Due to the popularity of the recent blog post, Top 5 Input Mistakes to Avoid for TOTAL Planning Suite, we thought our Silver Financial Planner customers would like a list of common mistakes too! Below are the top 5 data input mistakes new customers might make while learning Silver Financial Planner. Be on the look out for these items and save yourself a call to Money Tree's support team!
Top 5 Input Mistakes to Avoid:
1) Skipping the “Names for Report Heading” input field
Have you generated your reports after completing all of the data input, including the client names, yet found the title page to read “Client’s Name Here”?
Go to the Name/Ages data input. The first field on the Contact Information window is "Names for Report Heading" at the very top of the input window. Enter the clients' name as you would like it to appear on the Title Page report.
2) Entering monthly rather than annual Social Security benefits
Does the Social Security included on the projections look too low?
Go back to the Pension/S.S. input and make sure you have the annual amount of Social Security entered. All inputs in this section are annual, but it is easy to make the mistake of entering the monthly benefit, especially when you are using the client’s Social Security statement presenting the monthly estimated benefit amount.
3) Entering mortgage payments in the Special Expense Planner before retirement.
Are the clients assets getting depleted prior to retirement? Does the Retirement Capital Analysis show shortages before retirement? This could be the result of using the Special Expense Planner to handle a pre-retirement expense for something like a mortgage payment.
Entering mortgage payments in the Special Expense Planner prior to retirement will cause the program to take distributions from assets in order to cover the “special” expense. Understanding when to use (and when not) to use the Special Income and Special Expense planners in Silver is key to successfully use Silver Financial Planner.
For more information, please review the blog post Best Practices - Mortgage Payments in Silver Financial Planner.
4) Not including education costs.
Have you entered the education expenses under the Education Funding section but you are not finding the cost of education impacting the clients retirement projection?
Go to the Education Funding input and check the box “include net cost of education expenses in retirement calculations.” With this box unchecked, the education expenses will be included on a separate education funding report, but the expense will not flow through to the retirement analysis. The program will first use the funds earmarked for education, and then pull any uncovered costs from the assets included in the retirement projection. The uncovered expenses will be shown on the Retirement Capital Analysis and the Cash Flow report.
5) Choosing the wrong retirement plan type.
Are the additions to retirement plans displaying on the reports lower than what you entered on the Asset input?
Go to the Asset input and click into Add/Modify Assets. Make sure you have selected the Account Taxation of “401k/TSA/SEP/Simple”. If you have selected “IRA” instead, the program will limit the addition to the maximum contribution amount of $5,500 for clients under 50, or $6,500 for clients 50 or older.
Remember, when you do run into any unexpected results or data input questions, please contact support for assistance! We are here to help and our team is great at tracking down problems. Reach support by phone M-F 6:30 am to 5:00 pm (PT) by calling toll free (877) 421-9815 extension 0, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.