It's generally advisable to see a finished product, or at least a late beta version, before writing about a new software application. Yet occasionally a pending release is so intriguing it's too hard to wait. Retirement Income Optimizer from Finance Logix is such a product. RIO is still under development, but it seems different enough and interesting enough that it should be on everyone's radar screen.

One problem in the financial planning industry is that it has generally been more effective in guiding the accumulation phase of financial plans than the distribution phase. Another problem is that many people who desperately need advice are priced out of the market, since many firms are geared toward wealthier clients.

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