Bonfire Planner is a retirement planning app for iPhone and iPad that will help you safely plan retirement income. We use the same strategies that professionals use to turn your savings into income in the most tax efficient way possible.
Additional information can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Free Retirement Planner:
Pro Retirement Planner:
Don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or feedback.
The Home tab displays the plan summary and the planner results. The plan results are listed in order of risk level.
By default, the chart shows the Monte Carlo results of your portfolio balance over time. You can tap on the chart to see additional views of the result data.
This shows key data about the plan result including:
The 'Withdrawal' and 'Sequencing' sections of the plan provide the details of the overall income and tax strategy for your plan.
Each plan includes guidance on how much money to withdraw from your accounts for income. See below for additional detail of withdrawal strategies.
Each plan includes guidance on the order in which money should be withdrawn for income. See below for additional detail of sequencing strategies.
The Details by Year screen allows you to view summary data for each year of the plan.
The Profile tab allows you to enter the birth date, retire date, and life expectency for you and your partner (if applicable). This is also where you enter your tax status.
The plan start date will be based on your retirement date.
The Portfolio tab is where you will enter your portfolio details.
If your plan starts in a future year, you may enter a dollar amount in this field to represent additional contributions to the account prior to the start of the plan.
This is the area where you can enter income, such as pensions, annuities, or Social Security. Negative dollar amounts can also be entered to represent expenses.
Withdrawal strategies are used to determine how much money to withdraw from the portfolio in a given year.
Fixed dollar withdrawals start with an initial percent in the first year and increase by inflation each subsequent year. Perhaps the best known example is the Trinity Study and the well known "4% rule."
Pros: Provides stable income throughout retirement
Cons: May end retirement with a large balance
Fixed percent withdraws the same percent of the portfolio each year. The dollar amount will fluctuate as the underlying portfolio fluctuates.
Pros: Income increases as underlying portfolio increases
Cons: Income fluctuation may be undesireable
The 'Ceiling / Floor' strategy is similar to Fixed Percentage strategy in that a fixed percent of the portfolio is withdrawn each year. However there are two additional rules: 1) A 5% ceiling is applied each year, and 2) a 2.5% floor is applied each year. This approach is documented in the Vanguard white paper From Assets to Income.
Pros: Income increases as underlying portfolio increases, subject to a 5% cap
Cons: While more stable than a pure fixed percent strategy, income fluctuation may be undesireable
Account Sequencing strategies are used to determine which accounts to draw money from. The accounts chosen may have a significant tax impact.
This strategy follows the conventional wisdom of withdrawing from taxable accounts first, then tax-deferred accounts, and finally tax-exempt accounts. By withdrawing from taxable accounts first, balances in tax-deferred and tax-exempt account continue to grow.
Withdraw from all accounts proportionally as soon as you can withdraw without penalties. This is a tax-efficient plan that spreads tax benefits over the life of the plan. A Fidelity study shows this strategy producing an estimated 38% reduction in taxes paid.
By withdrawing from tax-deferred account starting at age 65, RMDs are lowered and prevent you from entering higher tax brackets later on.
As soon as you can withdraw without penalties, fill tax brackets from tax-deferred accounts up to the 15% bracket (actually 12% based on current tax law). This is a tax-efficient plan that ensures you take advantage of lower tax brackets when available.