally, it might be worth running the planner on another computer (either windows, mac or linux). While it's true that windows accounts for over 90% percent of the planner's user base, over the years I've communicated with many many happy mac and linux users. I'd love to get to the bottom of whatever is going wrong on your system, but given the amount of effort you've put into this, I'd be almost as happy just to see you be able to use the planner on another system that actually works.

Jim

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