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How to Choose a Financial Planning Software?

Developing financial plans allows financial advisors to have a comprehensive understanding of their clients. This understanding is not limited to just their financial needs but also their family and social beliefs and what money really means to them. This understanding empowers to effectively manage the money for their clients and to guide them with the financial discipline. However, creating a comprehensive and meaningful financial plan requires a good financial planning software.

Some common challenges that advisors typically face with different financial planning software include:

  • Lack of intuitive user interface for data entry
  • Time consuming data entry
  • Cumbersome reports and unclear recommendations
  • Lack of flexibility in the software

Obviously, in choosing a financial planning software you need to look for a software that addresses these challenges. Let’s understand what these challenges mean.

Intuitive User Interface
For the user interface of a software to be intuitive, it has to pass the test in multiple facets. If I’m creating just a retirement plan, why not have all the data entry on one screen so I don’t have to go back and forth to check what was entered. As a financial advisor when I’m evaluating a financial planning software, the software design should allow me to pre-populate meaningful default values to quickly evaluate the software. While there can be a long list of requirements for an intuitive user interface, I will expect the software designer to have the thought leadership for an intuitive user interface.

Data Entry
The data entry should not be spread across more than a few screens. The labels for different data entries need to be obvious and have helpful information displayed right there, no clicking away to a different screen. In fact, there shouldn’t be any click at all.

Reports and Recommendations
Some financial planning software companies measure the sophistication of their software based on the number and length of the reports. Some reports can run hundreds of pages. Unless an advisor is getting compensated based on the weight of the report, they aren’t really worth the effort. If an advisor is having a tough time to understand these reports, how do you expect a client to understand? Simplicity and straightforward recommendation is really important to make the report actionable.

Flexibility of the Software
An advisor deals with clients belonging to different age groups, income and wealth levels, their knowledge of financial services, and their current and future needs. So, if the software requires the same monolith time consuming path regardless of a client profile, it’s not an efficient use of a financial advisor’s time. Some clients have complex financial needs and a cash flow based financial plan may be appropriate for them. Conversely, some clients may have simple financial needs and simplified financial plans. For them a goals based financial plan may be more appropriate. In some cases, a client ‘s needs may evolve from a goals based plan to a cash flow based plan. That doesn’t mean an advisor should change the software or re-enter the data all over again. So, a flexible financial planning software needs to adapt to an advisor’s needs, not the other way around.

The GoWealthPro software was designed to address these challenges. With one simple selection, it automatically adapts to a client’s situation and advisor needs. If you need to address some specific areas of planning e.g. when and how to take Social Security benefits, you can generate a plan that maximizes the Social Security benefits within 10 minutes. The software offers both goals and cash flow based financial planning. It covers most commonly used financial planning modules: Retirement, Social Security, College Education, Insurance, Investment Risk Profiling and Asset Allocation, and Estate & Taxes. Furthermore, the software free, secured, and privacy protected. The software works on computers and hand-held devices.


Better Client Reports & Improved User Experience in New Social Security Maximizer™

Dear Social Security Maximizer™ users,

We’re extremely pleased to announce the redesigned version of the Social Security Maximizer™. Beside a highly improved user experience, you will also notice a rich set of client reports. Here are some of the highlights of the new version of this software.

The software has been redesigned for optimal use via any device. In particular, when you use a smart phone, you will not have to scroll horizontally.

The overall interface for data input and reports has a highly improved format.

You can now login into the software using any one of three popular social networks. That means you don’t need to maintain one more password for this software.

In case of maximization for client reports, the report now compares the benefits of recommended  strategy versus no strategy. This will help you in clearly communicating the value of Social Security planning.

Client reports now have much better quality of graphs and other contents.

And yes, it has new Social Security rules that went into effect on 11/2/2015.

As always, please share your feedback with us either via online chat or email support at gowealthpro dot com.

GoWealthPro Team

Medicare premium to rise by 52% for about 3 million higher earners

In 2016, higher earners  (>$85k single/ $170k couples) could see a significant increase to their Medicare Part B (doctor visits) premium. Additionally, Social Security’s ‘Hold Harmless’ provision tying the Medicare premium increase to cost of living adjustment (COLA) applies to only those Medicare subscribers who are already taking Social Security benefits. It does not apply to those who have deferred  their Social Security benefits (file/suspended).

Read more on this issue in this article from Anne Tergesen

Social Security Checkup™ Upgraded

The Social Security Checkup™ product has been upgraded to provide dynamic summary of Social Security related issues and approaches. This summary is based on the specific situation of the user.  Checkout the new functionality at

The Social Security Checkup™ product is a branded tool that’s used for effectively engaging prospective clients on Social Security.

Retirement Assets Total $24.7 Trillion in Fourth Quarter 2014

According to Investment Company Institute, Total U.S. retirement assets were $24.7 trillion as of December 31, 2014, up 1.7 percent from $24.2 trillion on September 30, 2014, and up 6.0 percent from year-end 2013. Retirement assets accounted for 36 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. Out of the total $24.7 Trillion, about $14 Trillion is in Defined Contribution (401k, 403b, ….) and IRA assets.

Is this a big number? Heck, yes.

How about when you divide it by a couple of hundred million?

Financial Times / Merrill, Raymond James Turn to Health-Planning Apps

On March 12, 2015, Financial Advisor IQ, a service of Financial Times published an article on the importance of retiree healthcare expense planning. In this article, author Murray Coleman also interviewed an advisor who uses GoWealthPro’s Retiree Healthcare Planner™. Read the article at

GoWealthPro Makes Its Retiree Healthcare Planner™ Free to Financial Advisers

Financial advisers can easily estimate their clients’ overall healthcare expenses for Free and offer effective retirement income solutions.

Financial planning technology leader GoWealthPro is making its recently upgraded Retiree Healthcare Planner™ software FREE for all financial advisers. Financial advisers use this software to estimate clients’ lifetime healthcare expenses based on location and high-level input on lifestyle, health history, and preferences on type of healthcare. This will help advisers tackle the single largest retirement expense item for most clients…
Read the full press release at

Stop guesstimating, or worse, ignoring, your clients’ health care costs in retirement

In this article, Mary Beth Franklin of InvestmentNews underscores the importance of planning for health care expenses for clients and how a tool e.g. GoWealthPro’s Retiree Healthcare Planner™ can help advisers produce valuable retirement income plans. Read the story  below.