Retirement Planning Software - FAQ


About Our Products

What versions of Windows does it run on?

It runs on all Windows versions 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista and Windows7/8/10. It no longer runs on the old Windows 3.x 16-bit operating system or on Windows 95. Yes, the installer and the application should both run fine on Vista and Windows 7, 8 and 10.

Do you have a version for Mac computers?

Yes, as of summer of 2012 we do! It is ready right now... click here to go to the Mac page.

What is the best way to order this software?

The best and fastest way is to first download the evaluation edition of the software. Install it. Try it out. Then when you want to buy, click on the Purchase menu -> Buy Now function inside the running software. If you follow that method and your credit card is valid, then your activation password will be instantly sent to you by email. Or you can use the Buy Now link to order the software first, then download it, then receive your activation.


I’m running a version of Retirement Planner from a previous year, and want to purchase the upgrade to the latest edition. I just purchased a new computer. Is the upgrade easily installed on a clean machine, or do I need to re-install the prior edition to make this work?

The answer is "No" you don't need the old version installed.
You can install on a clean machine. The software upgrade and/or price discount is given when we process the order... you select upgrade in the order form and we manually verify you're a customer in our database... we then process the order... and we email you your activation key. The only advantage to having the old version installed is that the new installer will search for old versions and copy over your data files so that you pick up where you left off.

Do you provide updates to the software? At what cost?

Yes we do ... we offer several updates a year fixing little anoyances, adding new features, expanding the functionality while still focused on simplicity and ease-of-use. The program is sold by annual subscription. See the order page for renewal pricing. Select the product pop-down on that order page to see products and prices, including renewals and upgrades.

Does the software simply take assumed investment returns and use them for each year going forward, or does it inject variability e.g. Monte Carlo simulations type of approach?

The software uses straight flat returns, not Monte Carlo simulations. We feel that Monte Carlo is too complicated to understand and explain and does not fit into our "Keep it Simple" approach to software. And also because 1000 or even 10,000 statistical simulations from a universe of trillions of possibilities is more misleading, than informative, to but a few individuals. Our software immediately and clearly displays in dynamic fashion personal financial results from changes users make to their personal facts and assumptions, such as inflation and investment growth.

Can it handle detailed budgeted expenses going forward with inflation assumptions?

Yes. Use the Special Expenses spreadsheet to enter as many items as you want. Inflation can be set for each line item as well as start age, and duration.

Can you migrate everything to a new computer when you get one?

Yes. As long as your subscription is current, we will help you get going on any computer you need to use it on. This includes a new computer, hard drive crash, or whatever... as long as you are the user who purchased the subscription.

How do I get the free updates during the year?

The built-in Internet AppUpdate engine will tell you when an update is available and walk you through installation. If you encounter an error with this process, then email us for help in troubleshooting. If you get "Unable to retrieve product information" that means you have a firewall on your computer blocking the software from checking the revision file on the internet. You will need to disable Norton's or McAfee or whatever firewall is blocking access. We also send out emails to our customers when a major update is available.

When I maximize the window, the screen items don't enlarge.

Starting in version 2003.3 maximizing the window does indeed enlarge the graphs and spreadsheet. It's cool so check it out NOTE: there are some variations in this feature on some displays. We are working to correct these issues.

What does "Personal Edition" mean?

Personal Edition is for use by individuals for their own planning. Personal Edition cannot be used for any Commercial Use.

What does "Couples Edition" mean?

Couples Edition is for use by a couple for their own planning. I.e. a Husband and Wife who both work can do a combined analysis of their retirement goals, but track savings and contributions, social security, pensions, etc. as separate entries. This Edition cannot be used for any Commercial Use.

What does "Professional Edition" mean?

Professional Edition means that you can use our software in a Commercial context. If you use the software to create plans for someone else you must purchase the Professional Edition. This includes but is not limited to financial advisors, planners, insurance agents, CPAs, lawyers, trust departments, pension administrators, HR/Personnel, etc. using the software in a business context.

When I try to run the installer it says "Installer Error: 0015 Please contact the vendor." How do I fix this?

Installer Error: 0015 means that the installer could not find the RICHED32.DLL on the target machine. This is a Windows core component and you (or an uninstaller) removed the file (not a good idea - this will cause problems with other apps, too). Click here to read how to fix the problem.

How do the Activation Keys work?

When you upgrade to the latest version, you are buying and installing a new and improved version. When you purchase the software, you will be sent a password to fully activate the software.

My "really old" password no longer works. What should I do?

SoftLock (renamed Digital Goods) went out of business in May 2001. Thus, we can no longer issue SoftLock passwords. We apologize sincerely for this inconvenience. After working with them for 7 years we were not even given advanced notice of their impending problems. We now have our own registration system.
Your only option is to buy the discounted upgrade to the latest version from our web site, and we can then send you a new password/activation key.

I got a new computer. How do I move the software?

You need the original installation file. If you don't have it, then you can download it from our website. You will need to request an activation password after installation. We will verify that your subscription is up-to-date and then email you a new activation password.

My computer crashed. I re-installed the software but it now says it is unregistered.

You need to run the software. Click on the Purchase menu, then on "Request New Password". Follow the steps and instructions to submit your request. We will verify that your subscription is up-to-date and then email you a new activation password.

Do I get free "upgrades" if I bought the software in a prior year?

Our software is sold as a "subscription". During the period of your subscription, typically one year unless you paid for a multi-year subscription, you get support, updates, and access to our internet resources (price subject to change without notice). Any subsequent versions we release during the year you can download and install and use for no additional charge (we'll call those free "updates"). The software will check for new versions and automatically walk you through downloading and installing the update patch.

Can I enter information for me and my spouse?

Yes in the Couples Edition and Professional Editions (not in the Personal Edition) there is a new Tab for a spouse with a separate set of inputs.

I'm retired. Can I still use your program?

Yes the program works for people of all ages. If already retired, then set the Current Age and Retirement Age to the same value to tell the program "I'm already retired".

My family is long-lived. Why can't I calculate to age 125?

First, an initial program assumption was made to prevent the graphs from going ballistic due to extremely high numbers. That assumption capped the highest age at 90. This assumption has now been increased to 100 in the SpreadSheet. An even higher age may be configured in a later revision of the software.
Second, this program is just a rough estimate. Assuming investment returns as fixed over long periods of time is a gross estimate at best. It's not completely realistic since returns fluctuate over time through bull and bear markets. Allowing estimates up to very high ages like 110 makes the program estimate even more unrealistic due to the extremely long time horizon. We don't want to encourage such gross estimates since it is extremely misleading.
Third, if you are going to live a long time you should make plans to live off your interest and investment earnings only. Once you dip into your principal, you may outlive your savings. The program can help you estimate what savings you will need in order to accomplish this amazing goal, regardless of how long you live (i.e. if you are living off interest at age 90 you hopefully will continue that practice even if you live to age 110.) If your retirement income needs are less than the investment earnings on your savings, then presumably you will not run out of savings.

The graphs are not printing properly on my printer.

Try using CTRL+P to print the current window as is. Please let us know if it still causes problems. Contact us with details about the problem.

One workaround is to bring up the graph you want to print in the Retirement Planner, then on your keyboard press the ALT key and the PrintScreen key (by the F12 key) both at the same time. This will secretly take a screenshot of window and capture it onto the clipboard. You can then go into another program that can handle graphics and do an Edit->Paste or Ctrl-V to paste in the image of the graph. You can then try printing it from the other application.

Another workaround is to print to the PDF format first, then print to your printer from Acrobat Reader. If you don't have a PDF printer installed in your computer, you can find several options listed in this article.

Do you still have a question not answered here? Email us your questions and we will promptly send you a response.



"First of all I much appreciate the quick and prompt customer service yours is the best I've encountered so far in terms of Internet vendors."

- Mike Goss

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