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Free software to plan your retirement cash flow

RetireEasy, which enables investors to work out how long their money will last, has relaunched as a free service

The biggest issue that people face when embarking on retirement is how long their money will last.

It's extremely difficult to formulate a figure that gives you clarity on how much you can spend in retirement without falling short. Once you factor in investment returns, liabilities and tax it can be a very complex process and impossible unless you are an expert in Excel spreadsheets.

For this reason, in 2011 the IC recommended investors buy the services of RetireEasy.

The online software program enables you to input all your financial details (pensions, Isas, share portfolio, house/mortgage, heirlooms, future work or windfall expectations) in a secure environment. It then models whether in different inflation or investment outcomes your money will last you for whatever time period you choose.

This month, RetireEasy (www.retireeasy.co.uk) is relaunching as a free service, giving us more reason to recommend it. Rather than funding via a monthly charge to users, it will be funded by sponsored financial products suitable to retirees.

The move to a free service is in response to a dramatic uplift in queries from retirees following recent government changes to the rules applicable to pension drawdown arrangements. From April 2015, pension investors will be able to withdraw their money in retirement as they wish, with no restrictions and no obligation to buy an annuity.

Mark Soper, a founder of RetireEasy, says: "The Budget changes bring welcome flexibility for retirees but also heighten the potential risk of running out of money. Careful cash-flow planning and visualisation of how far an individual's pension funds and savings will last in retirement has now become an absolute necessity for anyone approaching retirement."