Planit:Introduction to the Modelling Assumptions Screen
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The Modelling Assumptions screen is where you will identify your client’s preferences when it comes to developing a strategy for them. The PlanPlus Planit has a sophisticated function where it will identify the client’s outcome if they keep doing as they currently are doing and the Modelling Assumptions screen will identify various steps that can be taken to try and eliminate any shortfalls identified.
Planning for the future often means that some hard decisions must be made relative to what a client is willing to do in order to achieve their personal objectives. There are only several main options, which include, saving more, working longer or spending less in retirement. Below you'll find a series of parameters you can modify to identify your client's preferences when it comes to developing a strategy for them. Identify your client's thresholds for each of these key areas. When you do this, the Personal Financial Strategy that's created for your client will recognize these parameters and use an auto model process to identify a solution for your client.
Key questions to your clients when filling out the Auto Model Screen would be:
- How much more would they be willing to save
- How much longer would they be willing to work
- How much would they be willing to reduce their retirement income objective to allow for an achievable strategy
1. Let's say your client is willing to save an additional $2000.00 per annum towards their RRSP. You would enter this under the "Clients" threshold in the space provided for the RSP. See screen shot where we have added in the parameters for the savings additional savings.
2. The "Increase" field shows you the increase of the threshold based on the proposed thresholds for savings or retirement age.
3. If your clients indicate that they wish to work longer you would enter this information in the parameter called "Retire By". The field called "Minimum Retirement Lifestyle" is where you can indicate the minimum amount the clients would want to have as a lifestyle within retirement.
4. The "Adjust age before income" checkbox is for cases when the clients say "Well I would rather work longer in order to achieve my target income in retirement" if this is the case with your clients you would leave this checkbox checked. However if you clients would rather have their retirement lifestyle reduced and not work longer then uncheck this box.
5. Life Cycle Portfolios You’ll also notice that the Auto Model Assumptions screen allows you to recognize adjustments to your client’s risk profile as they age. This is done in the “Life Cycle Portfolios” area on the bottom of the screen. You may elect to change the target portfolio twice in the client’s lifetime to recognize their rate of return may not always be as aggressive as it is now while they are younger. To learn more about the Life Cycle Portfolios and how to apply these to your client at different stages in their life, click the mini movie below.
6. The “Optimize using TFSA” checkbox to help optimize the contributions to TFSA. Turning on this flag ensure that you are always using any unused contribution room recognizing contributions and withdrawals to the TFSA over the client’s lifetime. This unique approach allows you to recognize the fact that not all contributions to the TFSA account are new savings but clients will often be repositioning other open capital into the TFSA. For example for a retired client, they are no longer doing any new savings but frequently will be moving money into their TFSA account from their accumulated capital in their normal non-registered accounts. This optimization feature is a unique approach to the TFSA that automates the process for you. In other words you won’t have to worry about figuring out when you need to move money into the TFSA in your long term projections. This is all done for you.
Now if you elect to want to turn this Optimize using TFSA off you need to do two things in order to be able to uncheck this feature:
1. The client cannot have a Tax Free Savings account on the Assets and Liabilities screen.
2. On the Planning Assumptions screen under the Tax Assumptions section you cannot have any "Unused TFSA" contribution room.
Tired of having to run a document to find out the results of a Life Goals analysis? Well the “Results” tab is a great new feature which providing you the ability to view results right after completing your modeling by going to the results tab. When you come to the results tab you can choose the scenario you wish to calculate by choosing the radio button then hitting “Calculate Scenario”. The system will then calculate your scenario and this can take a few moments. While it is calculating, you will see a progress bar. When it has completed you are presented with a "Graph" of the scenario you ran and life goal summary of the scenario.
You also have the option to view the "Audit" spreadsheet right their on the screen, prior versions you had to go to the "Working Documents" and run the spreadsheets now after calculating your scenario they run for you.
Auto Model Process
The Auto Model process is very methodical. It’s follows these basic steps:
- The target portfolio will be implemented and the scenario re-ran to determine if a shortfall still exists. Often the target portfolio will have a higher projected return than the current portfolio as illustrated above and the improvement in the rate of return in cases where there is only a small shortfall might be sufficient to eliminate the shortfall entirely. If not, then the next step is taken.
- Increase savings based on the thresholds identified are implemented to determine if this will eliminate the shortfall. While the savings are increased, the system also recognizes that the current lifestyle will reduce since you have to spend less to save more. If a shortfall still exists, the process will continue.
- The ranking of the other life goals are compared with the ranking of the retirement goal to determine if any of these other goals should be eliminated. The analysis also recognizes cases were a high ranked goal cannot be achieved regardless of whether retirement is delayed or any other tactic. These unrealistic goals are removed.
- If the client’s target age had a higher priority than the target income, the next step will be to increment the client and spouse’s ages one year at a time until their individual thresholds are reached. If the shortfall is eliminated at any time through this process the modeling will stop. If a shortfall still exists once the thresholds are reached, the process will continue.
- If the clients target income was a higher priority than the target age, then the income target will be reduced in 20% increments until the threshold is reached. Again, should a surplus result at any time during this process, the modeling will stop.
- Should both the income and age thresholds be reached and a shortfall still exist, as a last resort the system will continue to reduce the income target until a surplus is found. This means that a solution will be found regardless how unpalatable it might be. This is because this is the reality for the client. It helps them appreciate how unrealistic their objectives might be.
After you have completed the Auto Model Assumptions, when you click on “Next” arrow link you’ll be returned to the Home Page. You are now ready to generate your Client Documents or you can move on to the Implementation > Security Selection.
While our "Auto Model" process is a huge time saver to create achievable strategies for clients, sometimes you just want to see the impact of a specific change in your client's assumptions. This new tab is where you can create Multiple Scenarios. To read more on this powerful feature please click here.