Customer Reviews: Retirement Planning Software - Personal Edition (for Windows or Mac)
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on August 18, 2013
I bought this software a few years ago. I didn't start to use it straight away due to other commitments, but eventually found some time to focus on it. I spent a long time getting all the information in, but then was horrified to discover that the software stops working after a year and that you have to pay another sizeable amount. I think it was another $97, or maybe more.

I paid the money thinking it must be an upgrade and there'd be some cool new features, or maybe a more modern user interface, so you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that nothing at all had changed.

I figured I better make good use of it over the coming twelve months as I didn't want to have to pay out yet more money to use software I thought I'd bought and paid for. Guess what? Stupid me forgot all about it. I'd originally purchased the software between Christmas and New Year, so that is when the renewal notice came though. I was too busy enjoying myself with friends and family. Come the middle of January I loaded the software to use it, only to get another message saying I owed them another hundred bucks if I wanted to continue to use the software. The problem was that ALL my data was locked inside the software, which meant all my hard work was in vain unless I handed over more cash.

So I figured this time there MUST be some new features or an updated user interface to the software (it looks pretty dated - very 1990s). But no. It just looked EXACTLY the same.

I did write to the company telling them how unhappy I was at this constantly having to pay for software I thought I'd bought. They replied with a nice letter explaining that they need to make money somehow. I explained how I was perfectly happy with the version I already had and didn't WANT to upgrade to the latest version, but the explained that I had no choice.

So - be warned! Once you buy this software you HAVE to keep paying these guys money every year - as long as you want to keep using it.

I have no problem paying for upgrades - none at all. Indeed, I love a good upgrade. But having to pay just to keep using what in reality is exactly the same software just doesn't seem fair.

So, if anyone knows of a good alternative please do let me know as I'm definitely on the look out for something else.
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on May 20, 2013
I purchased this software over a year ago. Starting about two or three months before a year was up, I started getting notices that my subscription would be expiring (in so many days). The sales information does not let you know you are buying a license, until you get to the final step of purchasing it, and, even then it is not anywhere close to obvious. You would have to read the user agreement like a lawyer, ready to sue.

It has expired and is no longer fully functional and now has many annoying pop ups. After reading the license agreement, they can terminate the program at will, apparently.

The original price was $249 dollars. Not a bad price, but not really cheap either.

The software is relatively easy to use and presents nice charts/graphs to make it easier to understand for those who don't do numbers well. Try explaining the results without the tools, for example. The spreadsheet, however, is huge and customizable (cannot delete unused columns). Overall, I liked it. Hence, not one star.

THE BIG ISSUE: If you want to use the program for more than a year, THE SOFTWARE BECOMES EXPENSIVE. Even Microsoft does not charge annual renewals...although they seem to want to.

If you want to use the software for 5 years, it will cost you $1245.00!! Present worth, at today's inflation rate, about $1210.00, assuming no price increases. For 10 years, it costs almost $2400. Even a two year use is almost $500.00!!

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on July 31, 2012
I have been using this program for about 4 years. Major updates cost money, so get your use out of this when you first get running. There is a slight learning curve. I downloaded about 4 retirement programs and tried each one. The Torrid product was the easiest to use. I wanted the Monte Carlo simulation feature, though I could not explain why. So after demonstrating the trial version for a couple days, I purchased the "couple's edition".

I am pretty happy with the program and love the ability to play "what if" with income and investments and see what major affect your actions will have in 30 years. I can't imagine going to an investment counselor, now that I understand how this program works. I am a control freak, so I like to know how results are derived. Besides, I can make small changes at any time and see the impact on the future.

That being said, the program is not perfect. It get's better with each major upgrade, but it needs some tweaking. Some issues I have is you can't drill down and confirm what expense items make up a year's allowance. Up front, you can input any paramater like "health care premiums", and then input an estimate for annual inflation increases before retirement and during retirement. Near end of life (2030?), our total annual expenses are 4X higher than at age 62! But, you can't go into the very detailed "spreadsheet" tab and find out how much of that increase is health care premiums. I tell you, inflation is a killer.

Also, there is no way to save a file like "early retirement at age 62" and then save another file like "retirement at age 66". You only can save one file per couples edition (I assume the professional edition lets you save multiple files). To play major "what if" scenarios with different retirement plans, you have to enter the differing expenses (and incomes) for every conceivable event, and then you check or uncheck which items apply to different scenarios. Changing from once scenario to another can take hours. The writer claims he will make such a change in the 2013 edition. Would be nice to have it sooner. But, at least you can input and change variable expenses and still get very useful results.

The hardest thing about the whole experience, is deciding at what age do you "end the program." It's pretty earie to have to guess when you or your spouse might kick the bucket. We don't plan to leave much money to anyone (sorry friends and cats), so this is an important decision. I did find an online questionaire via Google search that lets you enter lifestyle and heriditary information and it calculates your estimated life. I took those results, added one year, and that's the plan I am using. Hope I can live up to THE PLAN!
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on February 23, 2012
In 2004, I purchased this Retirement Planning software (RPS) just to get a picture of how my retirement planning was going through the eyes of someone (Tim Turner) who had put a lot of thought into all the elements of retirement. I chose to use very specific and detailed inputs in all categories in order to take advantage of the sophisticaled number crunching going on in this software. The software was absolutely amazing in providing ease-of-use inputs and understandable reporting. I used the software in 2005 and continued to update my inputs, which kept me up to the minute on my progress toward retirement. Then in 2006, for fun, I ordered Lawrence Kotlikoff's really expensive retirement planning software, thinking it would have to be even better than Torrid Tech's product. Even with it's sophisticated Monte Carlo sequences, Kotlikoff's program is vastly inferior to the Torrid Tech program. Kotlikoff's inputs and results reporting are just too convoluted and non-transparent. After that, I stuck like glue to Tim Turner's annual updates. Even now in retirement I keep my annual subscription going to keep track of investments and returns as well as to adjust for future savings goals.

The other factor that makes Torrid Tech so incredible is the service provided by Tim Turner. Response to e-mail inquiries are very, very fast. I've even done online meetings with Tim with very little notice in order to figure out certain questions specific to my inputs and Torrid Tech's RPS software calculations. The sellers and programmers who are employed at Torrid Tech are not anonymous. Your calls will not be fielded by tech support operators from another country. Torrid Tech support is RIGHT THERE in U.S. time zones when you need help, so you can be sure to avoid frustration if you don't understand something in the program or need help fast.

I highly recommend this software to anyone and everyone! If you are just starting out in your career, you can use it to set goals, stay on track, and keep investment records. For young people, this software combined with Jose Dominguez's book Your Money or Your Life can be a great eye opener on how easy it is to amass just the amount of wealth you need through a bit of discipline. If you are in the middle of your career, get the Torrid Tech software so you will be ready for that looming retirement. If you are just a few years away from retirement, this software can be of enormous help to provide a sense of real comfort in knowing you have been doing the right things and in helping you to take that step away from the work world.
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on October 31, 2012
I have used this software for several years and have been very pleased with it. It is very thorough yet easy to use. My only complaint with it is that once the 12 month license expires you can't continue to use the program. The only way to continue to use the program is to buy a renewal license. So once you start using this you are hooked in to paying every year whether you want the new version or not. I would give it a 5 star rating if it weren't for this.
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on June 18, 2014
I was a multi-year user of this product and liked it but finally had to abandon it out of anger and disgust. The other reviews state it well. You have to CONTINUE to "purchase" this, and yes like everyone else, I thought I'd purchased it only to discover that I was only "renting" it. I tolerated that for a while until the yearly "rental" fee nearly doubled. I'd had enough. Look elsewhere.
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on July 31, 2012
I bought this product in 2008 when the world crashed. I am a Quicken user which has a retiremnt planner as well. This planner complements Quicken. It helps to project my current retirement in another form. Quicken 2012 has ruined their budget and adjusted their retirement planner and made it less reliable. But I can still rely on this program to keep track of my overall financial retirement health.

It is easy to use. A widow, I use the individual one. I like being able to project my retirement to age 100. They update the program every year to adjust for the new laws which is nice--at a renewal fee of course. That is better than just upgrading to just upgrade and make money. Upgrading for a reason-makes more sense.
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on July 18, 2015
As others have said...this is a great program and easy to use but the HUGE problem is that it costs you $150 every year to use it. You have no choice...if you do not renew then the program removes functionality and is worthless. Very expensive and an unfair practice. Save your money and buy a program that you own...dont waste your time on this product unless you are happy re buying it annually.
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on October 27, 2011
Been using Tim's software for four years now. Great looking snapshots on how you are doing, detailed spreadsheet so you can drill down on where your money is going or will go. Easy interface to play what if's. Spot on customer service, if I had a question about how one of my scenarios was going or didn't understand why the finances were behaving the way they were with my changes, I never waited more than 24 hours for a detailed answer. This is NOT an expense, This IS an investment in your future retirement planning.
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on May 25, 2011
This is a great piece of software. It is flexible, easy to use and it helps make my meetings with my financial planner a lot more productive. I also really like the 'peace of mind' I get being able to review our retirement plan any time a question comes up.
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