Enter information about living expenses

1. Select a method for entering your living expenses:

  • Rough estimate
  • Category detail

Estimate your expenses as accurately as possible because they are assessed in every year of your plan.

2. Enter the percentage of your surplus cash (cash left over after paying your living expenses and other expenses entered elsewhere in the Lifetime Planner) that you want to put in savings and investments.


  • Tips on using the rough estimate method
    Click to include a rough estimate of your living expenses. The Lifetime Planner provides an estimate in the Yearly living expenses field. This is based on transactions in your registers; you can modify this if you want.
  • Tips on using the category detail method
    Category detail provides a more detailed estimate based on how much you spend per chosen category. The Lifetime Planner provides an initial figure; click Details to modify it on a per-category basis. Each category contains an amount based on transactions from the previous twelve months, if such transactions exist.

    To edit an amount, click in the Monthly Amount column and enter a new amount.

    To change the date range, click Estimate and select a new one.

    Select Only show living expense categories to display only the living expenses that are selected with a check mark.

    For best results, you should not include categories that track taxes paid, or any Quicken liability accounts used for loans. These items are entered manually, elsewhere in the Planner.
  • Tips on entering surplus cash information
    If your income exceeds your expenses, the Retirement Planner considers the excess income to be a buffer and allows you to have increased expenses. If you are sure that your expenses will be below your income, you can tell the Planner to sweep a percentage of your excess income into your savings and investments, where it will grow at your anticipated rate of return.

    If large amounts of cash surpluses are being regularly swept into your savings and investments, you should determine the cause of the surplus and adjust your living expenses, if appropriate.
  • What counts as a living expense?
    Living expenses are the money you spend each year on necessities like food, clothing, auto, entertainment, and so on. Living expenses increase each year by the rate of inflation. You save and invest now so you can maintain a good standard of living in retirement.
    These items count as living expenses These items don't
    Food Savings
    Rent Taxes
    Clothing Loans or mortgages you already entered
    Transportation Weddings
    Automobile leases Medical bills for elective procedures
    Health care coverage payments Payments entered as part of a Debt Reduction Plan (if you link this to your overall plan)
    Credit card payments  
  • Currency tips
    The Lifetime Planner supports only U.S. currency. If you use non-U.S. currency accounts, their balances will be converted to U.S. dollars for planning. All currency amounts that you enter in the Lifetime Planner should be in U.S. dollars. If you have a multicurrency Quicken file and are not using U.S. dollars as your home currency, you will need to have U.S. dollars in your currency list with a current exchange rate.
  • General tips
    For general information on filling out the Lifetime Planner, see the Tips topic.

 Return to Get started with the Lifetime Planner.

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