Lifetime Planner Bug and Idea List - Make Yourself Heard!

ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭


Lifetime Planner (LTP) seems to be a well neglected feature in Quicken - for years - not updated, not improved, not modernized.  I’m not quite sure why so little attention is paid on such an important tool.   So many development cycles expended on seemingly “rearranging the deck chairs”, misunderstood or misinterpreted market demands, not to mention fixing the newly created bugs at the expense of improving important features like LTP.


In Quicken today, so much effort is expended on spending and
investment management features, and rightfully so.  
A third leg of this stool, however, is retirement planning via Lifetime Planner.
“How are my spending and investment performances, coupled with important
economic and life factors such as taxation, longevity and inflation, impact my
plan and show my readiness for retirement”? Not an easy question to answer, but LTP ties this all together.


I took the time to compile as many Lifetime Planner bug and
idea posts as I could find that had a reasonable amount of discussion and
detail.  I’m sure I didn’t get everything
that has been contributed over the last several years. And shockingly, some of these issues do impact plan results
and have stayed broken for years.
  


Please have a look at the categories and links, below.  Like them, vote on them, add to them and make
them better. Feel free to use this thread to add your own ideas and bugs.  As you know and expect, if your include very
few details and are vague as to the problem and its solution – how big, how
broken, how widespread, how it helps,  et
al – Quicken will not likely take note...Illustrations are always helpful.   You may know your pet issue well, but make
it easier for the person who will read and potentially act on it, to understand
it easily.


The time is well overdue to have a concerted effort to fix
bugs, ensure future maintenance
releases as tax law changes, and make small improvements toward an overall
modern and integrated planner.  There are
a lot of retirement planning tools that are as good or better than Lifetime
Planner. Often times, when looking at online reviews from mainstream financial sites, Quicken is not even mentioned as a viable retirement solution.    


A change is needed in this area of Quicken. Please vote and contribute. 
Make your voice heard!


Scott

2018 QW HBR r7.5


 The Lifetime Planner bug and idea list:

 

Tax advantaged accounts
(401k, IRA et al) contribution levels / limits are incorrect since circ. 2007
or 2008:

 

Social Security various
calculation issues related to SS taxation, spouse planning assumptions and spouse
survivorship benefits:







 

Required Minimum Deposit
(RMD) calculation issue with divisor that overstate the withdrawal – all links point
to same general issue of RMD modeling going back 3+ years.



 

Debt Reduction Plan Issue –
Not recognized:

 

Expense Adjustments started
and tied to a person after they die:

 

Scaling issues related to
text and labels in Assumptions and What-If dialog boxes, when using large
fonts:

 

Reporting, Printing and Exporting
Data





 

Reset of Lifetime Planner
(Start Over) and ability to save one or more planning scenarios:



 

Adding Lifetime Planner to
MAC

 

Modernization of Lifetime
Planner

   
7
7 votes

Under Consideration · Last Updated

Comments

  • mistertheplaguemistertheplague Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Even if LTP did work properly, you wouldn't want to trust your retirement to it. Way too many variables in retirement planning for a deterministic planner to account for. Use a tool like OnTrajectory or Flexible Retirement Planner.
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    I’m on board for bug fixes, but please no attempts to modernize it.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    mshiggins, 

    What is your apprehension about LTP development (such as introducing a monte carlo approach, mentioned here)?  https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/life-time-planner-monte-carlo-simulations

    Scott
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Scott said:

    mshiggins, 

    What is your apprehension about LTP development (such as introducing a monte carlo approach, mentioned here)?  https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/life-time-planner-monte-carlo-simulations

    Scott

    My apprehension is based on past modernization or enhancements to existing features not being well done. The budget revamp in 2012, the loan revamp in 2013, the reminder revamp in 2018, and the Debt Reduction Planner revamp (don't recall the year). While there were some improvements with each revamp, key features were lost or changed in a manner not well received by long time users of the feature. Even years later, the revamped features are not as good as the previous iteration of that feature.


    I really like the LTP. I don't want to lose any of its current functionality.
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Scott said:

    mshiggins, 

    What is your apprehension about LTP development (such as introducing a monte carlo approach, mentioned here)?  https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/life-time-planner-monte-carlo-simulations

    Scott

    I very much like LTP as well.   And, thanks for the history lesson regarding your past experiences.  +1 on the bug fixes first.

    By modernization, I mean introducing a stochastic model that leverages existing functionality and "bolts-on" with the ability to switch on or off monte carlo simulation.  That is, ability to use LTP as a deterministic planner as it is today, but give an option to further run monte carlo simulations - to "supercharge" the "what if" feature, so to say.

    I can see a path where I believe there could be no changes to current LTP features & functionality while introducing the monte carlo option.  But of course, that is just me...

    Not saying its easy, it never is, but to your well-taken point, past performance IS AN indication of future results, which is the obvious concern regarding any sort of change effort like this.

    Scott
    2018 QW HBR r7.5

    Link to monte carlo thread:
    https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/life-time-planner-monte-carlo-simulations
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Adding an issue to the original thread:

    Social Security various
    calculation issues related to SS taxation, spouse planning assumptions and spouse
    survivorship benefits:

    Scott

    2018 QW HBR r7.5

  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Adding an issue to the original post:

    Scaling issues related to
    text and labels in Assumptions and What-If dialog boxes, when using large
    fonts:
    Scott
    2018QW HBR r7.5
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Adding an issue to the original post:

    Graph behavior issues, mouse overs or hover data missing from graph, an intermittent issue:

    BUG:  https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/mouseovers-missing-from-graphs
  • RickRick Member
    edited June 2018
    LTP is one of the most undervalued features of Quicken.   It is extremely thorough, and if not for concern over bugs, I would say it rivals analysis from full service financial managers.   I hope Quicken does maintain and continue to grow and fix the tool
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Rick said:

    LTP is one of the most undervalued features of Quicken.   It is extremely thorough, and if not for concern over bugs, I would say it rivals analysis from full service financial managers.   I hope Quicken does maintain and continue to grow and fix the tool

    Hi Rick, 

    Please consider voting on this thread and on the individual "ideas" links, above.  For "Bugs", click on the "me-too" link.  Voting helps Quicken gauge interest to updates and improvements to LTP. 

    Regards,
    Scott
  • RalphARalphA Member ✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Scott said:

    mshiggins, 

    What is your apprehension about LTP development (such as introducing a monte carlo approach, mentioned here)?  https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/life-time-planner-monte-carlo-simulations

    Scott

    Every Quicken new version I have installed has been painful for a number of months due to introduced errors. I don't trust Quicken to do a major rewrite of LTP.
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Scott said:

    mshiggins, 

    What is your apprehension about LTP development (such as introducing a monte carlo approach, mentioned here)?  https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/life-time-planner-monte-carlo-simulations

    Scott

    Point well-taken, RalphA. I've felt that pain as well.
    I believe the first efforts must be to address those bugs, prior bad design assumptions and/or lack of maintenance or updates (re: tax related) to the current feature set.

    Shore up the fundamentals first.  Stuff like this takes a step-wise approach and plan vs. introducing a "big bang" change.   Only then, IMO, can they base any future fundamental enhancements (ie modernization) in LTP.
    The point of this list is to help Quicken understand the nature of the demand (impact and users affected), issue details and offer some building blocks to an overall plan or strategy for LTP, from which to execute...

    Scott2018 QW HBR R9.34
  • ANONIEM PERSOONANONIEM PERSOON Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Seems https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/why-does-quicken-lifetime-planner-show-a-higher-pension-amount-than-i-entered-in-future-dollars is worth adding to this list.
    A user shouldn't have to translate a pension projection back to the equivalent amount in today's dollars.  Quicken should accept the pension amount in dollars of the specified year, because that is the amount the person will receive in that year.
  • markus1957markus1957 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 11
    Question- How does Lifetime Planner handle Roth IRA's in the withdrawal hierarchy? The Help files state taxable accounts are tapped first, then tax-deferred, but Roth's are new relative to the LTP and are not mentioned. Are they the last bucket to be tapped as many advisors recommend or are they co-mingled with the tax-deferred bucket?
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Question- How does Lifetime Planner handle Roth IRA's in the withdrawal hierarchy? The Help files state taxable accounts are tapped first, then tax-deferred, but Roth's are new relative to the LTP and are not mentioned. Are they the last bucket to be tapped as many advisors recommend or are they co-mingled with the tax-deferred bucket?

    I suspect that Roth account balances and their treatment wrt "order of withdrawal" are co-mingled with the other tax deferred accounts. When creating an account, Quicken does allow selection of a Roth IRA.

    But when looking at that same Roth account in "account details" there is only a option to selection "tax deferred", "yes or no".  Further, when reviewing the "income and expense" table for any given year, there is just a line item for "tax deferred".

    I looked a bit further to see, im my LTP test accounts, if I could set the various account values and retirement dates such that I could discern if Quicken was considering Roth account in the order of withdrawals.  No dice....

    So, the potential impact for those that have sizeable Roth balances v. TIRA balances could see a significant improvement of forecasted balances in LTP.

    So, IMO, a good idea for Quicken to consider in context of some of these other bugs and ideas!

    Scott
    2018 QW HBR R12.15
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 18
    Suggestion from user Todd Swygert: Add a different graph category and color for tax exempt accounts.

    It’s bothered me for years that the Roth IRA money has been lumped in with the Tax Deferred money in the Lifetime Planner.

    In my opinion there should not be a Tax Deferred or Taxable selection option for Roth IRA account types, or at least add a third option Tax Exempt. Then in the Lifetime planner add another color to the bar graph to indicate the Tax Exempt portion and separate the amounts in the yearly report summary.


    https://getsatisfaction.com/quickenco...
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • mshigginsmshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018

    Question- How does Lifetime Planner handle Roth IRA's in the withdrawal hierarchy? The Help files state taxable accounts are tapped first, then tax-deferred, but Roth's are new relative to the LTP and are not mentioned. Are they the last bucket to be tapped as many advisors recommend or are they co-mingled with the tax-deferred bucket?

    Mark and Scott, you may find this discussion elucidating:


    https://getsatisfaction.com/quickenco...
    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Ah yes,  new people learning old things! Thanks mshiggins!    Adding Roth Idea to this LTP Bugs and Issues thread....


    Improve Transparency of and Adjust Order of Withdrawals for ROTH IRA Tax-Exempt Accounts in LTP:



    The bottom line, background and details....

    So, I read this first link which Chris (QPW) provides insight around tax treatment of Roth IRAs. And, Marcus1957, above thread, who asks the question regarding order of withdrawal for Roth IRAs.  From this, I went back to my LTP test accounts and tried a few things differently....I hope you can follow and someone can confirm my conclusions...


    The bottom line, from what I can see....is:

    1.  Order of Withdrawals:  Roth IRA accounts are tapped before Traditional IRA Accounts.  In other words, Taxable, then Roth IRAs, then Traditional IRAs.


    2.  Roth IRAs in QW are treated correctly as Tax Exempt:  Tax treatment of Roth IRA's in Quicken show them, in my testing as well, as being treated as Tax-Exempt.  Even though, as Chris (QPW) et al point out (in the first link)  that they are shown as Tax-Deferred in Quicken.  So, no taxes are taken from Roth IRA as they are withdrawn.  Need better transparency between Tax Deferred and Tax Exempt in Q.


    3.  RMDs are Correctly Taken solely from R_IRAs:  As an added bonus, I see that the RMDs are taken from the T_IRA as opposed to the Roth IRA.  So RMDs also seem to be calculated and withdrawn correctly from the T_IRA only, despite the Roth IRA being shown in Quicken as a tax-deferred account.


    If you want to set this up and test for yourself (I hope you can) , here are the LTP parameters I used in my test file, for each of the 3 conclusions....

    • Inflation = 0%
    • Investment Gain=0%
    • Pre-Retirement Tax Rate: 15%
    • Post-Retirement Tax Rate: 10%
    • Ages and Events - Image 1
    • Account Setups - Image 2.

    1.  Order of Withdrawals >>>Use IRA - Low Balance and IRA Roth Accounts and exclude IRA - Traditional Account

    2.  Roth IRA Tax Treatment >>>>Use IRA - Roth Account Only, Exclude all others

    3.  RMD Treatment >>>> Use IRA Low Balance and IRA Roth Accounts and exclude IRA - Traditional Account

    4. With each test case >>>> inspect each year's details window from pre-retirement to retirement to RMD event year...


    Image 1



    Image 2




    Scott 

    2018 QW HBR R12.15
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    Adding an issue to the original post:


    IRA Account Owner Selected During Account Creation is not the Same Owner Shown in LTP > Planning Assumptions > Investments dialog - ie Ownership Changes and it should not!


    If you want to see this change made in LTP, please click into the above link and click on the vote button at the top of that thread!

    If you want to see overall improvements made to LTP,  please click on the vote button at the top of this thread!

    Scott
    2018 QW HBR R12.15


  • Frankly I use the life time planner frequently.  I would very much like the planner to be updated to allow for me to run lets say three (or more) retirement scenarios and save each.  Under each scenario I might change a variety of parameters.  The current "what if" feature is not sufficient.  If I retire earlier the pension size and start date would be different than if I retire at a later age.  Also I might work part time if retiring early, but not if retiring later -   etc.....

    A turn off/ turn on Monte Carlo would be nice, but way before that level of improvement I would like to see the multiple scenarios.  

    PS: I don't want to have to duplicate my entire financial life to run a different scenario on another file.  Over the years keeping both up would be a huge burden.

    Tom
    2019 QW


  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 11

    I started this Lifetime Planner thread to curate the variety of bug reports and ideas needed and requested by users over the years.    I find that a number of links are now broken.  2 of 3 idea links, shown below, are broken, among others in this thread...   I suspect they were broken in the migration from old to new forum.  I cannot find them using the search engine either.

    @Quicken ; can you restore these links and others in this thread that once worked but are now broken?

    @Tom VanAlstyne The last link below might have satisfied your need.  You can vote on it when Quicken Admins restore the link and forum topic!

    Scott

    2019 QW HBR


    Reset of Lifetime Planner
    (Start Over) and ability to save one or more planning scenarios:


  • neesjcneesjc Member
    I have been a Quicken user since 1993. In addition, I used the Financial Planner software until the Lifetime Planner was incorporated into Quicken itself. However, as I am now within 10 years of retirement, I have found the Lifetime Planner to be increasingly inadequate.

    Although there are several weak areas in the product, the one that baffles me the most is the severely oversimplified tax handling...they also make TurboTax for goodness sakes so it should be a no brainer!

    As I have ramped up my reading on retirement planning, I'm regretfully facing the fact that I also need to research a replacement for Quicken which will better address my needs going forward. That is, unless Quicken puts some effort into making the Lifetime Planner the quality tool I know they can!
  • Jim_HarmanJim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Note that Quicken Inc. and Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, are now separate companies.

    -- Jim QWin Premier subscription
  • ScooterlamScooterlam SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 27
    neesjc said:
    I have been a Quicken user since 1993. In addition, I used the Financial Planner software until the Lifetime Planner was incorporated into Quicken itself. However, as I am now within 10 years of retirement, I have found the Lifetime Planner to be increasingly inadequate.

    Although there are several weak areas in the product, the one that baffles me the most is the severely oversimplified tax handling...they also make TurboTax for goodness sakes so it should be a no brainer!

    As I have ramped up my reading on retirement planning, I'm regretfully facing the fact that I also need to research a replacement for Quicken which will better address my needs going forward. That is, unless Quicken puts some effort into making the Lifetime Planner the quality tool I know they can!
    Help make Quicken LTP better by voting on this idea thread as well as those ideas (linked above) that are important to you. 

    Or, create and describe a new idea or bug fix to address LTP's inadequacies you speak of so that it can be voted on and considered.  While it does not necessary result in immediate change, voting helps Quicken product team assess user demand and impact for any particular idea or bug fix.

    What specific issues are you having with LTP?
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