CALGARY, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The School of Public Policy together with Prof. Larry Kotlikoff of Boston University have created a new budget planning tool for governments and individuals, ESPlanner. The most sophisticated program of its kind is being launched today in Toronto, ON and will allow governments, academics, journalists and individuals to model changes in tax rates to see precisely what the effects are on income and savings.
Traditional financial planning is based on a fundamental rule of thumb: Aim to save enough for retirement to replace 75-85 per cent of your pre-retirement income with income from pensions and assets. Millions of Canadians follow this formula. Yet, there is no guarantee this approach is consistent with a savings plan that will allow them to experience their optimal standard of living — given their income — throughout their working lives.
ESPlanner gives Canadian families access to an educational and powerful consumption-smoothing tool. What is consumption smoothing? Consumption smoothing happens when a consumer projects his/her income and their non-discretionary expenses (such as mortgage payments) all the way up until the end of life. The program is able to determine their household discretionary spending power over time, to achieve the smoothest living standard path possible without going into debt.
This free, secure and confidential online tool will allow Canadian families to safely and securely enter their earnings, other financial resources and calculate how much they can spend as well as how much they should save in order to maintain their lifestyle from now until they die, without going into debt. According to Kotlikoff "users can easily and instantly run "what-if" scenarios to see how retiring early (or later), changing jobs, adjusting retirement contributions, having children, moving homes, timing RRSP withdrawals, and other financial and lifestyle decisions would affect their sustainable living standards"
ESPlannerBASIC Canada is a vital tool giving Canadian families the power to plan the lifestyle they want, based on what they can actually afford, without going into debt, or saving too little — or even too much — for retirement.
The paper can be downloaded at http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/?q=research
SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary
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