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Lifetime Planner IDEA: Improve How NEW USERS Get Started Using LTP

Scooterlam SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
Lifetime Planner IDEA:   Improve How NEW USERS Get Started Using LTP


This change idea requests that Quicken streamline and improve how new users get started using Lifetime Planner.   Doing this would improve user adoption, improve plan quality resulting in better decision making and increase the likelihood of their longer term use of LTP as an integral part of their financial planning.

Today, when a new user starts to work with Lifetime Planner, for the first time, they are faced with no less than 5 different entry points from which to enter their plan assumptions.  Because there are so many different ways to begin working with LTP, this often leads to strange and inaccurate plan results, no plan at all and users becoming frustrated early, never to return to this valuable tool. 


1.  Allow only ONE point of data entry for LTP assumptions, guided by only ONE workflow.  Grey out or remove any competing button, link, element or language that would otherwise not be redirected to the one and only starting point.

2.  Ensure clear and easy to understand illustrated workflow.   Clear and easy and understandable gets things done.

3.  Communicate and enforce the minimum data entry requirement for a basic plan presentation.  
Do not allow any competing buttons (change assumptions, what if et al) to be active UNTIL a minimum assumption dataset is entered by the NEW USER.

4.   Communicate expanded data entry options for an optimized or more sophisticated plan.   
In fact, after the basic workflow is complete, drive the user through the extended flow to make them aware of what else is possible.

5.   Ensure easy access to HELP content, both context sensitive and for overall plan. Fix your broken Help links!

In doing this, users are more likely to adopt and regularly use this valuable retirement planning feature.   As such Quicken (the product) becomes more sticky for the benefit of both user and Quicken (the company).

Please vote!   Add your comments and thoughts.

  • There are 5-6 different entry points from which new users enter their LTP plan assumption.  There should only be 1.

  • All 5-6 of these entry points are shown prominently in the LTP window when a NEW USER clicks on Planning>Lifetime Planner tab.  A NEW USER without the minimum assumption data previously entered should only see way of working.

  • Only two of these entry points, have any semblance of workflow to guide the user toward a successful plan, albeit relatively poor guidance.  There should be only be one entry point, supported by workflow, illustrations and related help 

  • Quicken Help website actually directs New Users to one of the worst of these 5-6 entry points, with NO workflow and no guidance on how to get started in LTP!!!  This is a key finding, unbelievable...Seems like the LTP wheelhouse has been empty for some time.

  • When faced with so many choices, NEW USERS are likely to click on the wrong button from which to enter their assumption data, they will likely produce a poor plan, no plan and become frustrated and give up.  Frankly, there is no good choice here, but only selection of the least bad choice.

  • HELP Content, in the planner, DOES NOT provide either big picture guidance or context sensitive guidance.  NOTE: the "How do I..."  context sensitive guidance link, in the individual assumption dialogs,  is STILL BROKEN.   This was reported 1-2 years back and only fixed for some dialogs, not all. 

Please vote!   Add your comments and thoughts.


These annotated illustrations walk through all of the issues and logic errors in the current, NEW USER assumption data entry process.  

To recreate yourself, create a NEW file, add 1 brokerage account, go to Planning>Lifetime Planner tab and validate....

THE MAIN ISSUE:   Multiple Assumption Data Entry Points into LTP.   Each of these 5 have supporting illustrations below....Expand the image if the annotations are too small.

In fact, LTP Help Content directs the NEW USER to the worst option to get started using LTP

This worst option is simply the "Change Assumption" dialog - No wonder users struggle getting started!

So the FIRST 2 options are either 1.   Where Quicken Help directs or 2. Clicking on the "Change Assumptions" directly. No workflow,  no guidance for a NEW USER.

Option 3 is slightly better with some workflow, but buried beneath the "Explore What ifs' button!!!   User, "I have no plan yet, but I think I must start with doing what if scenarios on my plan."

Of course there is always Option 4, Plan Assumptions.  Despite having a deceptively obvious name, there is no workflow or minimum data guidance.  

And finally, the runt of the liter but probably the least worse of the 5.......Option 5,  an apologetically buried link in the "Plan Results" section.  Yes, in the "Plan Result" section and no the "Plan Assumptions" section.  Geez.

Regarding help.  The "How do I" help links in the LTP dialogs are broken.  Some were fixed some not.   If I report a link or two broken previously, would it not be logical to have an extra look at the integrity of all those kinds of links residing in the same feature?  The answer is YES!

This is mostly very good help content for LTP. You could support a "one and only workflow" by documenting that getting started workflow here.

5 votes

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