Lifetime Planner

Just my opinion...I think both the Tax Center and Lifetime Planner (Planning Tab) are indispensable tools provided by Quicken (Premier.) In this question I'd like to focus on the Lifetime Planner. Specifically, when I click on the specific year in which my wife or I turn 70.5 years old the Plan Summary indicates withdrawals from our respective tax-deferred (Traditional IRA) accounts. Before The Secure Act became law those withdrawals were correct actions. As of 1 January 2020 those withdrawals will now take place in the years my wife and I (respectively) turn 72 years old. Does anyone know how to fix this process? By the way, a perfectly acceptable answer is something to the effect of: "Be patient, Quicken will eventually download a patch that reflects the new law."

Best Answer


  • artg
    artg Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Scott: I thoroughly enjoyed both threads and I voted! Most importantly, the threads clearly got my attention. Besides spending time carefully inputting data into both the Tax Center and Lifetime Planner I also make sure I keep "Bill and Income Reminders" up to date. If Bills and Income are done properly the Cash Flow tool works fabulously. I use the Cash Flow tool (12 months) as my Short Term plan and the Lifetime Planner as my long term plan. And for what it's worth...I don't use the Budget Tool at all...and I wish Quicken would not spend so much time/energy/resources trying to make the budget tool better (work.) The Budget tool is a rear-view mirror perspective while the Cash flow tool (12 months) as well as the Lifetime Planner (today through age 99) are forward looking. Just my two cents...

    Thank you Scott.
  • Scooterlam
    Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    You're welcome.  I'm glad it helped.  And thanks for the feedback!

    When you say "cash flow tool", do you mean the "Project Balances" feature under Bills and Income tab?   I do use Project Balances, not for 12 mo. planning but for month to month transfers from investment accounts to spending accounts to cover shot term needs.

    As far as budgets go...

    I started to using budgets about 4-5 years ago when I "retired" early.  I agree that aspects of budget "actuals" are "trailing indicators", but budget planning, IMO,  is definitely forward thinking and is integral input to my LTP.  By putting actual "figures to paper" to make things more real,  I will ask better questions and help me think through planned spending as I start the new year -  I apply this to both personal and business side-hustle. 

    A few questions when I look at budgets - a few obvious and a few not so obvious, given my situation.
    • Are there any extraordinary expenses (non-recurring) I see in the upcoming year?  If so, how much and when. ex.  new HVAC 7K in May., new Home xxxK in Sept.
    • Were there any "un-budgeted and recurring" living expenses I failed to budget originally (not on my radar) or are there new, recurring budget categories or amendments to existing budgeted categories that I know about as a result of 1. future knowledge or 2.  past expense trend view?
    • Will next years changes affect cash-flow negatively?  How will I finance them?
    • Will next years changes to budget affect my Lifetime Planner "living expenses" assumption?   Is it a short term spike or long term trend I need to further analyze in LTP?
    • Are budget recurring changes within my ~4% safe withdrawal rate (SWR) that I predicated my "Living Expense" assumption on?  Shameless plug on withdrawal rate custom report...
    • Did I build those extraordinary expenses (in bullet 1) into "Special Expenses" assumptions in LTP?   What was the LTP impact using the What-If feature?
    it goes on...I think too that "projected balances" with bill and income reminders turned on and maintained (as you do)  can be used to answer some or all of these as well.  I don't think I would want to enter expense reminders for all of my planned budget spending, though. 

    Two Quicken tools to achieve similar ends, more or less.  For sure, you've given me something to consider here!

    Just wanted to share how I use budgets and integrate my budget practises into LTP, as I do yearly reviews of both.

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    This discussion reminds me just what an extraordinary financial tool Quicken is if you're willing to put some time and effort into using it. 

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • artg
    artg Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Scooterlam: First, the Projected Balances (under the Bills and Income tab) is identical to the Cash Flow tool next to Main Menu on the home screen. I set them both to project 12 months for my main checking account. Given our income sources and our bills are all credited and debited to and from our main checking account account it works perfectly. And before you ask, my wife and I use one credit card which is paid in full monthly (automatically) from that same main checking account. It's set up as a transfer where I adjust the amount every month based on the bill. Please trust me, it works. The line on the cash flow chart tends to drop significantly in December and January, go figure. But most importantly, it's clear you and I have essentially the same set of goals with some different techniques to achieve them.

    @mshiggins: Your statement says it all. That's why I get extremely frustrated when Quicken is not working correctly. I (and others) have been experiencing problems the last few months with the Tax Center. I'm absolutely positive I'm using the tool correctly because it was working perfectly Jan-Oct 2019. I contend the reason Quicken (software engineers) do not get excited/upset/agitated when there's a problem with the (indispensable) planning tools (Lifetime Planner and Tax Center) is because there's simply not enough of us using them. Or at least there's not enough of us who see the extraordinary value of these tools. I'd sure like to hear your thoughts.
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