RetireWare takes a personal approach

"Software considers all the variables to create retirement projections"

— Dwarka Lakhan, Investment Executive, Canada's Newspaper for Financial Advisors

Full Review

As retirement planning becomes more complex, many advisors and clients are seeking tools to simplify the process without cutting corners. RetireWare is sophisticated but easy-to-use software that offers an analysis of a client’s potential to achieve his or her desired retirement lifestyles.

Created by Toronto-based Apeiron Software Limited, RetireWare determines whether your client’s income, savings and other assets will be sufficient to provide the desired retirement lifestyle or whether the client runs the risk of outliving his or her money, says Marc Des Rosiers, president of Apeiron.

The software allows you to run a variety of scenarios relevant to a client’s retirement objectives. This helps you ascertain whether the client’s goals are realistic, based on employment and other sources of income such as property, rental income, dividends, private and public pensions, annuities, registered and non-registered investments, insurance, inheritances and business income. The software integrates individual as well as spousal financial information, if necessary, to come up with a plan.

Retirement income objectives can be evaluated in three ways. They can, for example, be based on the amount of specific expenses an individual expects to incur during retirement. In this case, you enter the client’s expected expenses, such as housing, transportation, services, food, insurance, personal, leisure, debt and other payments.

Objectives can also be calculated as a percentage of the client’s earnings in the year immediately before retirement, assuming the client would need less than his or her working income during retirement.

A third calculation method is based on a flat dollar amount, either before or after income taxes, taking into consideration the effect of future inflation and the time value of money for the flat dollar amount.

Once personal financial information is entered, the software analyses whether the client’s objectives are achievable and if adjustments must be made. For instance, if the client’s current savings program is not going to be enough to provide the desired income, the software calculates the amount of saving needed.

For a client who is already retired, the software can determine whether his or her standard of living is sustainable for the duration of retirement and what rates of return are needed to achieve his or her goals based on life expectancy.

RetireWare takes into account the rules of locked-in retirement and registered plans and estimates potential sources of income, such as public pension plans and future property and business values, as well as expenses such as future income taxes. For example, if the client plans to sell his or her house as a source of retirement income, the software will project the price of the property at a defined retirement age using either estimated pricing or forecast criteria built into the program.

From an investment standpoint, RetireWare helps to determine the amount of risk a client should take in order to achieve higher returns. The software places the client in one of five risk categories: security, income, balance, growth and aggressive. You can use different profiles for registered and non-registered assets, and for the period before or after retirement.

You can also select a particular asset allocation and make comparisons among allocations or choose a custom allocation linked to the client’s risk profile. You can customize estimates of rates of return for various asset classes or use the software’s standard forecast, which is based on conservative values and historical relationships between asset classes, or a forecast based on historical returns over the past 40 years.

The software comes in a standard version and one with a Monte Carlo simulation, which lets you compute the probability of a specific retirement outcome by testing a large number of possible results using stock market variations.

RetireWare is very flexible. You can easily update the client’s personal information to account for changing circumstances and monitor long-term financial goals. RetireWare provides detailed results in graph and table formats.

The software is updated annually for changes in tax rates, investment thresholds, registered plan rules and limits.

Although RetireWare is a good tool for individuals, it is also a good tool for advisors. About one-third of its users are advisors. IE

Dwarka Lakhan writes a monthly column on technology and financial planning in the Investment Executive and other publications.

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Apeiron Software's flagship product is RetireWare, a Web-based retirement planning software specifically designed for Canadian tax and retirement savings rules. RetireWare's stunning user interface has over 30 charts, a results dashboard, complementary stand-alone tools and calculators, easy-to-use file management, comprehensive risk analysis and PDF and editable reports.