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User Comments

In the world or computer modeling it is important that the user have some faith in the credibility of the model. Namely, how well does the model represents the real world and how useful are its predictions and implementation plans. One measure of a model's usefulness is the safety in numbers approach; i.e. are other people finding the model useful.

Below are some of the ORP user comments that have been received over the years. Not included are questions about the specifics in using ORP, these are addressed on ORP's FAQ page nor are suggestions for enhancements included; for the most part these have been considered and, in many cases, implemented.

10/29/2017 -- LeeMKE

ALL my retirement savings are in tax-deferred accounts. $0 taxable. And I'm thrilled to have socked away my savings when I was in higher tax brackets. Now, I'm working on ROTH conversions, sopping up the last bits of our tax bracket, before things change and we have enough ordinary income from pensions and social security to slide up into the next higher bracket.

My Fidelity advisor first noticed this, and recommended we start conversions. I was facing both serious RMDs and heavy taxation of Social Security for about 5 years in my 80s. (about 40% "tax hump")

But all that has been wiped out, with modest IRA to ROTH conversions (modest to me, HUGE to others who wait too long before looking at this issue). As we begin withdrawals from the IRA/401k accounts, we'll balance with ROTH funds to manage our tax bracket.

Then, I found I-ORP, and by using it, have tucked ourselves down into the 15% tax bracket for our retirement. I-ORP works great for folks in their 50s. I'm following the recommendations and feeling confident I'm ready for whatever new tax laws come next.

I-ORP.com is a tool designed to evaluate this exact situation and render better advice than the OP has gotten.

It is free.

Run it NOW because the advice saves you the most money when you have a few years before retirement to work with.

10/12/2017 -- Jeffrey

I am a recently retired nuclear engineer. It's been several years since I first found ORP via an internet search for retirement planners. As I recall it was one of several recommended ones but I can't recall the exact source. I tried it and liked it. My 401K gives me access to the Financial Engines calculator and the Fidelity calculator is available to me. Unfortunately those two are all about accumulation, not distribution like ORP and that's what I like about ORP. Although it took a little studying to understand, ORP opened my eyes to the idea of Roth conversions during my post-retirement, pre-Social Security years, and tax bracket control throughout retirement. With the ORP report laying it out for me, I feel much more in control of my retirement funding and confident that I'm making the right financial moves. I will continue to use ORP and update it regularly as my retirement years proceed and, obviously, as things change.

07/28/2017 -- Mark

ORP tracks my spreadsheet model almost exactly (within 1%) through a 36 year planning horizon. The main difference being that my model uses income from the after tax account to leave spare room in the 15% bracket to convert (I'm one of those people who can't stand the huge tax bill all at once).

I say this to emphasize that ORP is the only planner I have found flexible enough to match our situation.

07/27/2017 -- Bill

I tried many of the free calculators and found them insufficiently detailed, accurate, and useful. Because I worked for GE and Fidelity managed my GE 401K, I had access to Fidelity's Retirement Income Planner (RIP ... I guess the author did not consider the acronym when naming a tool to be used by people nearing, at or beyond 65 years of age). That was the best tool I found, until ORP. But RIP had many shortcomings including lack of sufficient inputs to accommodate all but the most "general use" cases. GIGO ... so, in the end, RIP was not worth the time to run it.

ORP, on the other hand, covers a VERY wide range of application space and with its option to run in "simple" and "detailed" mode, ORP will satisfy the entire range of user knowledge, sophistication, etc.

07/27/2017 -- Mike

BEST and easiest planner I've found anywhere. Like updated GUI. New 3-PEAT is great upgraded capability to do sensitivity analysis based on historical data and yearly planning.

07/25/2017 -- Jon

There's really no other retirement planning software I am preferring at this point. I am using last year's TurboTax software to model the effect of this year's Roth IRA conversions on taxes. So far the numbers are very close to I-ORP.

07/25/2017 -- Jay

ORP is the only retirement calculator I use, usually about once a month just to be sure I'm understanding how our money is flowing. Before I retired (2+years ago) I used every calculator I could find, mostly to convince myself that we would have enough money to be able to retire. At a certain point I discovered ORP and it just made sense for how I look at finances. The way I see it, retirement spending is just an ongoing cash flow problem, and ORP provides great insight into how my cash needs to flow!

07/10/2017 -- Len

By the way, thanks to ORP (and my accountant firm agreed with you), I started converting IRA to Roth, but I have to stagger this to avoid higher tax brackets.

05/16/2017 -- Dave

I meet with accountant earlier this week and he confirmed the tax part of ORP's formula appeared to be correct based on current tax law. He did not fully analysis it, but in general he agreed.

03/29/2017 -- Stephen

Just a simple thank you Mr. Welch for offering your work to users here in cyberspace. I'm about to retire, working hard to get educated and take the right steps...and your tool is a HUGE help. Please know that you are helping many people make good decisions and take care of their families...we all deeply appreciate your generosity

03/27/2017 -- Jeff

I heard about ORP while reading a post about CFIRESim on the subreddit /r/financial independence. Most readers of that subreddit are in their early 30's and are convinced that we live in a clockwork universe that will allow them to retire before age 40 and provide a reliable income stream for 50 years. I myself am on the cusp of 60 and trying to convince myself that I could be happy without going to work!

Your program has been very helpful to me in solving for the problem of sequencing a Roth conversion of my 401K while minimizing (a hopefully long-term) tax exposure.

Now if only I could eliminate my sequence risk everything would be fine!

02/25/2017 -- William

I heard about your program from an early retirement blog. I have explored a number of other models such as the Flexible Retirement Planner, ESP Planner and a few others. I came across yours after all these others and wish I had found yours first!! It is by far the best explained, easy to use and has results that are easy to understand and clear. I have been able (for the most part) to model the scenarios that I wish to explore.

02/22/2017 -- Richard

I learned about ORP simply by searching the internet for any kind of help I could find on this vexing, yet critically important subject - how do I fund retirement from several different accounts in the most tax efficient way. I had no expectation of finding something as good as ORP!

02/16/2017 -- Artie

I am nearing retirement, and, as a research scientist (Ph.D.-chemistry) I am drawn to approaches that provide for long-term and detailed planning strategies for the lengthy retirement period I hope to have. The ORP planner is a great tool and I have performed many what-if scenarios with it.

01/20/2017 -- JD

I'm a long time user, perhaps 10 years". What appealed to me initially was that it was browser based since I use Linux and most calculators are Windows-based.

01/17/2017 -- Michael R.

I have run some simulations with your calculator and have found it extremely helpful. Even though it tells me I'm going to have to pay more taxes going forward! My wife says thank you on behalf of concerned spouses everywhere as it gives her peace of mind AND keeps me busy and out of her hair.

01/08/2017 -- Eric H.

I run several [ORP] cases each year when I make our family financial plans and continue to find it a great tool. I recommend it often to my friends. I find the Roth conversion functionality very useful and something that I don't find in other programs I've used. I also find the Federal Tax Bracket Report something I really pay attention to so am glad you update I-ORP for new tax laws. The help pages also have been excellent in answering questions I had on the input and make using the tool quite easy.

Comments from 2009-2016

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