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Life Time Planner- Monte Carlo simulations?

Quicken Community
Quicken Community Employee mod
Does Quicken Lifetime planner use Monte Carlo simulations? If not it would be a great feature for planning retirement.

33 votes

Reviewed · Last Updated


  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited January 2018
    No...they do not.
  • Scooterlam
    Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited August 2018
    I would concur with Prabu to add a monte carlo option in Lifetime planner to the existing deterministic model - say an advanced model v simplified model.  There is a whole host of Monte Carlo simulation apps online. I use Merrill Edge and Fidelity once a year and compare to my Quicken Plan. There are many more.  They are enlightening and sometimes sobering.

    Leveraging the existing and extensive modeling in Lifetime Planner, Monte Carlo is an excellent addition for stress testing your plan using standard deviations (volatility over time) of important variables like rate of return and inflation.  Then, displaying the results of your plan against a "confidence of success" level.   Think of doing 10 000 runs of Quicken's "What-If" tool, each time randomly varying each of these variables according to their standard deviations, then showing your plan's probability of success - Ex. My plan succeeds 82% of the time.   If your interested in reading more:

    As it is today, Quicken assumes that you are able to guess average values for these important variables. Good luck to us!  Most of us take our best stab (or not) at average rates of inflation, average rates of return for our particular investment mix, average tax rates and average spend-downs.  Your result then is an average result - 50%, pass/fail.  I would like a bit more certainty factoring in historic deviations from the mean.

    I would really be excited to see a Monte Carlo option in Lifetime Planner as well as features around "bad timing" and sequence of return risks.   Also,  there are a number of planners out there that model retirement draw-down strategies (safe withdrawal rates)  factoring in the most tax efficient approach. 

    Lots to consider in modernizing Lifetime Planner.   But, I would first address some of the fundamental bugs (contribution levels in tax advantage accounts, RMDs, SS calculations among others) AND commit to keeping these tax and SS related items current!

    What ever the approach here, one still need to have some basic insight to planning and understanding of the tools limitation and results....a fool with a tool is still a fool, as we used to say.

    Quicken,  Buy and integrate or build it yourself but these are the tools that are now common in the retirement planning market.  Lots of options to further expand and integrate existing Quicken tools - Make it sticky and leapfrog upstarts in the PFM market.

    Thoughts about a modern Lifetime Planner?  Vote it up if you like the concept.

    2018 QW HBR r6.11

    PS.  There was a very extensive discussion on this forum a number of years re:  Monte Carlo. I'm not able to find it.  If you find it, please link it here!  I think I remember seeing prior to the last "reset" of get satisfaction.
  • Quicken Anja
    Quicken Anja Moderator mod
    Hello All,

    The Community Support team regularly reviews long-standing posts and Ideas for relevancy and current interest. This Idea seems to have stalled and we would like to gauge the current interest in this request. 

    If you would like to see this idea implemented, please add your vote and a comment explaining how this idea would be beneficial for you. More information, including steps to vote and how to submit your own Ideas for future product features/improvements, is also available here.

    Thank you,

    Quicken Community Support Team
    -Quicken Anja
  • I use Personal Capital to run monte carlo simulations for me. If there tracking platform gets better i can see me swapping to it and leaving Quicken. It is a free platform. If you want to keep high end users you need a monte carlo simulation in the Life planner.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree that Monte Carlo simulations would be a valuable addition to the Lifetime Planner. Because the LTP has access to Quicken's detailed financial information, it is better positioned than most other tools to make reliable predictions.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • AudioNerd
    AudioNerd Member

    While Charles Schwab provides Monte Carlo analysis to me, it would be immensely helpful to have the ability to stress-test the LTP in real-time by changing this or that variable. If Quicken is going to provide an LTP, then it also needs to up it's game to make the results more meaningful, the tool more useful.

  • Scooterlam
    Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta

    Be sure to hit the vote button!

  • Scrappydoo
    Scrappydoo Member ✭✭

    Yes, agree. Need to implement to effectively compete with Personal Capital alternative.