New Software Aids in Planning for Retirement

New software that will assist officers of the University in planning for retirement has been made available, reports Jonathan R. Cole, provost and dean of faculties.

The software, Outlook, is designed to allow officers to estimate their total income and expenses over retirement and thereby to assist in developing financial plans that will meet retirement goals.

Because the program builds data on Columbia's pension plan and other retirement benefits into its calculations, it should provide more accurate projections than most retirement planners commercially available to University officers.

While Outlook will probably be of greatest interest to faculty and officers who are approaching retirement, Cole said he strongly recommends it to officers of all ages. For younger officers, it can show the value of long-term planning for retirement and, in particular, the impact that even a moderate tax-deferred savings plan can have on the financial resources they will have during retirement.

Since the estimates Outlook will generate depend upon a set of assumptions that are built into the software or an officer will need to make, one should not rely exclusively upon it in planning for retirement. It is, however, a powerful tool that can help an officer assess the reasonableness of his or her current plans and decide on how to prepare for a financially secure retirement.

The Outlook software, and an accompanying workbook that explains how to use it, will be available at no cost. At this time the software can only be used on IBM compatible PCs (386 or higher). The office of human resources are holding several public presentations on both the Morningside and Health Sciences campuses this month to introduce the software. Those unable to attend the presentations may obtain copies of the software and workbook by contacting the local personnel office.

Outlook was developed, under the direction of the provost's office and selected faculty, by Towers Perrin.

Additional information may be obtained by calling 854-2360.

Columbia University Record -- October 13, 1995 -- Vol. 21, No. 6