Introduction to The Retirement Analysis Kit (TRAK)


Hello and welcome to this brief tutorial, an Introduction to TRAK. In this video we’re going to be going over The Retirement Analysis Kit software. I’m going to give you a general overview of the software, the navigation, how things are setup, showing you where some key features are and also how to create your first client.

When you open up TRAK, it’s going to open up right on the Home tab. The first thing you probably notice are all these icons across the top. These icons represent the different calculators, the different tools you have available to use. Yours may look a little different from mine depending on what version of TRAK you have. These icons, you can edit their order, you can select how many large icons are displayed over here by clicking this little arrow here. This is going to open up the Ribbon bar configuration. You can decide how many large icons you want, I can customize the order of my icons here.

You’ll also notice on the Home tab the Active Client File and you’ll have a person or persons’ names here. This is the person we would be working with if we were to open any of these calculators here.

Our next tab that you’ll probably be visiting quite frequently is the File tab. The File tab has a lot of very useful functions including Print but you’ll notice that it’ll open up to the Help & Support section. Now in this section you can see that we have a copy of the User’s Manual. Also a tip here that you can press the F1 key on your keyboard at any time and it will open up the User’s Manual. If you happen to be using one of the calculators at the time it’s going to open up the User’s Manual right to that section, so that’s something you’re going to want to remember as you’re using TRAK. Down here a couple other links to some other helpful support resources for you.

Now over on the menu over here, these first items at the top are really related to your clients. We can create a new client, I can load a different client that I’ve already created, I can edit or modify an existing client, I can also save changes as I’m going through and creating an analysis. I can delete clients; now I will note that you cannot delete the active client so you’d need to load a different client first if you wanted to delete that person. We can also add Quick Notes to your clients. So you can see here for our active client I can add notes here.

Going back to the File tab, you’ll notice we’re at Help & Support again. Our next item down on the list is Print. You’ll notice right now that the Print function is disabled and that’s because I don’t have one of the calculators open. If I were to open any of those calculators to do an analysis then Print would become available and I could click on this and choose the reports that are available to me.

The Report Archives would show any reports that I may have generated already for this person, currently there is nothing here. But we can open up those PDFs and print them out again or save them to our computer. So this is where any archived reports are going to be stored.

The Paper Trail function allows you to take screenshots and add notes to those screenshots as you’re going through an analysis with a client, allowing you to capture some of the discussion and decisions that are being made at that time.

About gives you a lot of information about what version of TRAK you’re using also any additions that we’ve made or any corrections to the software that we’ve made recently.

Import/Export allows you to import clients. The import from file will allow you to import clients or participants in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. And Import from TRAK Database allows you to import clients or groups of clients from the database that is saved locally on your computer for TRAK.

Now TRAK will back up your files according to how you have configured it. But you can also perform a manual backup of your files be clicking this button. You can also restore files from your current database or from a former database by clicking Restore from File.

Under TRAK Documents & Tools we have a number of documents that are available to you. The two that I want to point out to you are the Quick Gap Questionnaire and the Gap Analysis Questionnaire. These are forms that you can send to your clients to gather their information for input into the Quick Gap or Gap Analysis.

Scrolling down here, Batch Print I’m able to print out reports for groups of clients.

And finally here we have the Config menu. When I open that up you can see a large menu here on the left. TRAK is highly customizable and this is where you want to come to setup a lot of different things in the software. I just want to point out one thing to you right now and that’s down here, the Default Values. This is where I can create a lot of default values for the software and these values are going to be auto-populated anytime you’re using the software performing an analysis and these will save you a little bit of time. So I’ll point that out to you. When you have time and you feel like digging in here, there’s a lot that you can configure and setup here so I do encourage you to take a look at the Configuration Editor.

One thing I also want to point out to you on the File tab is how to get back to the Home tab and that’s this arrow right up here. If I click on that now I’m back on the Home tab.

Going across we have the Setup tab. This is where you can create custom Employer Files to use in the Paycheck calculator or in the Batch Processing. Custom Retirement Plans. Grouping, you can create groups of clients. Annuity Products for using in the Pension Max. If you want to know if there is an updated version of the software you can check for an update. You can adjust the database connection. You can register TRAK if you’re on the demonstration version and you can also quickly re-register TRAK if you’ve upgraded and would like those upgrades to take effect in the software.

Next tab is Quick Tools. These have some quick calculators that only have a few fields allowing you to quickly calculate different values.

And the final tab here is Appearance. This is where you can change the skin that’s being used on the software, so change the color and how it looks. I can minimize this ribbon bar and shrink that down. As you can see the ribbon bar is now gone. Of course you can click on anything and it will appear, giving you a little more room. So that’s your Appearance tab.

The last thing that I want to show you today is how to create your first client. Now when you download TRAK it’s going to come with a default client already created so you’ll be able to get in and use these tools in the demonstration version but I’m sure you’re going to want to put your own clients in there. So I’m going to show you now how to input them manually.

It’s on the File tab and I click New Client. Now we have a lot of information here that we can enter, the only things that we need to enter are these fields marked in red. So I’m just going to create a client here, now you can see those red fields are gone. I can click OK if I want, I can also include other information, I can add a spouse if I’d like to do that. Now I’ll click OK and now you can see that my active client is now John Doe.