Tell me about planning for major life events

The Lifetime Planner is an important tool for helping you plan your financial future. It helps you set goals for key life events such as retirement, buying a home, and sending your children to college. Then, it helps you determine what financial decisions you need to make to reach those goals—for example, how much you need to save each month, and what rate of return you need from your investments.

What can I do to plan for major life events?
Get started with the Lifetime Planner
View the Lifetime Planner results
Update my Lifetime Plan
Experiment with a goal in the Lifetime Planner
Track progress toward a goal in the Lifetime Planner
Review cash flow in the Lifetime Planner

What do I need to know before getting started?

  • Where is Quicken Financial Planner?
    This version of Quicken no longer provides direct access to the Quicken Financial Planner product. Most of the functionality of Quicken Financial Planner is now fully integrated into the Planning tab.

    If you have a previously installed version of Quicken Financial Planner, you can access it from the Windows Start menu: choose Start menu > Programs > Quicken > Quicken Financial Planner.
  • How does the Lifetime Planner work?
    The Lifetime Planner uses models to calculate your future financial situation. A model is a computer simulation of what may happen in real life. You enter predictions for future financial events, and the model calculates your future cash flow and net worth based on these predictions.

    The answer you get is accurate to the extent that your assumptions about the future match what really happens. For example, the answer is accurate only if you save the amount that you predicted and get the investment returns that you forecasted.
  • How does the planner use your information?
    You enter your decisions in the Lifetime Planner. The model adds up the cumulative effects of your decisions in each year of your plan. The outcome you want is to have enough money to fund your retirement. It works like this:
    • Before retirement, most of your money comes from your salary or taxable investments. Your money goes out to pay taxes, savings, loan payments, and living expenses.
    • After retirement, your Social Security and pensions replace your salary but probably don't cover all your expenses.
    • To make up the difference, you sell a portion of the investments that you've built up with your savings.
    • If your investments last until the end of your plan, then your plan works.
    • If they don't, then your plan doesn't work, and you need to adjust some of your decisions.