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Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 09-26-2003, 07:16 AM   #1
 
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Quicken Retirement Planner.........

I have been using the Quicken Retirment Planner for 7 years now. I started out using Quicken for my financial transactions. Once I had everything loaded, using the retirement planner was a cinch, because all of the data was already loaded.

A lot of the questions and concerns that I see on this forum are handled very nicely by this planner. Such as factoring in Social Security, playing what if games with Inflation and rates of return. Also varying rates of withdrawals are very easy. Prints out nifty graphs too.

This tool gave me the confidence to 'take the leap' into ER a couple years ago.

Does anyone else on this forum use this tool? If not, I highly recommend it!
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 09-26-2003, 09:33 AM   #2
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

I agree Cut-throat. I've been using Quicken for years and frequently play "what if" with the retirement planner. I've had some quirky situations with my stock options being picked up accurately in the retirement planner, but overall it's a great tool.

Of course it doesn't try to project any variances each year, rather assuming that your growth projections for your portfolio are constant year to year. But if you realize that, it's a good tool.

Moguls
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-23-2003, 06:56 PM   #3
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Are you all referring to Quicken Financial Planner or the retirement planner imbedded in Quicken Deluxe? I've got QDeluxe 2003 and also the last version of Financial Planner. I am much lmore familiar with the Financial Planner than I am with the version imbedded with Qdeluxe. They are so similar. My question to both of you is in the "what if" scenario what percentage do you use in your after retirement living expense. The most conservative is 100% but I don't think that is an accurate assumption. I am glad to see someone has faith in Quicken and the retirement planner tools Yes everything can be done on a spreadsheet but Quicken does the computations so much faster! Do you all make your financial dexisions based on the recommendations of the Quicken programs?
BTW: let me know what percentage you all use in after retirement percentage for living expense. Seeing how you're already retired I think it'd be a good testimony of the the program's worth.
Thanks and happy ER!
John T
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-23-2003, 07:32 PM   #4
 
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

John t,

I have only used the Quicken Retirement Planner. I key in actual dollar amounts not percentages.

What is the Financial Planner that you are talking about? I have been a Quicken user for over 10 years and have not come across this.

The Quicken 'What If' Scenarios gave me the confidence to take 'the plunge' into ER a couple years ago.
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-24-2003, 05:21 AM   #5
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Quote:
What is the Financial Planner that you are talking about? I have been a Quicken user for over 10 years and have not come across this.
Quicken Financial Planner was a standalone program that was last produced in 1999 or 2000. My first experience with it was version 2 produced in 1996. Quicken Deluxe 99 also included a standalone version 3.x of the Financial Planner. Something like v 3.3b is the last one available as an update of the one in the Q99Deluxe package.

I believe since that time, the Planner has been embedded within Quicken Deluxe. I purchased Q2002 Deluxe last year, but found it too bloated. I was not impressed with the built-in planner as it did not produce the comprehensive reports available in the standalone version. So I continue to use Q99.

I am no longer upgrading my Quicken software because most of the new features seem to be geared towards online banking and similar useless activity. To say nothing of the fact that I now run Linux OS and no longer purchase any MS Windows based software.


Red
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-24-2003, 06:15 AM   #6
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

The last update of Financial Planner was 3.2b. This stand alone program imports data from my Quicken program, currently QDeluxe 2003. As Red Oscar stated Deluxe is bloated but the Deluxe version also has a tax planner with the current year tax rates and it is a helpful tool preparing for taxes. I suppose there wasn't much demand for Financial Planner and thus it was discontinued but it does create very good and concise reports and graphs. In the "what if" scenario it asks for an estimate of after retirement spending compared to pre retirement living expense spending expressed as a percentage. The living expense is like in the Retirement planner, basic annual expenditures. The Retirement Planner now embedded is an off take of Financial Planner but not as detailed. I wish Intuit would've kept Financial Planner and kept on updating it, I would have been a steady customer.
John T
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-24-2003, 06:16 AM   #7
 
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Red,

OK, Now I remember the Financial Planner. I had thought that this was just an earlier version of the Retirement Planner. Anyway the Financial Planner gives all of the same information and more. It just does not print out all the reports at once. Each report can be had by clicking on a certain year of the Graph.

As far as the on-line banking stuff, those are the features that I really love! By downloading my transactions and having Quicken categorize them automatically, I get exact budget tracking. Really helps on planning! I buy everything with a Visa Card and all of these transactions are put in a category. I know exactly what I spent on Groceries, Gasoline, Electricity, clothing for any given period (month, year, 5 years etc.) with a click of the mouse.

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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-24-2003, 07:38 AM   #8
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Quote:
The last update of Financial Planner was 3.2b.
My version of QFP is "Version 3.3 (r4)".

Quote:
As far as the on-line banking stuff, those are the features that I really love! By downloading my transactions and having Quicken categorize them automatically, I get exact budget tracking. Really helps on planning! I buy everything with a Visa Card and all of these transactions are put in a category. I know exactly what I spent on Groceries, Gasoline, Electricity, clothing for any given period (month, year, 5 years etc.) with a click of the mouse.
For me, entering transaction into Quicken is one of my "retirement hobbies".

I use VISA also for a lot of purchases (groceries, gasoline, college tuition, utilities, etc.). But this year alone I've posted more than 160 cash transactions. Plus, my manually entered checking/VISA/investment transactions are used to double-check the paper statements I receive from my financial institutions. It's surprising the number of checking/credit card transactions that have never cleared against my accounts.

Nonetheless, I feel confident that my records are as good as anyones and I can generate enough paper to fill file cabinets.

And my most valued feature of Quicken is "Investment Performance".

Red
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-24-2003, 02:09 PM   #9
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Red Oscar, you got me, Quicken.com states the latest version is 3 but I read it again today that 3.2b is the latest update that corrects some kind of miscalcuating problem that had been reported to them. I do wish they had further updates available but as of today Quicken.com says that 3.2b is the latest. Oh what the heck yours works and mine works, that is the important thing. As I asked earlier, may I ask again what percentage you use in the after retirement living expense percentage? Just curious!
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-25-2003, 06:46 PM   #10
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Quote:
As I asked earlier, may I ask again what percentage you use in the after retirement living expense percentage? Just curious!
John_T, I assume you are asking about the "After retirement living expenses funded" variable input in the RESULTS tab. I have always used 100% for this factor. To be honest, I have never fully understood its purpose. However, it seems to work as follows:

Say in the EXPENSES tab I forecast my first year retirement expenses as $35,000. For a 4% inflation factor, my second year retirement expenses will be $36,400 (35000 x 1.04) under Forecast/Tables/Expenses. This is if I use 100% for the "After retirement living expenses funded" factor. Should I chose 80% for this factor, then the second year expenses now forecast as $29,120 (36400 x 0.80).

I suppose this is a quick way to adjust one's expense forecast from the value used in the EXPENSES tab. But again, I went to a lot of trouble to estimate my annual expenses after retirement and see little need to monkey around with my chosen value. It is just another way of manipulating the terminal value for the case study. If you want to use a lesser value (less conservative) then 100%, that's fine; but all you are doing is reducing the money you have available to spend each year. So it looks like just another factor you can change to achieve a successful plan. If your plan only works at something less then 100%, then perhaps you're trying to spend too much.

Red
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 05:58 AM   #11
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Point taken, for someone in retirement their actual expenditures are know factors. I, on the other hand am proposing a scenario before retirement. I've always saw the percentage of after living expense as how much less I'd be spending once I leave the work force. But obviously you're in a better position to know just how much it takes you to live in retirement than I can figure for my needs. The 100% factor is the best for sure, it reflects my current lifestyle adjusted annually for inflation. I am easing into ER by working part time and paring down our lifestyle accordingly. I see this as "easing" into full retirement and not just plunging in as many do. To just plunge in takes good planning or just a whole bunch of money but the latter is not my case so I'm relying on planning as well as I can deduce. I'm starting to believe that "easing" is a better way to enter ER. Sorry for confusing the issue about QFP, now that you're in ER you don't really need the planning I do. you have the actual figures to plug in whereas I have to speculate. But I find the planning stage exciting and look forward to entering the perservation stage sooner than later.
John T
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 07:18 AM   #12
 
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Joht_T and Red,

This is one of the shortfalls of this planner. I think if you used the new Retirement Planner all of this confusion goes away.

The new one has you input actual amounts in todays dollars. You can also exclude/include home mortgages etc. Any other life events also. For example. I have a travel budget set for $20K per year set when my wife retires. This only goes for 20 years, because I'll be 80 by then and will have probably had enough! You can play with these events any way you want with the 'What ifs' -


This is a much more usefull planning tool than the ones you guys are fooling with. At first glance, I thought the Financial Planner was more comprehensive, but that was just due to my not understanding the capabilities of the new one. Quicken did the right thing when they went this Retirement Planner.

I highly recommend it - It is the tool the helped me take the plunge.
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 08:02 AM   #13
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

My Quicken Financial Planner also allows me to input any number of special situations; purchase a new car, roof the house, pay for the daughter's wedding (thank goodness I have boys), hit the PowerBall lotto, you name it. If you have an idea what year the special expense/income will take place; put it in the plan.

What I recall disliking about the planner in Quicken 2002 Deluxe was that tabular outputs could only be viewed for each individual year; not the entire plan as a whole. Can you tell me if your version of the planner provides a single tabular (on screen) report showing the total plan's output for expenses - income - cash flow - net worth - etc?

I already have two copies of Quicken 2002 Deluxe so I have the software. Unfortunately, when you update the data file from Q99 to Q2002, you can never go back . On my flunky old 500 Mhz computer, Q2002 just didn't run as smoothly. Maybe one day the wife will let me purchase a new and faster computer. Perhaps I need to check to see if that is in my financial plan .

But hopefully we have answered John_T's question about the "what if" factor he has in question. And again, the Quicken Planner is only one tool to use for evaluating your financial health. I use my plan as sort of a benchmark for where I might be in 5 - 10 - 20 - 30 - 40 years from now.

Red
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 08:51 AM   #14
 
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Red,

You can always go back after Quicken converts the data files by backing up your old files and then restoring them. You do back up your files anyway - right? All it would take is a head crash and you'll lose everything if you don't. I've had a disk crash, but I back up every couple of days.

The new retirement planner does not show a total for the entire plan, but you could get it by downloading each year into Excell and totaling it. - Kind of like FIRECALC does it. I have never wanted to do this, but it certainly can be done.

Try the new retirment planner - I think you'll like it. Just make sure that you copy your files to disk or CD.

What medium do you currently use for backup?
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 12:37 PM   #15
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Hi Cutthroat! I never back up my files. If I lose
everything, I just pull another envelope out of my wastebasket and start over. Would take me about 10 minutes to create a complete balance sheet with all
assets/investments/liabiliities/future income, etc.
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 12:57 PM   #16
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

C-T

Of course I have backups! I have a couple of redundant machines on the network which are used solely for data backup. Most new or edited files get "Saved As" to these spare machines as created/edited. About 4 times a year, data goes to CD and into the fireproof safe or safety deposit box. The spare machines also run SETI@home while waiting for me to send stuff their way.

What I meant was if I enter 2 or 3 months worth of data under Q2002, then decide to go back to Q99, I have to reenter that 2 or 3 months worth of data. No way to convert the data files back to the old format. Actually, I tried Q2002 for about a week nearly a year ago. Didn't like it and went back to Q99. Had to reenter that weeks worth of data to the old Q99 backups.

As I say, I'm pretty happy with the setup I have now. Quicken is one of the few programs I even run under Windows. Everything else is done in Linux these days. If Intuit would make a Linux version, then I would upgrade. Otherwise I'll stay with what I have.

And finally, I'm just glad there are others out there who think it is important to keep good financial records and use tools available to evaluate their financial status. I have several good friends who talk about wanting to get a better grip on their finances, have the hardware and software to get the job done, but fail to make the effort to record the information and have a basis to really evaluate where they stand.

Red
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........
Old 10-26-2003, 01:20 PM   #17
 
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Re: Quicken Retirement Planner.........

Hi Red,

As you probably know, there are lots of folks out there that do not back up their systems. After they have a crash they back them up twice a day

If you have some redundant machines. Just take a copy of your Quicken Files - load them on the other system with a new quicken release and play with the retirement planner. Spend a couple evenings with it, and I think you'll like it. I'd like to hear your opinion after you play a little bit with the 'What if' scenarios.

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