Designed for Individuals

Thousands of households are using ESPlanner and ESPlannerPLUS

ESPlanner and ESPlannerPLUS are detailed download personal financial planning software programs. Both programs help you smooth and raise your living standard, and calculate the living standard impact of financial and lifestyle decisions.

ESPlannerPLUS includes Monte Carlo simulations showing you how your investment choices affect the level and variability of your living standard through time. It also includes a feature called Upside Investing that allows you to run what Zvi Bodie calls "safety first" investing scenarios.

The software is very user friendly, and we provide excellent customer support. The program suggestions are all shown in today's dollars so there's no confusion regarding inflation. Anyone can use ESPlanner and understand the results.

We also offer a one-on-one service for customers who would like someone to check their inputs and suggest strategies for raising their living standard as well as explain how to understand the reports. This one-on-one service does not include asset allocation advice or traditional investment advice. For those who would prefer working with a financial planner using ESPlannerPRO please view our list of planners that use our software who have indicated they can work remotely with clients.

MaxiFi Planner is an online version of ESPlanner that works on any current device and Web browser. It does not currently include some features of ESPlanner, but does offer Social Security Maximization and Retirement Account maximization analysis. See this comparison of ESPlanner and MaxiFi Planner features for more detail.

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Testimony from Individuals

"The main advantage of ESPlanner is the depth of data, regarding assumptions about your economic situation, that you can input to determine your maximum living standard. When you start, you can generate reports with minimal input. After you become more familiar with the program, whose learning curve is not that steep, you can examine your maximum living standards with a wide variety of assumptions. Especially enlightening is seeing which changes in assumptions have substantial or little impact on your maximum living standard." —Laurence Greenfield, Systems Consultant, Northfield, IL

"Hard times call for hard thought. ESPlanner provides it. ESPlanner gets financial planning right by focusing on what matters -- your standard of living -- and by paying very careful attention to your taxes and social security. ESPlanner's economics-based approach helps you see the problems and dangers in conventional financial planning."—Michael Rothschild, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

"ESPlanner is a great program and is giving me the confidence to prepare for retirement in a way that I thought was possible but was impossible to calculate any other way." —Michael Thompson, Engineer, Charlotte, NC

"This is a great package, and your support is always first rate. I do have a financial advisor, but this tool is most reassuring for me as I can play with different scenarios as much as I would like, where he can't......I'll have to show him ESPlanner next time we meet." —Bill Clark

"I would like to take this time to tell how useful ESPlanner has been for planning my last career move, keeping our family's financial planning on a rational analytical footing, and helping me plan this last phase of my professional life as I approach 65 years of age. Our family's financial foundation is complicated, but probably not that unusual for this generation. In 2004, I was considering another career move and needed a financial planning tool to help the make the decision between job offers inside and outside government. That was when I bought ESPlanner Plus on the basis of a short review in Consumers Report. I used it to create our financial portfolio projections in 2005 under various job change scenarios, college tuition projections,spouse career planning, and final retirement projections. I did this after interviewing several financial planners, including major investment firms, and realizing that I was the only one really interested in tying together all these complexities with the goal of smoothing out our standard of living for the period of our lifetimes and, most importantly, giving us the ability to look at what tradeoffs different scenarios allowed. ESPlanner, from my research into the matter, is the unique tool that allows us to do that. So, as we look forward to the conclusion of my salaried working days, then retirement and possible relocation to another state, I am starting to fire-up the software again, and in a couple months be able to answer such questions as should we buy another house then, or rent? I wish you and your company great success, and hope that many more families such as ours discover ESPlanner." —Vince Vilker, Silver Spring, MD

"Your support has been very responsive and just plain excellent. Please let the other persons at ESPlanner know how happy I am with the support provided." —Mark Dresnick

"Vicki and I have gone over our pre-retirement and post-retirement numbers many times....your consumption calculations are right on the money. And the retirement income probabilities match with what we get from Financial Engines. Note that with FE, one needs to guess or estimate retirement needs...something your program calculates! And I know of nothing else that figures consumption---I've been looking for three years. By the way, the average dentist in retirement (I've interviewed about 15 so far) lives on 30%-65% of pre-retirement income...similar to your much more extensive research." —Doug Carlsen, retired dentist, Escondido, California

"Just thought you'd like to know, that ESPlanner was central to my conclusion that I really could afford to retire, a conclusion that my subsequent activities verified. In short, we are far from hurting and even fret over not having enough time to do all the things we want to do. Thanks for helping put us in such a wonderful quandary. " —John Harry Jorgenson, retired, former lawyer with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors

"Thanks for the prompt and personal response and the offer of your cell phone. It's much appreciated. I think this software and your thinking on this subject does all of us who are trying to plan in the real world a great service. It has certainly made me realize that putting myself on the financial equivalent of a starvation diet so that I can die with the most money in the bank is probably not the way to have the richest, fullest life!" —George Leimer, senior director of a large ecommerce company, Los Gatos,CA.

"I'm 3 years from retirement and my wife and I needed to know if we were on track financially. ESPlanner has allowed us to enter our income, assets, and liabilities and has provided us with a level loaded projection of how much money we will have available to spend each year in today's dollars. There are lots of unknowns in anyone's future, but with this program, I feel like I can track where I am financially." —Jac D. Irvine, North Richland Hills, TX

"This is a great program. With product support like this, I'm sure users are never disappointed." —Jim Meyers, Hospital CFO, Bloomington, IN

"All in all, I think it's a very powerful tool." —Craig Auletti, Engineer, Corvis Corporation, Columbia, MD

"ESPlanner has provided me with much confidence that I am on the right track." —Robert Meier, Professor of Physics, George Mason University

"I want to give you and your ESPlanner staff my compliments for producing a great financial planning program and giving me superb support to get it up and running. After helping me over two problems with fantastic response time on New Year's Day and late one evening, I have done a full run with the program and am comfortable that it has given reasonable outcomes based on the consumption smoothing approach. I was surprised at how much we could increase our consumption especially in retirement and that we didn't need life insurance. The program has great flexibility and calculations about contingent planning which I can think about for the first time." —Jim Ptatts, Power Systems Engineer, Hartford, CT

"I am delighted with ESPlanner. The program is powerful, yet easy to use. It is very well documented. Most important and most impressive is the level of customer support. I received prompt, knowledgeable support and Dick and Larry continued to communicate with me until they-and I-were sure I got the answer I needed. My purchase of ESPlanner was definitely money well spent." —William H. Lowrey, Manager, Albuquerque, NM

"I researched many, MANY tools before settling on ESPlanner. I find its unique emphasis on finding and maximizing sustainable levels of consumption turns traditional financial planning on its head but leads to what everyone wants from financial planning, that is, answers to the ultimate questions facing them: How will I retire and what will that retirement look like?" —Mark Miller, International Economic Development Consultant, Cincinnati, Ohio

"I love this software —it is great to have an easy to use tool to be able to initiate "what if" scenarios to determine (via modeling) what the impact might be based on future choices or paths I might choose." —Bill Clark, Manager, Escondido, CA.

"ESPlanner is really a great conceptual framework to do dynamic analysis of very complex and interactive life cycle financial issues." —Frank Novosel, VP Treasury and Special Investments, Harris NA, Chicago, IL.

"The program is excellent. My wife and I have already made important changes in our profile as a result of ESPlanner. Thanks." —Drew Boyd, Marketing Director, Johnson & Johnson

"I really enjoy using this program [ESPlanner] and have recommended it to friends. The customer service you have provided has been wonderful, and I will continue to recommend the product to others because of it." —Nick May, Software Engineer, Salt Lake City, UT

"When awareness awakens on the notion of self-responsibility for personal welfare, those of us going about our lives grasp for the numbers needed to work in a normal trajectory. A few will be in their 20s. Groggy awakening emerges in the 30s. Serious attention in the 40s. Panic in the 50s. Desperation in the 60s. No one has greater interest in personal finance than the principal. ESPlanner is an unparalleled software tool that powerfully enables one to gain penetrating insight on variable trajectories derived from personal choices going forward. With or without the services of a financial advisor, ESPlanner provides a glimpse at reality in a profound way that can be the basis for critical decision-making now, when it can make a difference. In making investment choices, I have found ESPlanner to be the best I have ever made." —Zachariah B. Newton, III, M.D., Flowery Branch, GA

"ESPlanner is by far the best financial planning program I have found —and I've used several in the last ten years. The ability to run complex scenarios and measure the impact on your living standard over time is invaluable for making intelligent financial decisions. I especially like the wealth of input variables the program accommodates along with its extremely detailed reports. The Monte Carlo analysis differs from the typical Monte Carlo approach, providing another way to evaluate your financial plan's risk. This is a program that really helps you make important decisions about your finances!" —Mark Henning, Retired manager / engineer, Denver, Colorado

"I am a retiree who has spent innumerable hours over the years trying various approaches to financial planning. I have never been comfortable with the result until I found ESPlanner. After a bit of familiarization with the program, I built a thorough and understandable plan in about the time it takes to read a good newspaper. Support from the developer was quick and effective on a couple of points I didn't thoroughly understand."—Gene Strebel

"I want to let you know that your program [ESPlanner] is very useful and valuable to me, as a person nearing retirement. I appreciate the level of detail, the year-by-year tabulations (and graphs), the ease of entry of such things as sales and purchases of residences and second homes (and extraordinary expenses, etc.), the ability to vary so many economic assumptions, etc. I had previously tried to account for many of these items as I attempted to develop my own retirement planning spreadsheet, but I soon became bogged down with the complexity. I am certainly glad that you have made this program available." —Name Withheld by Request, Real estate manager, Texas

"ESPlanner is outstanding! Its advanced algorithms get right to the bottom line —finding the most you can spend, without running out of money. Everyone who wants to protect his family's living standard should use this software." —Norman Johnson, Retired Admiral, U.S. Navy, Boston University Dean of Students

"I found ESPlanner an indispensable tool for my own personal retirement planning. It really forced me to think through my spending goals in light of my financial resources. I highly recommend this financial planning program." —Eliot Vestner, Executive Director, BankBoston

"The faculty and staff of Boston University have been very impressed with the ESPlanner software. ESPlanner has added a component to our benefit plan offerings that not only highlights the value of our plans but allows our colleagues to consider all their personal financial assets and requirements as they plan for their future economic security. We would encourage anyone who wants a highly personalized plan for their financial future to use ESPlanner as their planning tool." —Richard J. Towle, Senior Vice President, Boston University

"This is a tremendous tool for a young growing family like my own that has lots of college, weddings, and other special expenditures facing us in the future. I particularly liked ESPlanner's contingent planning —the ability to specify how my household's income and expenses would differ were I to die. This is a must use product!" —Robert P. Whitney, Senior Vice President, Trigen Energy, Boston, Massachusetts

"If you are confused or undecided about which software to use in making your decisions about retirement saving and life insurance, you can stop right here at ESPlanner. I cannot imagine a better package. It combines state-of-the-art economic theory with a user-friendly interface to answer the key question: how can my family maintain its standard of living over the long run. I am recommending ESPlanner to everyone I know who owns a PC." —Zvi Bodie, Professor of Finance and Economics, Boston University School of Management

"I recently bought ESPlanner and found that it is much more than a retirement calculator. It is a powerful financial tool for maintaining my family's quality of life. Most programs just ask you how much you are saving and spending, and what date you want retire. Then they tell you when you will run out of money. It is up to you to adjust the numbers until you have enough money at retirement to fund your life expectancy. But even when you finally find a plan that "works" you don't know if it is the best plan. ESPlanner figured out the best plan for me in my situation. It took into account the number and age of my children, and adjusted my allowed spending higher when they are at home. When the kids are gone, that's the time to save more. It even figured out year-by-year how much insurance we will need so that we always have exactly the right coverage. The unique combination of cutting-edge economic algorithms makes this program a "must-have" for anyone who is serious about getting the most out of life." —RL, Dayton, Ohio

"I just wanted to let you know that I saw the review of ESPlanner in Business Week. Congratulations. You've got a great product and I hope to continue using it for some time. I tried all the suggestions you made a month or so ago, and all have worked out." —Director of Telecommunications Research at a large McLean, Virginia, R&D firm

"I love the program." —Robert Whitecotton, Banker, Hoffman Estates, Illinois

"The program is great! My wife and I have made the tremendous financial decision of building our dream home. With small children on the verge of entering private school, we probably would have decided against it had we not used ESPlanner! It has really helped us to maximize our financial potential." —H. Mille Delacroix, III, Structural Engineer, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

"I have tried the Price Waterhouse's Retire Secure, T.Rowe Price, and Retire Ready products. Yours is the best." —Lester S. Arthur, New York, New York

"These guys are absolutely nuts when it comes to customer service. Most emails are answered within two hours —even on weekends!" —Jack Lochhead, Conway, Massachusetts

"I recently retired from a 30 year career in the Veteran's Administration. I purchased the ESPlanner to help me decide how much I needed to supplement my retirement income with part time work. I found the planner to be extremely helpful! The reports generated by the planner are very thorough and convincing. My major criticism is the length of time my computer needs to recompute reports when I have made "what if" changes to the input data. I guess it is a powerful program which must "crunch" a bunch of numbers to generate the reports. I have used several other retirement planning software programs and this is by far the most helpful and powerful. Thanks for putting it together P. S. Your technical support is AWSOME!" —Allen Hasse, Retired Dentist, San Francisco

"I have been using Quicken Financial Planner for several years and been recommending it to friends. I recently purchased ESPlanner based upon an article in the November 15, 1999 issue of Business Week. I am pleased with my purchase and will now be recommending ESPlanner to friends. I believe it is much easier for most people to understand and gets more directly to the question most people are asking about their retirement." —Dennis Baker, Treasurer, CF Industries

"I am overwhelmed with how terrific this software is... You are charging too little for this. Several years ago my husband and I went to a big five accounting firm to do some financial planning for us, and they essentially ran the tables that your software creates. After we paid them a four figure sum for this (and the first figure wasn't a "1)," I lamented the fact that all I needed was their software to plug in different variables to change the scenarios. ESPlanner is that software! " —NY Attorney

"Overall, I'm impressed with the program. I'll be using it quite a bit. The only real problem is that it didn't tell me to retire tomorrow." —Todd Ferris

"ESPlanner helped us realize that economic security is not about amassing some impossible sum of money by the time we're 65, but about being able to have about the same fairly steady standard of living when we're 90 as when we're 40. What's more, ESPlanner showed us how much to save, and which years to save it, to accomplish this." —John Kelleher, Composer and Home Keeper

"I am fascinated with the product and am telling others about it. I believe it is the best personal planning tool I have seen." —Roger Gehle, CPA

"As a Federal Employee close to retirement, I use ESPlanner to doublecheck and test my retirement scenarios —and to confirm the advice of a certified financial planner without paying the planner to plug in my information multiple times for multiple fees. ESPlanner is flexible enough to allow me to easily account for my Federal pension, my wife's private sector pension, and any additional income when I run various "What if's ..?" Its reports are sufficiently detailed to allow me to see where I made my changes and what the effect of those changes are and to discuss them with the CFP." —Federal Government Employee, Washington, D.C.

"Thanks for making such a wonderful software program available at such a reasonable price, including a user's manual that I found to be comprehensible with only a minimum degree of study, but a fair amount of concentration." —John Darling, Madison, WI

"Having little experience with financial planning I found ESPlanner to be user friendly and an exceptional way to plan for your future. The flexibility ESPlanner provides for different scenarios provided me with a valuable learning tool and helped me define my limits in order to maintain my expectations for retirement. I highly recommend ESPlanner." —Dolly Ryan, Technology Coordinator, The Belmont Day School, Belmont, MA

"I have used or tested every financial planning program I could find in searching personal finance literature and the Internet. ESPlanner is the best in usability, thoroughness, scope, and accuracy. I started with a spreadsheet of my own design, worked my way through various free and commercial planners and tested some packages designed mainly for professional financial planners advising many, varied clients. ESPlanner is the most sophisticated, even compared with the professional packages; at least the ones I looked at seemed more concerned with complex asset allocation than careful long-term planning. Particularly important is the handling of tax matters and Social Security benefits. ESPlanner correctly handled a benefit (dependent minor) about which I had been given incorrect information by Social Security telephone assistance people. And other software either got it wrong or, in most cases, missed the benefit completely." —Ben Crutchfield, Teacher, Arlington, Virgina

"With the help of ESPlanner I was able to better comprehend what I was missing by not doing financial planning. ESPlanner helped me see that I could raise my living standard a lot by joining my company's retirement plan. It also showed me what I need to save outside the plan to maintain my living standard and provide for my family. It's a really good program because it really helped me understand what I need to do for the future." —John Kennedy, custodian, Buildings and Grounds, Boston University

"I am very impressed with ESPlanner's thoroughness —especially compared to things like Quicken's built-in retirement tool. I would recommend this to anyone. I'm very excited by the software's ability to help me plan for the future." —Donald T. Cox, attorney, Athens, Georgia

"I purchased ESPlanner today and find it a very powerful program, particularly that it calculates tax rates annually rather than having to set them as inputs as in other programs and that it allows you to see the result in great detail if you want to." —Brian Davies, retired/part-time consultant, Anchorage, Alaska

"I am enjoying the program a great deal. It is a great tool!" —Ken Snowden, economist, Greensboro, North Carolina

"I am one of the fortunate ones who has been enrolled in the TIAA-CREF program for a very long time (40 years), and who has accumulated substantial assets that will become available at the time of my retirement in four years. For most of these last 40 years, especially while our children were growing up and going to (very expensive) universities, we lived a frugal life. Faced with the huge difference between our resources post-retirement and those available now, my first response was to "live small" until retirement allowed us to begin "living large." My wife loves to travel, and my sons need help now. ESPlanner, with its determinedly rational approach to consumption smoothing, gave me permission to use social security and to dis-save currently as a way to help our sons and to fund current travel plans, because our future income is entirely insured by TIAA-CREF (and other) assets that will support a very comfortable life-style. To paraphrase George M. Cohan: "my wife thanks you, my sons thank you, and I thank you."" —Mitchell Harwitz, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Buffalo

"It is nice to see something so useful come out of academic research. Sometimes we are a bit too arcane to do anything that actually helps people! Your efforts are a nice exception." —Curtis Woodcock, Professor of Geography, Boston University

"Great program. It allows me to easily get a handle on the problem of available resources vs. expected lifetime. The ability to consider "what ifs" solved my problem of buying or not buying long-term care insurance. Looking forward to many years of use. Keep adding new features." —Jack B. Naylor, Solvang, Ca.

"ESPlanner software is the best yet on the market, and studying your recommendations and the many detailed reports has added a significant measure of accuracy and confidence to my planning for the future. I also appreciate your prompt response and outstanding customer support that has come with this product." —Pradkash Nadkarni, Telecommunications Executive, McLean, Va.

"I've tried them all, commercial planning software, the financial websites, and numerous pieces of shareware. Your ESPlanner software is just what I was looking for. A sophisticated, yet easy way to peer into the future and see how decisions I make today will affect my future living standard." —Joel Wallen, Systems Engineer, Arlington, Va.

"I am a recently retired physician who has been faced with the (for me) novel task of making withdrawals from my retirement accounts instead of deposits, and this in a difficult economic climate. ESPlanner has been invaluable in suggesting ways to maximize the amount I can safely withdraw each year. I have also found the technical support to be simply superb. Bravo to the authors of this program for making high powered economic algorithms available to the non-economist who is faced with real world financial decisions that can have a significant impact on the standard of living attainable with limited financial resources." —Dr. Carl C. Chi, Portland, CT.

"I downloaded ESPlanner this weekend and worked up our finances on it. It's very helpful. I'd created essentially the same thing in a set of Excel spreadsheets, with a sheet for each year and all of the income, tax, mortgage and college expense stuff on their own individual sheets connected to the annual sheets. But it's a pain to make changes to it, while ESPlanner makes it a breeze to examine alternatives." —Bob Shackleton, Economist, Washington, D.C.

"I have set up ESPlanner and run a number of scenarios, and it looks like our retirement is secure. Thanks for your wonderful program." —Gary Ott, retired Bell Labs engineer, Middletown, New Jersey.

"I am really enjoying working with the program. I find your approach to retirement planning to be novel and the methodology fascinating." —Washington, D.C. Tax lawyer and Employee Benefit Specialist

"I want to let you know that your program [ESPlanner] is very useful and valuable to me, as a person nearing retirement. I appreciate the level of detail, the year-by-year tabulations (and graphs), the ease of entry of such things as sales and purchases of residences and second homes (and extraordinary expenses, etc.), the ability to vary so many economic assumptions, etc. I had previously tried to account for many of these items as I attempted to develop my own retirement planning spreadsheet, but I soon became bogged down with the complexity. I am certainly glad that you have made this program available." —Name Withheld by Request, Real estate manager, Texas

"Getting your financial life in order isn't difficult. You can take a big first step by turning off your TV for a few hours and sitting down with ESPlanner." —Glenn S. Daily, Fee-Only Insurance Consultant, New York City

"ESPlanner stands alone in the life insurance planning field as the only approach that provides a truly objective and sound tool for lifetime life insurance needs planning." —Anthony Steuer, CLU, Fee-Based Insurance Advisor, Orangevale, Ca.

"Using this program has provided me the "peace of mind" that only complete and accurate retirement planning can provide. I am confident that adherence to my savings assumptions will provide me the resources needed to maintain (most likely increase) my current standard of living throughout my lifetime. This software is worth much more than you are currently charging. There is simply no better value that I have found. Thank you for developing and supporting such a great product and thanks especially for the added "peace of mind." —Steven O. Smith, CPA, Vice President of Finance, Sharonview Federal Credit Union, Charlotte, North Carolina

"It takes in much more data and variables than any other program." —Michael Stewart, Vice President, Dana Investment Advisors, Brookfield, Wis.

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