While the 2015 Social Security COLA, which is used to adjust 2016 benefits, was 0%, the 2015 CPI-W, the inflation index upon which the COLA is based, was -0.412%. There was deflation, i.e. negative inflation in the CPI-W index. Future inflation has to make up the deflation in 2015, which means that the 2016 COLA will be smaller than the 2016 inflation.
For example, if inflation, as measured by the CPI-W, is 3% in 2016, the 2016 COLA will be 2.6%. Hence, your 2017 benefit, in real 2016 dollars, is smaller than it would have been had there not been deflation in 2015.
If you click on My ESPlanner (top right) and do not see the "My Downloads" link directly below your user name at the top and middle of the page, this means that your license has expired.
You can confirm that you are eligible for the renewal price by viewing the Orders tab that should be visible in My ESPlanner and you will likely notice that your most recent order was created more than a year ago.
ESPlanner (including PLUS and PRO) is full-featured planning software that includes Social Security benefit calculations based on your actual earnings history. The Maximize My Social Security program does just one thing very well: It finds the benefit collection strategy that will give you the highest lifetime benefits. But both programs use the same code to calculate benefits based on what strategy one selects.
I purchased a long time ago and have lost my download; can I still purchase just the update?
Yes, once you are in our system as a customer having purchased, you only need to pay the update price. If you are logged in your account, the system will recognize that you once purchased so your calculated price will be the update price. You can then download the file and install from scratch on your new computer.
There used to be an install file and an update file. Now there is just one file in my Downloads area.
Yes, we changed our installation script so that you no longer need to manage two downloads. We now have just one file that is "smart" and will detect your current installation and do the right thing!
ESPlanner runs all of the same features as ESPlannerPLUS except that it doesn't include the Monte Carlo or Upside Investing features. Can you upgrade?
Yes, you can upgrade from ESPlanner to ESPlannerPLUS. The difference in cost between the two programs is $50, so if you are signed in, and if you currently own ESPlanner, you will see the cost of ESPlannerPLUS calculated at $120. This is the total cost of paying the extra $50 for PLUS and paying $70 for another 365 days of renewal download permission. This extra year will be added to the number of days remaining on your current license.
I know that the initial cost of the program is more than the annual renewal rate. How do I get the discount on my annual renewal?
The discount for a renewal is automatically calculated when you visit the purchase page and select the product that you already own to purchase. Of course you must be signed in in order for the website to know what you currently own. So if you purchased ESPlannerPLUS for $199 a year ago (or even ten years ago), you will see the cost for ESPlannerPLUS become $70 when you go to repurchase it.
If your last purchase was ESPlannerPRO for $950, you will see your next purchase (your annual renewal) displayed as $750.
In a word: inflation.