Lifetime Planner IDEA: Allow Drill Down into Plan Summary Tables from What-if Scenario

Scooterlam
Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
Lifetime Planner IDEA:  Allow Drill Down into Plan Summary Tables from What-if Scenario


CHANGE SUMMARY:

When exploring "What-if" scenarios in LTP (Image 1), allow the user to drill down and view  plan summary table detail (Image 2) in order to validate the effect of their "What-if" scenario assumptionswithout first "Saving What-if plan as Plan"

In other words, there should be a way for the user to make sure their "what-if' assumptions are correctly modelled in the plan, without being required to save and overwrite the "baseline" plan!.   Inspecting the plan summary tables (Image 2), for the "What-if" scenario, is a way of achieving this.  


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Image 1 - What-if vs. Baseline Plan Example




Image 2 - Plan Summary Tables to be shown for the What-if Scenario





THE ISSUE:

LTP has extensive, often complex and confusing assumption models that are not very well documented.  For more complex / complicated "What-if" scenarios, the inability to validate "What-if"  assumption changes,  via the Plan Summary tables,  leads to mistakes and oversights resulting in rework,  misled expectations, wrong decisions, user frustration, loss of confidence, increased support effort et al.   The user should not have to overwrite their baseline plan with their "What-if plan only to find they've made mistake.


THE APPROACH:

1.    In the "What-if" Plan Comparison graph window, d-click on What-if plan graph line to.... 




2.   Generate a "What-if" Plan Results Graph window, and allow.... 



3.   Drill down into the "What-if" plan summary table, for any given year, to validate the assumption change. 

Image 3




4.   Once satisfied that all "what-if" assumptions are modelled as expected, then allow the user to "Save as Plan", or "Save as Scenario x" as illustrated in this complimentary IDEA.  :)



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Comments

  • Scooterlam
    Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    An example and illustration below, of a real world scenario where a retiree (or future retiree) wants to determine the effect on their retirement plan if they sold an existing home and bought (or rented) a new home,  with the central question, "How much could I afford?".

    With each "what-if" assumption change, IMO, it is important to validate, step-by-step, that the assumption is modelled in the plan as you expect it to be,  hense the above IDEA. 

    So...rarely does this question involve just the sell/buy act.  Often there is asset expense changes, living expense changes, perhaps even tax rate changes et al.   Perhaps also you are considering changes to your SS filing date and self-funding a LTC reserve, both for you and spouse.    All affect the question, "what can I afford"?

    And, to the point of the IDEA, all changes have possibility of user error when making these adjustments!



    IMO, it is not good enough for LTP to show a relative change in a line graph (OP, image 1) for anything but a single/simple assumption change.   The line graph is useful, for example to validate the plan against constraints or see the relative effect of stress testing, but not to ensure that the "what-if" assumption changes get represented in the plan summary as one might expect it to be.