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  • FI planning tools

    What tools are people using for planning and tracking FI progress?

    Whipping up a spreadsheet isn't difficult, but there must be thousands of templates that would save time. Most of the ones I already know about are either too specific (track your employee 401K portfolio), online from a single company (e.g. Personal Capital, Mint), focus entirely on household budgeting or are limited to investment portfolios.

     

    Here's the "features" I'd like to have:

    - help in identifying specific (and relevant) financial metrics to use for the FI plan (income, expense, savings rate, investment returns, etc)

    - basic tracking of multiple asset classes including investment portfolio, real estate, small business and notes

    - simple indicator(s) whether we are on track, ahead or behind and why (similar to a project planning schedule)

    - easy to update 3-4x annually from different accounts

     

    Stuff I don't need (and probably don't want at all):

    - real-time updates after handing out login credentials for every financial account (3-4x annually is plenty)

    - detailed dollar-by-dollar projections based on 87 different variables and assumptions (my assumptions are pretty straightforward)

    - pretty charts & graphs (a.k.a. every recently popular financial tool aimed at Millennials)

    - tax planning (handled with CPA)

    - estate planning (handled with CPA)

    - budgeting, expenses, money tracking (already using QuickBooks for personal & business finances)

     

    I'm picturing something very simple like a scoreboard. Maybe there's 6-12 critical metrics that are each graded green, yellow or red respectively. That's the scoreboard. All green means nothing needs to change. The underlying data that goes into figuring out each metric can be entered manually. The two biggest things I'm missing are figuring out the relevant metrics (e.g. savings rate, age, debt, net worth, monthly cashflow) and being able to see trends and progress over many years. The latter is particularly difficult right now along with integrating everything into a simple yes/no answer to "Are we on track to reach out financial goals in XXX years?"

    It could be specific books, websites, desktop software or spreadsheet templates. My starting point is the list of personal financial metrics that WCI listed in one of his posts and solid spreadsheet wizardry, but I'd be equally happy with a simple paper tracking tool that works. The focus is on simplicity, not detailed financial analysis. I've tried searching the forums and online, but Googling "retirement planning tools" takes you down the rabbit hole of thousands of different options that fall squarely into the "not what I'm looking for" category.

    Thanks!
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