OnTrajectory Releases Collaborative Financial Planning Tool for Educators

PRESS RELEASE

Baltimore, Maryland (July 11, 2017) OnTrajectory, a Baltimore-based, veteran-owned “FinTech” start-up, has just released a first-of-its-kind financial planning platform allowing educators and students to collaboratively model complex financial strategies and techniques. OnTrajectory’s emphasis on visualizations and high-fidelity graphs makes it perfect for individuals learning the effects of compound savings,  tax-handling, expense management and other aspects of financial planning.

Time Magazine calls it “one of the best user interfaces available in the retirement calculator world” (http://time.com/money/4212970/best-retirement-calculators/), and OnTrajectory has extended its innovative interface by offering pre-defined scenarios that are both visually-striking and interactively fun. Educators can also create and distribute their own scenarios to illustrate key-concepts based on their curriculum, while students can manipulate and experiment with them in real-time.

Financial-planning tools abound on the Internet, but OnTrajectory separates itself by having the lowest barrier-of-entry AND the most flexibility. No other consumer-focused tool allows the same depth and complexity and, more importantly, the ability to help navigate a successful and secure future. Tyson Koska, OnTrajectory’s founder, says: “Our goal is to enhance the financial health and literacy of a generation.”

OnTrajectory.com began in 2015 as a free personal-finance planning platform. In 2016 they launched a subscription plan ($5/month or $50/year), which allows greater depth and detail. Their new “Educational Offering” provides significant incentives to Educational Institutions, Public Libraries, and Charitable Organizations based on size and need. Read more at www.OnTrajectory.com/EDU_portal.html.

OnTrajectory.com has received an enthusiastic response from both customers and professionals and been featured on multiple “best-of” lists across the web:

https://ptmoney.com/best-robo-advisors/

http://time.com/money/4212970/best-retirement-calculators/

http://www.caniretireyet.com/the-best-retirement-calculators/

Contact:

questions@OnTrajectory.com

Phone: 410-989-1968

Easier Tax-Rate Modeling

We’ve made it easier to model the tax-advantages of contributing to a retirement plan.

Now, when you designate contributions that typically occur “pre-tax” (such as those to a 401K or Traditional IRA), OnTrajectory automatically excludes those contributions from taxable Income — meaning you needn’t adjust your tax-rate to account for those contributions.

We’ve also added Retirement Plan Contributions to the “Incomes” data table so you can easily see all contributions excluded from taxable income, as shown below:

retPlanContrib

Remember, we are constantly rolling-out new features, so be sure to log on frequently – and don’t forget to update your progress while you’re there!

Don’t wait any longer, get OnTrajectory today. Log On Now »

Smarter “Draw-Downs”

OnTrajectory just got a little smarter.

When modeling years with negative cash-flow (such as retirement), OnTrajectory has always let you indicate which accounts to draw funds from first
– but now you can leave more of those decisions to us!

Our draw-down logic now takes into account 4 characteristics when automatically selecting an account to pull funds from:

  1. End Age – Accounts with the lowest End Age used first
  2. Account Type – Non-Retirement funds used before Retirement funds
  3. Tax Handling – Non-Tax-Deferred funds used before Tax-Deferred funds
  4.  Account Balance – Account with highest balance used first

This technique ensures that automatic draw-downs maximize both tax savings and minimize early withdrawal penalties – making it easier for you to gain insight into your financial future and see where your money is taking you.

Remember, we are constantly rolling-out new features, so be sure to log on frequently – and don’t forget to update your progress while you’re there!

Don’t wait any longer, get OnTrajectory today. Log On Now »

Expanded ‘Employer Contributions’ at OnTrajectory

We’ve expanded our Employer Contributions functionality to give you more financial modeling flexibility. Now you can define contributions from employers for both 401k/403b and HSA accounts.

In addition, both your defined contributions and employer contributions can be designated either as a fixed amount or as percentage of Income (or any combination of the two), as illustrated below:

contrib

Just a reminder, we are constantly rolling – out new features, so be sure to log on frequently – and don’t forget to update your progress while you’re there!

Don’t wait any longer, get OnTrajectory todayLog On Now »

2 Great New Features in OnTrajectory

We’ve just released 2 new features in OnTrajectory. The first is our Home Equity tool, which greatly enhances your ability to track the accumulation of equity over the term of a loan / mortgage. Read all about it here!

Second is our IRA Conversion feature – you can now model the conversion of a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and see if it would be a long-term benefit to you.

Just a reminder, we are constantly rolling – out new features, so be sure to log on frequently – and don’t forget to update your progress while you’re there!

Don’t wait any longer, get OnTrajectory todayLog On Now »

New Feature Alert: More & Better HELP!

You’ve probably noticed these little guys –>  <– showing up all over OnTrajectory.

Each one launches you into a Guide right where you need to be. ‘Context-sensitive’ is what they call it, which really means you don’t have to go to the Main Menu  to find information — you can get it fast, when you need it.

Once you’re in a Guide, you’ll now see a handy Table of Contents at the top of each. These are all linked inside the Guide, again to help you both see what information is available, but also to get to it quickly — see sample below:

Finally, All Guides — Table of Contents” is now located in the Main Menu. The list of topics continues to grow every month as new features are released, here is the current Guide list:

1. Getting Started with OnTrajectory
2. Modeling Income

3. Modeling Expenses
4. Modeling Accounts & Taxes
5. Adding a Spouse / Owner
6. Tracking Progress
7. Setting Goals
8. Monte Carlo and Historical Analysis

9. Creating and Managing Scenarios
10. Understanding Output Data


Please be aware that NO information contained in this communication should be considered investing advice. All financial information is solely for educational purposes. Please see your own professional for personal investment advice.
Our mailing address is: questions@OnTrajectory.com

New Feature Alert: Item Re-Ordering & Equation Support

Two new feature enhancements to OnTrajectory this month!

Feature 1: Item Re-Ordering
Change the order your Income, Expense & Account items appear — just click and drag the ‘up/down’ icon to move items to a new position (note: the top-most ‘Deposit Account’ cannot be moved).

Feature 2: Support for Equations
You can now use mathematical operators to add (+), subtract (-), multiply (*), and divide (/)  values in ‘Amount’ fields. This feature is similar to typing in a spreadsheet cell. For example, to quickly calculate an expense that is billed 4 times per year @ $87, simply type in the amount field: =4*87 and press ‘Enter‘.

That’s it! No need to have a calculator open and nearby when entering values into OnTrajectory.

Top-20 Features Added to OnTrajectory in 2016

It was a busy year at OnTrajectory, releasing new features at a rate of over once-per-month. As we begin to look to 2017, here’s a list of the Top-20 Features we added in 2016:

  1. Ability to define central effective tax-rates for all items in your model, based on different periods of your life
  2. Ability to define a centralized retirement age (by using ‘R’ for a start/end age) letting you more easily analyze the effect of retiring at different ages
  3. Ability to designate ‘variable’ expenses (such as 4% of assets)
  4. Automatic calculation of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for tax-deferred accounts (such as IRAs and 401Ks)
  5. Support for inherited IRAs by automatically calculating separate RMDs, as required by the IRS
  6. Ability to override the central Inflation Rate for individual Income or Expense items
  7. Ability to redeem ‘reward points’ for FREE months of our PowerPlan
  8. Ability to earn ‘reward points’ through referrals to friends
  9. Expansion of data output tables, with the ability to view in either Today’s or Tomorrow’s Dollars
  10. Ability to print or save data output in a separate spreadsheet
  11. Interactive tutorials, 9 and counting
  12. Ad-hoc inflation-converter
  13. Ability to type equations in number fields, e.g. ‘=500+500’ computes to 1000 (after pressing the ‘Enter’ key)
  14. Ability to define matching contributions for 401Ks
  15. Ability to define income, expenses or accounts for multiple individuals (such as a spouse)
  16. Ability to define income as ‘tax-exempt’
  17. Automatic draw-down of funds, as needed, based on individual tax-treatments of an account
  18. Enforcement of ‘early withdrawal penalties’ for tax-deferred accounts (such as IRAs and 401Ks)
  19. Ability to auto-save data changes
  20. Ability to save notes for individual Scenarios
  21. There really was more, but you’re probably bored by now…

Stay-tuned in the next couple weeks as we lay out our plans for 2017!

How Much Is this $hit Costing Me: Part 1

What’s the full financial impact of your coffee habit? This is the explainer for Part 1 of our video series: “How Much is this $hit Costing Me?”

Let’s say you’re a fresh college grad with a mild macchiato addiction. Of course this could alternately be replaced by a weakness for lattes, mochas  or any of a number of delicious coffee concoctions. We’ll assume the habit remains more-or-less consistent over the course of your life.

Now, to the numbers…

Three macchiatos per week, that’s $15. Over the course of one’s life (3,536 weeks * $15), that’s $53,040. Assuming 3% inflation, you’re looking at $115,054. Ouch.

costs

By brewing at home, however, and purchasing one macchiato per week  you could save about $500/yr. What if that $500 was invested in a moderate risk, tax-deferred account? Let’s use OnTrajectory to see the full financial impact.

OnTrajectory takes your unique mix of Income, Expenses, Investments and maps a path into your financial future each are discussed below.

macchiatt_income

Income:  It looks like our college grad landed a pretty decent job – probably an entry-level computer programmer or something sexy like that. This example assumes an average 5% raise per year until the age of 40 (as shown in the ‘Growth Override’ column). Thereafter, the salary merely keeps up with inflation.

macchiatt_expense

Expenses: This example includes “grouped” expenses (indicated by the orange ‘G’) defined in three unique age ranges: 22-29 includes rent, 30-67 includes the purchase of a home, and 68-90 shows basic expenses dropping during retirement years.

In addition, we see a boat purchase at 45, and a semi-extravagant vacation later in life. Finally, we see the coffee expense broken out separately at $780/year.

macchiatt_accounts

Accounts & Taxes: Not much to see here, just a Deposit Account with effective tax-rates based on income level. There doesn’t seem to be any tax-deferred/retirement account or any other types of investments defined.

Subsequently, the financial Trajectory looks like this (in tomorrow’s dollars):

before

We can clearly see various rates of saving based on income and expenses. The steep increase at 60 is a result of the mortgage being paid-off  but as you can see it wasn’t quite enough, and this individual runs out of cash at the age of 88 and is $139,713 in hole by age 90.

Let’s reduce the coffee expense to $280/year and invest the savings into an account with an average rate of return of 5.04% How did we come up with 5.04%? We took a handful of highly-rated moderate-risk mutual funds (entirely at random) and averaged their 20-year returns. It may not be scientific, but it’s fairly reflective of how a lot of folks invest.

Here’s the result:

after

Notice that not only do you stay financially afloat throughout life, there’s  a tidy $320k surplus at the end (again, in tomorrow’s dollars).

math

It’s MATH, and it’s power stuff. The truth is, small lifestyle changes CAN have half-million dollar impacts over the course of one’s life. OnTrajectory helps you identify and visualize those impacts. So don’t wait any longer, get OnTrajectory today.

 


 

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that no information contained in this communication should not be considered investing advice. All financial information is solely for educational purposes. Please see your own professional for personal investment advice.

 

Reading money tips not enough: How can you incorporate good financial habits to save more?

This is contributed by Patricia Sanders.

According to a recent survey conducted by gobankingrates in 2015, almost 62% of Americans’ savings account is not fattened enough. They have less than $1,000 in the savings account that is not enough for securing financial future. The survey reveals that most of the Americans save a very little amount of money in their savings account. Cameron Huddleston, a personal finance expert said it’s an alarming report and it seems that “most of the American’s don’t have cash reserves to cover an emergency and will have to rely on credit, friends, and family, or even their retirement accounts to cover unexpected expenses.”

The survey result shows two-thirds of Americans don’t have enough savings

For most of the Americans, budgeting is challenging. As a result, they fail to save enough money in their savings account.

survey

Why do people read several personal finance tips, but never become rich?

While the people who’re struggling with credit card debt often embrace personal finance tips. But the question is do they get good results?

Well, people tend to forget all the tips within a week and go back to their same old bad financial habits that exacerbate their financial woes. Everyone’s busy and they don’t have enough time to follow the tips  after reading. People rarely take down the points so that they can’t follow it later on in life and this is the reason why they can’t become rich despite reading the personal finance tips.

There are some others who go through the personal finance strategies, practice them for a week and then suddenly feel that these tips are not made for them. Remember, no one is unlucky and unless you adopt the positive personal finance habits, it’s not possible for you to get enough results. If you think that you have no time to practice the tips in real life, then you’re just reminding yourself that you have no time to become rich. Only reading through the passive income blogs will not help you earn enough and save more unless you practice it.

Habits that can make you financially disciplined and help you save money

Following are some personal finance habits that you should adopt to become financially well off:

  1. Craft a frugal budget and follow it

Most of the Americans hate to follow the B-word ‘budgeting’, but this is probably the only way that can lead to a secure financial future. Yes, the basic rule of personal finance management is crafting a budget and following to it throughout the month. Most of the financial experts think the increasing consumer debt level is the result of people’s hatred towards budgeting. They said, following a budget is important to track monthly expenses and income. Thus, people can boost savings. Having extra money helps in repaying debt obligations as well.

  1. Spend less than what you earn in a month

When it comes to good financial habits, you always have to keep your expenses within your means. Remember, your financial health is just like your physical health. You have to maintain balance to remain healthy and wealthy. You need to maintain the balance between energy that you consume to remain healthy. Similarly, you need to maintain a balance between your earning and spending to remain financially secure. You need to struggle to defend against the temptations. Thus, you’ll be able to resist the temptation of spending more money than you earn.

  1. Prioritize to an emergency fund

No one can predict about the financial fiasco, if you want to stay safe, then you have to focus on building an emergency fund. There is no other option instead of saving at least 10% of what you earn, irrespective of the gross monthly amount that you make from your job. This is a valuable advice by the personal financial experts, but very few are into following it.

  1. Cut down extra expenses

Buying only the things that you need is one personal finance habit that most frugal people follow. But are you confused about the items that you can cut off  to save your hard earned money? Well, you can save money on food bills by ditching expensive restaurants, save on groceries by using coupons and ditching branded items, and you must avoid getting things that are not on the list. Make sure you switch off lights when not using the room so as to save energy and electricity costs.

  1. Reduce using your credit cards as much as possible

Using credit cards gives you a chance to establish a good credit history, but misusing them can lead to a financial disaster. Stop whipping your plastics for purchasing the things that you can’t afford with cash. Because this is the reason most of the people fell into a credit card debt trap. Reduce the usage of credit cards so that you don’t require paying interest rates on the money that you owe.

  1. Start college savings plan (529 plan) for the kid’s education

Starting a college savings plan is an essential part of planning kid’s higher education. So, you must start the 529 plan to secure your child’s education future. Remember, 529 plans vary from state to state. You should be aware of your own State’s 529 plan to successfully save money for your kid’s education purpose. This way you’ll be able to minimize the risk of student loan debt as well.

Adding It All Up

By following the few simple tips outlined here, I estimate you can save about $100/month. To help you visualize what those sorts of savings represent, below are 2 scenarios created in OnTrajectory. The first shows someone who is 30-years-old making $45k per year. With their current spending level (and 3% inflation) they’re projected to run out of funds when they are 88.

Save 100 per month_before

The second image is the same person, but with spending reduced by $100/month. As you can see, they are fully funded to age 90 and have almost $150k remaining in savings at that age.

Save 100 per month_after

This demonstrates the huge benefits of saving small amounts over time, and why following advice such as offered here can be so critical to your financial future.