Note from the Founder: NewRetirement Pricing Update
This post is about a price increase taking effect on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, why we’re making the price change and our vision going forward. (NOTE: If you are a current paying subscriber, your fees won’t change.)
Read below to learn more about us and why we need to increase prices. We appreciate your support in our efforts to enable anyone to feel better about their money and plan a secure future.
Contact me with any questions. We are here to help you.
About Us — Our History
First I’d like to share a little history on our journey and our business model.
Pre-2015: NewRetirement was a side project spun up inside a consulting company we ran at the time. Our parents needed help figuring out retirement and professional services were expensive and only focused on investments. We built the tool our parents needed. This video explains why we started this company.
2015–2017: NewRetirement became our sole focus. We didn’t charge anyone for the Planner. We were just focused on trying to figure out how to help people create and manage their own financial plans and were glad if anyone used our platform at all. Thankfully enough people used the platform so we could learn with them — the virtuous circle of learning quickly with our users has been a key to our success and something we hope to continue always.
2018–2019: We rolled out our subscription based pricing for PlannerPlus, starting at $4/month and then $6/month. Some early power users became subscribers for which we are grateful. We wouldn’t be here without the support of our subscribers. We also raised seed capital from angel investors.
Even though most venture capitalists thought we were crazy for 1) going direct to consumers vs. selling to financial advisors or big financial services companies, and 2) charging a transparent, subscription fee and hourly for support and advice, we believed this model was in the best financial interest of our users. We also saw this in the data — our average user has $500,000 to $1,000,000 in savings and would pay $5,000 to $10,000 per year to a traditional financial advisor on a 1% fee model.
- We aren’t trying to replace advisors, we want to give people another choice to get started on their own, get educated and perhaps compare their own plan vs what they get from a traditional advisor.
- The entire financial services industry has been built on charging consumers hidden fees. Think fund fees, wealth management fees, insurance sales transaction fees, etc. We want to be clear about what our services cost.
2020: At the start of 2020, we were reaching the end of our balance sheet and it wasn’t super clear that DIY planning would work at scale — the only thing growing exponentially was COVID cases. If you told me at the start of 2020 that we’d end up roughly doubling revenue and new users from 2019, I would have called BS.
But, through a combination of luck and hard work it worked out — we got support from an institutional investor in March of 2020, hired an amazing team, rolled out services, built our community and rapidly improved our core platform.
Where We Are Today
The last year has resulted in a meaningful increase in our user base to over 130,000 registered users.
We also increased our conviction in the core beliefs that underlie our business:
- People need a comprehensive, unbiased and personalized platform to get visibility into their financial future and manage big decisions based on a transparent and aligned business and pricing model.
- The platform needs to be software first so that it can scale to serve anyone in an affordable way.
- The company behind the platform needs to be independent and keep costs super low so that we stay aligned with our users. We are students of Jack Bogle and appreciate that he gave up billions in potential net worth by mutualizing the Vanguard Group — ensuring that the company would stay aligned with their investor base (and driving down costs for the entire financial services industry over decades).
However, now that we have some more experience supporting our growing user base, we need to adjust our pricing to create a sustainable business for our community.
These are price changes that take effect March 2:
Planner: Free (no change) — we remain committed to the idea that anyone should be able to build and manage a baseline plan for free, forever.
PlannerPlus for Existing Subscribers: All existing PlannerPlus users will continue to be billed at their current rate.
PlannerPlus for New Subscribers: $96 a year ($8 per month billed annually) — this $2-a-month increase reflects our costs to link accounts, scale our cloud services, maintain our product support levels, keep taxes, interest rates and other underlying data updated and continue to make improvements in infrastructure and security.
Services: We are also incrementally increasing our prices for Live and Advisor to reflect the number of hours that we’re spending with our users and clients to help them.
Looking forward, we believe there is an opportunity to help tens of millions of people think about their money & time more strategically, get visibility into their future, and move confidently towards a more certain, more secure and wealthier future.
We are accelerating the rate at which we’re innovating. We will continue to react to YOUR suggestions and deliver what you need to make the tool work for you — modeling by month, Social Security explorer and other top feature requests. You will also soon see a much better & simpler front-end design, improved scoring, continuous monitoring & Artificial Intelligence suggestions for how to do better.
After that, we plan to introduce enhanced portfolio allocation modeling & management capabilities, the ability to track your progress and easily compare different scenarios.
We are working to deliver a platform that lets anyone manage their entire financial lives simply, safely and easily for ~$100/year for Plus, and still provide Planner for free to support helping anyone get organized and educated.
Thank you for your support on our journey so far. We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and will be working hard to exceed your expectations.