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With the tools available in the Lifetime Planner, Quicken can help you set goals for major life events such as retirement, purchasing a home and sending your kids to college. After you set these goals, Quicken helps you figure out what lifestyle and financial decisions you need to make to attain these goals. The lifetime planner is a retirement planning tool that you can use in conjunction with the information you've already entered into the Quicken software. Once you've told Quicken about your goals for retirement, college expenses and major purchases like homes or other assets, Quicken shows you how you can reach these goals by analyzing how much you need to save each month or calculating what rate of return you need from your investments.
The tools available in the Lifetime Planner are most accurate when you've added all of your important accounts to Quicken. Spending and savings accounts, investment and retirement accounts and loan and debt accounts. Quicken will use this data to help you plan your lifetime goals. It's best to start with your retirement goals because your other goals, such as college or home financing will be based off of these retirement plan assumptions. Let's walk through the steps for getting started with the Lifetime Planner in Quicken. Click the Planning tab and click the Lifetime Planner tab along the top. If this is the first time you've used the Lifetime Planner, you'll need to enter in plan assumptions.
Click on the blue hyperlinks on the left and enter in the data. Click Options and then choose Review or Change Plan Assumptions. Let's start with the About You questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask you about your age, your spouse and your dependents if applicable and your estimated retirement age. Fill in as much data as you can as accurately as you can. Don't worry, you can always change these numbers later. Click Next to fill out the next questionnaire. As you can see on the left, there's several questionnaires you're going to need to fill out. You'll add your income information, your retirement benefits, other income, the tax rate for the state in which you reside, any inflation that you expect, any savings and investment accounts that you've already added to Quicken.
The rate of return on your savings and investing accounts. Add any homes and assets that you own or are purchasing. Also add any loans and debt that you currently have. Again, it helps to have these assets and loans added to Quicken in advance. Finally, add your current yearly living expenses. If you've entered a years worth of transactions, Quicken can calculate this for you. Otherwise, enter an estimated monthly amount. Adjust your expenses if needed, add more detail about future college expenses or major purchases here. Once you have entered all this information, you can check out your plan.
When your done entering information in all these categories, Quicken will display your plan results in the Lifetime Planner window. It will show you if you are on track to retire when you suggested. Or if you need to make revisions to your retirement age, earnings or savings, you can always change your assumptions by clicking the Change Assumptions button in the upper left. For example, you may want to extend your retirement age or add another investment account. You can also add more detail about college expenses or major purchases here. A handy feature is the Explore What Ifs tool. Here you can test out revising your retirement age or see what happens if you sell your home or another asset and see if that has an effect on your planned results.
The Lifetime Planner tool is similar to many of the retirement calculators available on the Web. It can be quicker to use than other tools if you've already entered your investment and asset data into the Quicken software.
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