Is Quicken Worth it?

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sunnyday
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Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby sunnyday » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:50 pm

I currently use Mint.com (just for my checking account and credit card) and a spreadsheet that I manually enter for all of my investments. I'd rather not have any passwords on a third party server so I'm thinking about switching to something like Quicken. I have a bunch of questions:

1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?
2. Is it Mac compatible?
3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version?
4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?
5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?

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prudent
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby prudent » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:00 pm

I've been using it for close to 20 years.

1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)? I use Premier, since it supports investment accounts well.

2. Is it Mac compatible? Don't know.

3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version? Every three years you must upgrade IF you want to keep the ability to download transactions. If you don't care about downloading transactions, you never HAVE to upgrade, but you wouldn't want to wait 15 years either because a new version may no longer be able to read data from a version that old.

4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts? It is not that great at identifying asset allocation in general.

5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)? One place to track all income/expenditures/investments/credit card transactions. Budgeting features. Unlimited ways to categorize spending. Feeds data to TurboTax if you want (I don't). Planning features - I think the retirement planner is very full-featured. Reporting features.

I believe it has a 30-day money back guarantee, but unfortunately it can take a while to get used to how everything works. There are a lot of features and you can't thoroughly examine everything in 30 days. I was lucky that when I started I had one checking account, one savings account, one credit card, and no investments - so I was able to get my feet wet pretty easily. And when my needs grew, I was comfortable using the software.
Last edited by prudent on Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

hlfo718
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby hlfo718 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:01 pm

Spent about $70 to buy the program a few years back but after spending hours trying to upload historical trades to the system without success, gave up and use excel instead. Not wasting my $ again with that crap.

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danwhite77
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby danwhite77 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:36 pm

My answers:

1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)? I used home for three years.

2. Is it Mac compatible? Not really. The Mac version is simply a check register and not anywhere near as comprehensive as the PC version.

3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version? If you upgrade to the previous year (so when 2013 comes out, upgrade to 2012), you can upgrade for a fraction of the cost of the new software by buying a used copy.

4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts? Very accurate, but see below.

5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)? I used it because it was very accurate. I stopped because it became an incredible time suck. Nothing initially reconciled and few of my accounts supported data download. I gave up and now I just copy and paste account totals in a google docs Excel spreadsheet. I get 90% of the accuracy in about 20% of the time. I'll never go back to Quicken.
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nisiprius
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby nisiprius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:05 pm

sunnyday wrote:1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?
My wife uses it, on a Windows machine, likes it, and feels that she "needs" it. I'm 90% sure it's the cheapest version... whichever that is. I remember that when she got her Windows XP machine it said that it included Quicken but it was a seriously crippled version--and it turned out that it cost less to buy the lowest-cost version outright than to upgrade the preinstalled crippled version! During discussions about her new computer, she said that the two main things she does on her computer are Quicken and surfing the Internet. She wanted to be sure about Quicken and wanted to be sure it would work the same way as on her previous machine, which was an important factor in her choosing a Windows machine.
2. Is it Mac compatible?
I've watched from a distance. I wouldn't count on it. Intuit has often claimed to be Mac compatible, but it's a cycle of seduce-and-abandon, seduce-and-abandon, seduce-and-abandon. When there have been Mac versions, there have always been bitter complains about flaky maintenance (not keeping up with Mac OS updates), lack of feature-parity with Windows, stuff like downloading from banks not working, and problems with file compatibility across Windows and Mac. I get the strong feeling they are glad to take money from Mac owners but not so glad to provide commensurate effort. That's all hearsay, however.
3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version?
My wife has upgraded exactly twice, when she migrated from Windows 98 to Windows XP, and from Windows XP to Windows 8.
4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?
Don't know.
5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?
My wife uses She uses it purely as a checkbook register and end-of-year budgeting tool. She just finds that it works really well for the things she wants to use it for.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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KarlJ
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby KarlJ » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:41 pm

My answers would be substantially the same as Prudent except that I would add the following:

4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?

It will calculate total asset allocation across all accounts when the various mutual fund holdings' allocations are defined in the Securities file, which is done automatically by download when the mutual funds are first purchased or alternately can be down manually after the fact.

In general I have found Quicken to be worth it for well over a decade. Besides investments Quicken tracks all billing activity that can be downloaded from most every major financial institution. I have found it handy that check images can be attached to the associated transaction using XPS, Microsoft's version of a PDF writer. Mostly Quicken provides a holistic view of the entire financial situation, which would be difficult to duplicate, especially if activity is scattered among multiple accounts.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:29 pm

I was going to answer precisely as KarlJ has, but he has saved me a lot of typing. I find Quicken well worth the cost.

From what I understand, the Mac version is pretty bad, but if you have a newer Mac, run PC Quicken in Windows on your Mac.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby WhyNotUs » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:00 pm

Quicken Essentials for Mac is a worthless program. When I went to OS 10.8 I had to upgrade as Quicken 2006 would not work with 10.8 and I have 20 years of data in that database. Everything about the program is a huge step backward. Less features, less power, less intuitive, bad chart of accounts, AARGGHH. Unfortunately, I have not found a better Mac alternative. I would encourage you to see if you can find a demo version of Essentials before buying it. You might like it but most of us who had Quicken 2006 hate it. Intuit apparently does not care about Mac users as I understand that Quicken for Windows is still a good program.
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nisiprius
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby nisiprius » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:04 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:...I understand that Quicken for Windows is still a good program.
My wife, who just wanted a no-problems transition from Windows XP to Windows 8, has found that to be the case with Quicken.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

obgraham
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby obgraham » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:04 pm

I too think Quicken is worth the cost, though its value has declined as Intuit paid it less and less attention over the years, mostly interested in getting you to upgrade, and trying to lock you into doing everything their way.
I use its investment features a lot less now as my accounts have consolidated at Vanguard -- why waste time re-entering what is so well displayed on their quarterly/annual reports.
However, I have 21 years of check register available to me now, and I still find Quicken's register, categorization, reconciliation, and report generator a lot easier than redesigning the same on Excel. Yes, I still reconcile my accounts monthly. All my tax support documentation comes via saved Quicken reports. It took only 15 minutes to gather stuff this year.
I use a given version until it won't do what I want. I'm using Quicken 2009 Premier now, with all auto-updating turned off, and it is installed on three different computers -- I just take the current data files when I move around. I now keep ZERO paper records.

So it works for me. I'm not sure I'd go with it if I was just starting out.

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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Easy Rhino » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:22 pm

I am fairly dependent on Quicken. (former MS Money user).

I also loathe Quicken.

I have a data file that has some data base 5 years and some data back 14 years.

It's useful mainly becuase I can store transaction data from the past year or two (for reporting, taxes or otherwise), and so it can track capital gains transactions pretty much forever. I also have a lot of transactions across many different accounts, so the auto downloading usually helps.

But it's just a very bad program when compared against sofware programs in general. Online transaction downloading requires a lot of handholding.

I think I'm using the "premier" version with some added investment reporting features (like asset allocation reports), but it's not really necessary for me, as my real asset allocation is done via export to an excel spreadsheet.

obgraham wrote:So it works for me. I'm not sure I'd go with it if I was just starting out.


If I knew something that could keep the historicial archive I'd jump all over it. Like a way to export and save yodlee or mint transactions would be great.

Saving$
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Saving$ » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:46 pm

I currently use Mint.com (just for my checking account and credit card) and a spreadsheet that I manually enter for all of my investments.
You will find Quicken to be a much better tool than a spreadsheet

I'd rather not have any passwords on a third party server so I'm thinking about switching to something like Quicken.
Totally agree.

I have a bunch of questions:

1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?
Started with the Mac version in the late '80's but did not really use it well.
In 1993, I switched to Windows basic version on Quicken
In 1999, I bought the Deluxe version due too all the Y2k hype of all old software not working
in 2010(?), I bought Quicken Home & Business 2010 off of e-bay for about $20. Still using it.


2. Is it Mac compatible?
no idea

3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version?
Once every 10 years or so barring any Y2k type hype

4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?
Yes

5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?
I religiously enter my spending (and categorize it) and account updates about once per week. At the end of the year I have a clean report (after I fix my own errors) and can quickly do my taxes. Everything is there. Quicken keeps track of several rental properties, consulting income, and all the regular stuff. I can look up anything I need at any time (how much contributed to HSA, etc.). I file my receipts by month, so if I need to find one for some warranty claim, I just look up in Q the month I bought the item and go right to that envelope. I don't keep a "budget" but by entering all my spending, I have an extremely good handle on exactly where my money goes, and can make adjustments as needed.

I DO NOT let Q connect to the internet or automatically enter any data. I enter my credit card, check & cash spending by entering the receipts/checks weekly. I enter investment account activity either monthly (taxable) or quarterly (401k). I reconcile the bank accounts and credit card account entries I did into Q by hand against the monthly statement each month. I just don't trust entering my account logons and PW's into Q, and automatically downloading. This also makes my life simpler (I don't need to worry if the download connection works), forces a certain discipline on me, and allows me to quickly recognize patterns and or errors, since I'm actually entering them. I believe I have also learned more about my investment returns through this exercise.

stan1
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby stan1 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:17 pm

Do not buy Quicken Essentials for Mac. It is a completely different software package than Quicken for PCs, and I've never read anything good about it (although as soon as I post that someone will chime in that its the best piece of software they've ever owned). I run Quicken on an old PC that doesn't get used for much else.

I have been using Quicken Deluxe for 18 years. I have no complaints. It is mature software. I'm not sure what I would want it to do differently, although automatically updating account values online instead of having to initiate an update would be nice. There is no need to get Premier or Home & Business; Deluxe gives everything most people need unless you have a business or investment property.

I don't have a problem buying a new version every 3 years to maintain transaction/quote downloads. I get a lot of value out of using Quicken, and I don't mind paying for something that gives value. If you don't want to pay anything there are free alternatives. I download transactions. I am not worried about security or privacy issues associated with downloads. I am a lot more worried about someone breaking into my house and stealing my computer or a cyberattack against my bank or Vanguard than I am about putting a password in Quicken. The convenience is worth taking a very small amount of risk. Life is never risk free.

I prefer to use a spreadsheet to track asset allocation. I don't think any off the shelf software would track asset allocation exactly the way I want to do it so I do it myself using a spreadsheet I've been adding onto/customizing since 2007. I do use Quicken to keep track of cost basis.

You can fight the software, or learn to use it and accept it for what it is. There are parts I never use and overlook. There are a few annoyances which I also overlook at this point. I am stuck using SAP and other equally poorly designed products at work, all of which are 1000x worse than anything Quicken will throw at you. I do find Quicken helpful for keeping track of thing I bought years ago as well as preparing reports to assist with Schedule A, B, and D come tax time.

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Robert C F
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Robert C F » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:39 pm

I have used Quicken for at least ten years.

Pros
Ability to run add hoc reports at tax time. As long as you categorize your expenses, very useful. I like also to have the level of category and tag.
Track payments is easy. If a favorite charity sends an appeal, I can quickly see when I last sent them money.
Downloading is fairly easy. Most of the sites don't work well with Quicken automatic update, however, if I go to the site and download transactions by account it generally works fine.
I am using Rental Property Manager, however for my limited rental properties it is too much trouble for limited benefit. Will likely go to premier next time.

Cons
Read the Amazon or C-net customer reviews, amazing how many customers they piss off with poor support. I'm not upgrading yet to 2013 due to all the glitches.
Not very customizable. I don't find the investment tracking helpful. Much easier to use the Vanguard site or other broker site for this at tax time. Too much work for little benefit. I would like it to just track my brokerage balances, but no way I have found yet to do this.
If you have a problem, you are pretty much on your own. Think I got through once to support and they weren't helpful. For one of my credit union accounts there is a field mapping problem when I download (puts the payee in memo field). What I find comical is Intuit (maker of Quicken) makes the software for my credit union. No success with Quicken for a fix. Credit union IT can't get a fix out of their vendor either.

Unfortunately, they are about the only game in town since MS Money was discontinued. Some people use Mint, but that is mostly an online tool.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:54 pm

I have to disagree Robert about investment tracking. My older Vanguard lots can't be tracked via Vanguard specific ID when I sell, but Quicken makes it easy. I'd be lost, or have paid taxes unnecessarily on capital gains were it not for Quicken.

As far as downloads go, it's one button push for all of our accounts (except the Vanguard 529 plans for some reason, but they're pretty static anyway). Only other glitch is that PenFed sometimes requests the password be re-entered, but that seems to be a PenFed bug rather than Quicken's.

Intuit has not improved Quicken for some time, but that doesn't bother me.

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Toons
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Toons » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:58 pm

Been using Quicken about 20 years,no complaints. Just spent about 30 minutes this evening reviewing different accounts,checking,investment,credit card account,multiple transactions,investment performance of various securities over different time frames,used the capital gain estimator to analyze long and short term gains if I decide to sell some shares this week of a particular fund,reviewed budget,worked with calendar,reviewed tax related expenses for year 2013, recommend the program it works as long as you use it ,which means entering or downloading data to work with :happy
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daytona084
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby daytona084 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:03 pm

hlfo718 wrote:Spent about $70 to buy the program a few years back but after spending hours trying to upload historical trades to the system without success, gave up and use excel instead. Not wasting my $ again with that crap.


I have no idea why this would be the case. All my trades are entered without any problem. Most were downloaded from the brokerage but it's also easy to enter them manually.

sunnyday wrote:4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?


Yes, but you must make sure each investment is properly defined. There were a couple of mutual funds I owned where I disagreed with Quicken's asset allocation of that particular fund. But I could go in to the fund's properties and change that manually.

sunnyday wrote:5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?


1. Tracking spending. I have data going back to 1976 (yes I started with paper and pencil, then graduated to spreadsheets, then devised a way to upload the spreadsheet data into MS Money, then converted to Quicken.)

2. Asset allocation - I check once per month to determine whether it's time to re-balance.

It depends what sort of things you like. Besides finances, I also track things like gas mileage, electric and gas usage, personal exercise, credit card rebates, and medical records. I enjoy that. Other people couldn't care less.

BTW, if you want to save money, you can usually get a pretty good deal on last year's version of Quicken on eBay. The ability to download will expire in 2 years rather than 3 years but it should be cheaper in the long run.

Bacchus01
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Bacchus01 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:21 pm

I use it because I don't see another viable option.

In my opinion, MS Money was far superior in so many ways - especially the user interface.

But, Quicken works okay.

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Eric
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Eric » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:39 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:When I went to OS 10.8 I had to upgrade as Quicken 2006 would not work with 10.8 and I have 20 years of data in that database.


As a stopgap, you could use Quicken Mac 2007 for Lion (which I understand also works with Mountain Lion). I use it pending a more modern long-term solution from Intuit. The graphics look a bit dated but it works fine, with many more features than Quicken Essentials.

You can also monitor Intuit's Mac plans at the developer blog here.

ringlert
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby ringlert » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:47 pm

Using MS Money sunset version. I think it works better and is faster. It's free, but unsupported. The only thing it won't do is auto updates, but since I enter my investment transactions at the end of each quarter, by default my prices get updated then. That's plenty often for me. Used MS Money for many years. Used Quicken for 2012, switched back this year. If you are just starting with a new program, try MS Money first or try to get a cheap version of an older Quicken and run them concurrently for a month or so.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Rob5TCP » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:54 pm

I reluctantly switched last year after MS Money withdrew from the market. MS Money was better organized (mostly interested in investments).
If my MS Money files didn't transfer to Quicken, I would not have touched it with a 10 foot pole. It's adequate, not more. But for a company
with millions of users, it's pathetic. I prefer this to mint because I have control of the data and I don't trust Mint.

While it has a nice front page, MS Money was vastly superior in investment information provided.
Currently I am updating both MS Money and Quicken. As long as MS Money updates I will use both.
I bought Quicken just in case (yes it is a bit of a pain but only a couple of hours periodically).

Is it worth it? The question should be: what are the options. Quicken is the only one left, for better or worse.
To bad Quicken doesn't do meaningful improvements.

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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby tfb » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:14 am

ringlert wrote:Using MS Money sunset version. I think it works better and is faster. It's free, but unsupported. The only thing it won't do is auto updates

There are some 3rd party free programs that make MS Money auto update security prices and import bank and brokerage transactions. After putting together some rudimentary scripts I now use the much improved PocketSense.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Rob5TCP » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:08 am

tfb wrote:
ringlert wrote:Using MS Money sunset version. I think it works better and is faster. It's free, but unsupported. The only thing it won't do is auto updates

There are some 3rd party free programs that make MS Money auto update security prices and import bank and brokerage transactions. After putting together some rudimentary scripts I now use the much improved PocketSense.


I have MS Money 2006 and it still updates security prices (no 3rd party programs were used). It doesn't download transactions, but it never did.

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Equitius
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Equitius » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:37 am

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Last edited by Equitius on Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bUU
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby bUU » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:46 am

Quicken holds all our financial data going back almost fifteen years. I actually had need of some data from about twelve years ago, to do our taxes this year, and it would have taken hours to find paper records going back that far, assuming that they weren't inadvertently discarded (which is likely). I found the data I needed very quickly in Quicken.

So the overriding value of Quicken becomes apparently only many years later. While Mint is a great tool, I don't see it becoming that one place you rely on for your financial data, forever, like Quicken can be.

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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby SPG8 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:54 am

I'd say it's worth it, and I just use it as a digital ledger.

- upgrade only with new machine
- never connect online

I enter everything manually, like Saving$. It's an exercise that I believe gives me a better handle on things, and doesn't take enough time to be especially inconvenient. I think Quicken could be a lot better, and have an Excel document that gives a better consolidated investment picture, but I wouldn't want to run everything through something like that on a regular basis.

Would change if there was better software to install, not interested in a financial cloud.

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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby mwattson » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:30 am

I agree with most of the comments so far. I've used Quicken for over 15 years, upgrade every 3 so I can download transactions. I love that it keeps everything in one place, is paperless, and allows me to reference past expenses. My partner and I split expenses every month, and Quicken has been essential to me in doing that spreadsheet. Downloading works great for reconciling. I keep receipts until the transaction is confirmed, and the toss unless I need for tax purposes. Downloading from Vanguard works well, but I have had trouble with some investment transactions like the interest from a CD going into the Money Market account not being done correctly. I have given up trying to get help from the Quicken support team. It has been a steep learning curve for me to use Quicken, but I am now completely hooked on it. My great disappointment in this thread is that I have been trying for 3 years to find a good solution to using Quicken on a Mac. I have both a Mac and a PC and need to replace my Windows XP soon as it is 8 years old, and I don't like maintaining separate bookmarks and files. Though people talk about using Parallels or VM to do Quicken on a Mac, I haven't heard from anyone who actually does. It seems people are either Mac or PC, and I am definitely split because of Quicken. If you are a 100% Mac person, you may be happier if you don't get hooked on Quicken.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby TomatoTomahto » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:39 am

mwattson wrote:Though people talk about using Parallels or VM to do Quicken on a Mac, I haven't heard from anyone who actually does. It seems people are either Mac or PC, and I am definitely split because of Quicken. If you are a 100% Mac person, you may be happier if you don't get hooked on Quicken.

I don't know about VM or Parallels, but my kids do a lot of stuff using Bootcamp, although they don't use Quicken. It appears to be a "perfect" Windows installation to their programs. IIRC, an acquaintance of mine uses Quicken on a Mac with Bootcamp; I'll see if I can find his email.

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flossy21
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby flossy21 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:44 am

I used Quicken from 1997 to about 2011 when I switched over to an Mac. I found some software called Moneydance that let's you port over all your old Quicken data. I have been using it since and have no complaints.

The best part is that, unlike Quicken/Intuit, you pay for the program once and you own it plus upgrades. No more of this renewal crap every 2-3 years.

http://moneydance.com/ -- check them out

works for windows as well but I use the Mac version.

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tractorguy
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby tractorguy » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:52 pm

IMOP, Yes I am currently using Premier 2012 on a Windows 7 machine. I've been using Premier versions of Quicken since 1997 on Windows machines.

Your questions were:
1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?
2. Is it Mac compatible? I don't think so.
3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version? I upgrade every 3 years to keep the ability to download account transactions. I don't buy it direct from Quicken. I've found I can usually get a significant discount by buying from Amazon.
4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts? Yes it will. This was one of the primary reasons I used it when I had multiple brokerage accounts. I consolidated 3 years ago so I don't need this feature as much.
5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)? I download & reconcile accounts weekly and look at Quicken's bill pay reminders when I do this. This takes me 10 minutes unless I've got bills to pay. I primarily use it for:
1. Bill pay reminder. I've got all of my utility, credit card, mortgage, etc bills set up for on line bill pay with paper statements turned off. I've got Quicken set up to remind me 10 days before each due date. When I see the reminder, I minimize the program, go to the web page & pay the bill, save a pdf file of the confirmation, and then enter the bill amount in Quicken's register. This typically takes me 5-10 minutes (depending on how complicated the billers website is.
2. Generating reports of charitable contributions for tax time. This is a canned report and makes sure I find all of the required reciepts.
3. Rough cut of asset allocation. I look at this every month or so to see if I'm anywhere close to a trigger band. If Quicken says I am, then I use Vanguard's tools, Quicken, and Morningstar to decide on an action. I typically end up rebalancing about every 12 months.
4. Monitor bank account balances. Since it knows what bills are coming up, it warns me if balances are going to drop below the trigger level I need to keep my free checking.

My financial life is a lot simpler since I retired and consolidated all my banking and investment accounts. My worst case was when I was working overseas and had 3 banks, 3 credit cards, and 4 brokerage accounts and I was dealing with two currencies. Quicken auto downloads let me keep track of all of this for about the same amount of effort that it now takes me to keep track of 2 banks + Vanguard.
Lorne

ABS
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby ABS » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:57 pm

Sunnyday, I have the same questions as you did back in 2013. I am currently looking for a Quicken Deluxe\Premier type program to manage my finances. I was wondering if you could share which program you ended up using, your experience with the same and what you might do or have done differently. Your feedback is appreciated.
I am hesitant to use a web based program like Mint or Personal Capital. I am leery of using login and pw information for my different investment accounts through a third party.

NYCguy
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby NYCguy » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:08 pm

ABS wrote:Sunnyday, I have the same questions as you did back in 2013. I am currently looking for a Quicken Deluxe\Premier type program to manage my finances. I was wondering if you could share which program you ended up using, your experience with the same and what you might do or have done differently. Your feedback is appreciated.
I am hesitant to use a web based program like Mint or Personal Capital. I am leery of using login and pw information for my different investment accounts through a third party.

For what it's worth I've been using Quicken on Windows for over 25 years. During that time I've used it for virtually all of its features including paying bills, tracking all banking and credit card activity, investing, keeping track of the tax records and planning for financial goals.

I have had occasional frustrations over the years with online banking and software updates but it is now been several years since I've had those problems. I understand from friends that he Quicken for Mac has improved dramatically but it is still not as robust as the Windows version. In fact Quicken is the only reason why I now maintain a Windows PC.

Having a lifetime of data in one dashboard provides me great insight into where i have been financially and where I hope to go. It is also invaluable at tax time.

Has anyone else found other financial software that is better?
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

ddd
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby ddd » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:29 am

OP, it sounds like your definition of worthiness has a security/privacy component. If that trumps convenience and costs, then don't use quicken!

I have used Quicken for well over 25 years. I tolerated their greedy sunset policies and paid them ransom every three years. In 2014, they decided that all transaction downloads will have to go through Quicken servers. This effectively allows the servers to keep copies of your passwords and your transactions from all of the financial institutions you want to use with Quicken. That did it for me, even if i just paid them another 3-years of ransom.

I have switched to Gnucash. It is free software maintained by the open source community. From my two-year experience with it on both Linux and MacOS, it's dead stable and yet powerful. I manually download transactions, not a problem. There is no middleman. Once you pass the double-entry accounting concept (as opposed to Quicken category), it's a smooth transition from Quicken. You can import all of the accounts and transactions created in Quicken.

Stormbringer
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Stormbringer » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:36 pm

Is Quicken Worth it? -- I guess.

I find it very useful to keep tabs on my finances, including tracking my net worth over time. However, the connectivity to banks, brokers, and other financial institutions can be dodgy at times. Also you need to upgrade every few years or that stuff stops working.

I would really like to apply multi-factor authentication to all my online accounts, and I'm not sure Quicken will handle that.

I wish the product had some real competition. It's starting to feel like a product that has been a monopoly too long.

retire57
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby retire57 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:47 pm

I love Quicken for tracking expenses. Have used it for over 10 years and can't imagine life without.


1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?

Deluxe.

3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version?

I upgrade about every 3 years. There always comes a time when financial institutions will no longer support the older software and that's my signal to upgrade.

5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?[/quote]

Updating our income, expenses, and investment transactions with one daily click.

In addition, a favorite feature is the ability to develop customized reports. For instance, with a click, I can track our annual spending, unplanned expenses, big ticket items (i.e. property tax, condo fees), dividends, net worth etc ... But, then again, I'm rather geekish and like to track this stuff.

ABS
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby ABS » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:04 pm

Does Quicken support multi factor authentication?

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tractorguy
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby tractorguy » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:48 pm

ABS wrote:Does Quicken support multi factor authentication?

Yes. I use multifaceted authentication on my Vanguard account and Quicken still downloads transactions OK.
Lorne

NYCguy
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby NYCguy » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:30 pm

tractorguy wrote:
ABS wrote:Does Quicken support multi factor authentication?

Yes. I use multifaceted authentication on my Vanguard account and Quicken still downloads transactions OK.


I have a similar set up but Quicken is not actually impose multi factor authentication. Are you being pinned for the second factor when using Quicken? I am not.
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

NYCguy
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby NYCguy » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:40 pm

Stormbringer wrote:Is Quicken Worth it? -- I guess..


I used to gladly pay for the upgrades every two or three years. I now pay for the upgrades each year, for several reasons.

First I derive a great deal of value from the product as I noted in my previous post.

Second, I wonder how much growth Quicken enjoys. My sense is that the under 40 crowd doesn't use it as much as the older crowd adopted it when it was one of the few games in town. My sense is that the younger crowd is using things like Mint, online banking, online credit card access and online services from fund companies to "manage the finances" I use all of those online services too but to my mind they are no substitute for Quicken.

When Quicken was sold a year or so ago, I became concerned about its long-term viability. I am so dependent on it, I would hate to see it go. I hope that day never comes. In the meantime I share my positive experience with it with others and will happily pay for annual upgrades.
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

FreddieG
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby FreddieG » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:17 am

As someone else mentioned, MoneyDance runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I used Quicken/Windows for 22 years until I got tired of things just stopping working. I now use Banktivity on a Mac.

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Youngblood
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Youngblood » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:29 am

For me it's definitely worth it.

Like a previous poster, I usually update more than needed due to the sunset provision in order to support the product.

I've used both Quicken premier and Deluxe but am presently using Quicken Deluxe 2017 and love it.

Daily updates of all accounts to keep an eye on credit card fraud and any unusual activity. I also enjoy the feature of special reports income/expense, gains/losses etc.

YB
"I made my money by selling too soon." | Bernard M. Baruch

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Chris001122
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Chris001122 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:41 am

I used Microsoft Money for many years, probably from around 1996 to whenever they discontinued it. It was a sad day for me. I liked Microsoft Money.

I was told about Quicken, but I was mad about Money going away. I tried Quicken on trial but found it difficult to use.

Now, I use:

1. Mint.com for automatic categorization of various expenses and income. This saves me a lot of time. Each transaction from Chik-Fil-A is assigned to the "restaurant" category, for example. I download the Mint.com transactions to a spreadsheet each month and sort this by budget category. I use Excel 2010 for that.

2. Then I total each category (groceries, restaurants) and enter the actual data in a Google Doc spreadsheet form I copied from Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. The budget sheet is also called a Monthly Cash Flow Spreadsheet.

3. In this way, I can see spending trends and determine our monthly shortage or surplus. I also track our savings accounts here and a rough percentage budget. This is also the time I determine our tithe from our monthly income.

4. After all this, I decide whether to put the surplus in retirement or savings or once in awhile we get it in cash and just spend it. Some for me and some for my wife. I'd say 80% of the time, though, it goes straight to retirement savings.

5. I also keep a net worth spreadsheet on my PC in Excel which I update monthly. I am a little afraid to keep this on "Google" as I don't trust them that much. The idea they could see it and possibly hack into these accounts or someone else could makes me nervous. I prefer to keep this on a local private drive. I have the same concern about putting this information on "Mint" even though they offer this functionality.

6. I also keep yet another Excel spreadsheet called "College Savings" where I track the progress of my children's college savings plans (529s). I post a copy of this on the family bulletin board so that my wife has a reason to keep going to work. She would like to stay home, but we cannot afford college for our children if she does. Once we reach our goals in those accounts, she may have more reason to stop working, but they kids will be grown by then at our current rate of savings.

These don't take me that long to keep updated. Maybe 2-3 hours a month. Quicken might be faster, but I doubt it.
"It's always been a mistake to bet against the United States since 1776." - Warren Buffett

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segfault
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby segfault » Sun Nov 20, 2016 11:38 am

sunnyday wrote:I currently use Mint.com (just for my checking account and credit card) and a spreadsheet that I manually enter for all of my investments. I'd rather not have any passwords on a third party server so I'm thinking about switching to something like Quicken. I have a bunch of questions:

1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?
2. Is it Mac compatible?
3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version?
4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?
5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?


I use Quicken Premier (I think) 2015 for Windows. As others have said, the Mac version is not as good. I run it on my Mac using Windows 10 I have installed as a virtual machine through Virtualbox. If that sounds too complicated, you could also consider (as I have considered) getting a cheap and small Windows machine like an Intel Compute Stick or one of the $200 14" laptops from HP, Lenovo, or Dell that have a small 32GB eMMC flash storage drive.

As others have said, I upgrade every three years in order to continue having the ability to download transactions. Also note that the new releases of Quicken appear not to support versions of Windows that are beyond Microsoft's support lifecycle. Quicken 2015 is not compatible with Windows XP, and I would bet that Quicken 2018 will not be compatible with Vista. Something to consider if you're buying a refurbished PC for purposes of running Quicken--I'd try to get one with Windows 10.

I consider it very good at tracking investment prices (it automatically updates investment prices when you download transactions). I track my asset allocation using Vanguard's website, as I think it offers better tools for doing so.

I have financial data going back 15+ years in Quicken, and the ability to look at everything from that long ago is a significant advantage. Phone and chat support is very poor. The best support option is probably on Intuit's message board. Yes, Intuit has essentially stopped doing technical support and set up a message board for users to help each other. So, I dislike the lack of support and the requirement to upgrade every three years to keep the transaction download functionality, but keep buying anyway.

EZ James
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby EZ James » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:18 pm

It's worth it to me. Been using it since the DOS versions and now have the 2017 Premier version ($75 at Costco online).

It' no longer an Intuit product so I did not know what to expect in the way of changes. The UI seems better to me but I can't put my finger on why without having both versions running side-by-side.

The company is asking for votes on desired features for the Mac version as you can see from the comparison matrix here: https://www.quicken.com/mac/compare.

I will stick to the windows version until they implement some of the features mentioned.

As far as allocation goes, I do not normally use that feature but I see it apparently is limited to single accounts for in-depth analysis of AA by asset class. If you want AA as percentage of all investments you can get it from the investment register along with a ton of other information which can be selected by you.

If dealing with balanced accounts it does break them down into sub-classes but I noticed that no allocation shows for foreign bonds in my Target Retirement Income account. Perhaps they are lumped into "other"...I did not dig into that or verify the correctness of the numbers.

The investment section will also plug your numbers into Morningstar's Portfolio Xray tool.

The investment section also has a "growth of $10k" graph which lets you compare your accounts against various indices (dividend reinvestment not included for the indices but I assume they are for your holdings).

For tracking expenses, especially taxes, it's almost invaluable to me. I have never used the budgeting tools.

In summary, IMO it's a a good value whether your needs are simple or moderately complex.

EZ

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tractorguy
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby tractorguy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:24 am

NYCguy wrote:
tractorguy wrote:
ABS wrote:Does Quicken support multi factor authentication?

Yes. I use multifaceted authentication on my Vanguard account and Quicken still downloads transactions OK.


I have a similar set up but Quicken is not actually impose multi factor authentication. Are you being pinned for the second factor when using Quicken? I am not.



If I remember right, got pinned (pinged) the first time I used Quicken after I set up multifactor. I just looked at Quicken's support re this and found this article: https://www.quicken.com/support/multi-f ... cure-login

I think that explains why I've been occasionally asked for my Quicken login when start Quicken. (Maybe every 2-3 months or when I'm traveling).
Lorne

theDON2050
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby theDON2050 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:05 am

Just a reminder that Mint has financial institution type of security. http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/ ... -com/?_r=0

Will Mint stay around forever? I don't know. At the end of the day, if having your passwords saved to Mint makes you worry then you should probably switch to Quicken. However, I think my passwords are safer at Intuit (Mint)than they are at my small town bank.

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obafgkm
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby obafgkm » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:41 am

Stormbringer wrote: Also you need to upgrade every few years or that stuff stops working.

ddd wrote:I have used Quicken for well over 25 years. I tolerated their greedy sunset policies and paid them ransom every three years.

tractorguy wrote:I upgrade every 3 years to keep the ability to download account transactions.


I have seen comments like this here for a while. I have been using Quicken 2007 for Mac for several years (well, at least nine), and I have never been asked to buy a new version of Quicken (except when the PowerPC version of Quicken 2007 would not work anymore on my new Intel-chipped Macbook, and I gladly paid the $15 to upgrade, but that has nothing to do with being able to download account transactions). I can still download transactions easily from my credit union and credit card companies.

What am I missing? Is this a new policy on the part of Quicken? If I purchased Quicken 2017 for Mac would I be forced to buy a new copy in three years?

bloom2708
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby bloom2708 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:53 am

I used Money for years, then Quicken, tried Mint for one year. Didn't take.

Been using PersonalCapital.com for 3 years. Very happy with transaction categorization, net worth tracking and the other features.

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abuss368
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby abuss368 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:20 am

sunnyday wrote:I currently use Mint.com (just for my checking account and credit card) and a spreadsheet that I manually enter for all of my investments. I'd rather not have any passwords on a third party server so I'm thinking about switching to something like Quicken. I have a bunch of questions:

1. Do you use Quicken and if so, which version (starter, deluxe, premier, home & business)?
2. Is it Mac compatible?
3. How often do you need to upgrade to the latest version?
4. How advanced is it at tracking investments -- for example, will it calculate total asset allocation from different brokerage accounts?
5. Why do you use it (best features, biggest advantages)?


Hi sunnyday,

We used Quicken for over 10 years and stopped back in 2008. I was tired of the time commitment and the upgrades. In addition, the biggest reason was I simply did not see the value anymore. Our financials are very simple. I have no regrets and do not miss the program over 8 years later.

I always used the Premier version for the investment features. This was important when we traded individuals stocks across many different brokerage accounts, but when we returned to Vanguard, there was no need. Vanguard tracks all basis information and provides tax reporting and year end statements. This was always more information than we needed.

I understand the Mac version is not of high quality. I always used the Windows version. However we have now purchased a MacBook Pro. This appears to frustrate folks.

Finally I never used the automatic import or download features. I was sensitive to providing our financial passwords to a third party server. As time has gone on, this has only been reinforced. In fact, I recently read Chase (and perhaps Bank of America) are cutting of access for security purposes. This could be the start of a trend.

Not sure if you are aware but Quicken was recently sold to a third part and Intuit no longer owns the product. I believe it is a private equity firm.

Best.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

Stormbringer
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Re: Is Quicken Worth it?

Postby Stormbringer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:36 pm

obafgkm wrote:What am I missing? Is this a new policy on the part of Quicken? If I purchased Quicken 2017 for Mac would I be forced to buy a new copy in three years?

You don't have to upgrade, but certain online features will no longer work after three years:

https://www.quicken.com/support/quicken-discontinuation-policy


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