Flex % on expenses for Monte Carlo mode
Allow certain expenses to “flex” lower in Monte Carlo trial years with poor market conditions to improve overall chances of success.
I think this will be a useful feature, even with a simple implementation. Obviously there are many ways you could implement the flex % logic.
I just had a random idea for a method - for a each iteration of the monte carlo, after every sim year a “mini monte carlo” would be computed for the remaining years to determine probability of success status for a target goal. Flex spending would be implemented for years when future probability of success fell below a threshold.
This method would be (n^2 + 3n)/2 more computationally costly (n= # of sim years). It would be less costly if fewer iterations were used for the mini monte carlos.
This would be neat and I think could be added to expenses as a normal feature (by which I mean, not exclusive to the Monte Carlo analysis).
Add an option to expenses to decrease by a % amount if there is insufficient funds, similar to the drawdown % on cashflow priorities.
For instance, I would add my annual vacation expense as able to have a 100% reduction, but my healthcare expense might be 0% and living expenses might be 10%.
Sounds like what is included with this calculator. Good idea.
See “Spending Models” tab in https://firecalc.com/ for some ideas on how the models can work.
My two cents. 1. could this be setup as a Discretionary Spending cash-flow priority instead? This way it wouldn’t be limited to Monte Carlo mode. 2. It could also just be a special type of expenses, that can be reduced to 0. You’d just need a way to signify in the projection when it is reduced. Partial and Abandoned Goals seem like a decent fit, but it could also be in it’s own category.
A global flex % for all expenses doesn’t feel specific enough.
+1 for this feature, particularly useful for FIRE where you often have discretionary spending early on. There is a good article here about discretionary spending and how it relates to FIRE and the 4% rule: https://www.madfientist.com/discretionary-withdrawal-strategy/?ck_subscriber_id=90800745&utm_source=convertkit&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Problem+with+the+4%25+Rule+%28and+Why+You+Could+Retire+Even+Sooner%29%20-%2010861788
Jumping in here at Kyle’s suggestion as I had a similar request.So like in my case, I really like cars, so I’ve modeled owning two and alternately replacing one of them every 4 years. But what if the market is bad or a big random expense pops up, I want to simulate deferring that discretionary purchase until things get better. Maybe even with a limit to how long to defer since buying a fresh new car every 8 years is a want, but eventually replacing transportation can be a need for safety/on-going MX costs.
Practically speaking I think the answer would be delaying the sale of the (as entered in the UI) and subsequent recurrent purchase, until some condition is met such as last year’s withdrawal rate, or trailing average of last x years; or market based with a floor to trigger delay followed by a required rebound to trigger sale and repurchase. Or maybe there’s a practical way to control a discretionary fund I haven’t figured out that’s filled for a single purpose based on certain conditions that can trigger the car purchase and would only fill based on certain model conditions.
As you can see I’m not sure the best way to model something like this so hopefully everyone here has ideas to help Kyle out :)