Comparison with Financial Planning Tools

Firstly, Income Discovery complements your current financial planning tool (FPT) and is not a replacement for it. It focuses only on the retirement distribution phase, whereas conventional tools focus on the accumulation and growth phase of retirement planning. Your tool may provide support for retirement income planning, but the features will not be as robust and rich as Income Discovery’s. You really need a comprehensive retirement income planning tool to answer all of the questions your clients have and to get your clients the income they need with the least amount of  risk. The efficiency-boosting features described below are another reason that you should subscribe to Income Discovery.

Unlike the accumulation phase where the decisions to be made are the level of saving and type of model portfolio to use, the distribution phase of retirement involves substantially more decisions. To effectively work around these variables, a different type of workflow than the one currently adopted by FPTs is needed—a workflow that supports rapid change of assumptions, re-analysis and side-by-side comparison of alternative strategies.

Additionally, the distribution phase also brings in new types of products and strategies to the mix, such as the use of a constant cash flow bond ladder, fixed or variable annuities, a reverse mortgage (different strategies on the use of a reverse mortgage such as standby use documented in the latest research), or withdrawal order across different tax-type accounts. FPTs lack rich support for distribution-focused strategies.

Income Discovery addresses these two gaps by providing a solution exclusively focused on retirement income so that your clients can have peace-of-mind during retirement knowing that all of the bases for their plan are covered.


Type of Analysis and Workflow Supported in the Tool


Financial Planning Tools

Income Discovery (Version 3)

Level of Planning

High-level plan with one portfolio model

Implementation Plan with specific bonds; specific annuity products and their purchase accounts;  specific withdrawal order across accounts; and unique glide path for each account.

Strategy Comparison

Limited feature

Side-by-side comparison of multiple strategies



Optimized allocation to bond ladder, annuities and investments, including asset allocation for investments and the withdrawal order

Cap Market Assumptions

Holds only one capital market assumption at a time

Strategy evaluated under Monte Carlo simulation using multiple capital market assumptions, each stored separately

Ease of Use

Back-and-forth through multiple screens to change assumptions

Single screen app designed to rapidly create and compare multiple strategies under different assumptions


Products and Strategies Supported


Financial Planning Tools

Income Discovery (Version 3)


Limited support

Immediate Annuity (SPIA)

Deferred Income Annuity

Fixed Indexed Annuity with Lifetime Rider

Fixed Deferred Annuity

Variable Annuity with Lifetime Rider

Bond Ladder


Ladder of individual TIPS held-to-maturity; nominal bond based ladder available in custom implementation

Social Security

Limited support

Full Social Security analytics - strategy to find maximum lifetime benefits considering spousal benefits, restricted claiming

Compare effects of different Social Security claim strategies

Reverse Mortgage

Limited support

Model reverse mortgage or any cash flow like rent / part-time income


One system determined withdrawal order; all accounts have same model

Evaluate multiple withdrawal orders across accounts; different purchase accounts for annuities and bond ladder

Time Segmentation


Time-segmented withdrawal across multiple tax-type accounts with unique glide path for each account and corresponding tax implications



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