How Long Will it Last?

appliancesPlanning to replace common items

Part of financial planning is having a good sense of how much it will cost to replace your possessions when they break down or wear out. But many of the big-ticket consumer products may cost more to replace and wear out sooner than you think.

An essential part of financial planning is to budget replacing some of these items each year. To help you do this, here are some common big-ticket items, how long they tend to last, and how much it may cost to replace them.

Home Appliances Lifespan Price
Window air conditioner 5-7 years $250
Dehumidifier (basement) 8 years $300
Dishwasher 9 years $750
Sink waste disposal 12 years $200
Clothes dryer 13 years $800
Washing machine 5-15 years $800
Refrigerator 9-13 years $500+
Microwave oven 9 years $150
Oven 15-17 years $500

Home Features Lifespan Price
Central air conditioning 7-15 years $5,000
Boiler 40 years $4,000
Furnace 15-20 years $4,250
Garage doors 20-25 years $1,000
Wood decks 10-30 years $7,000
Composite decks 8-25 years $7,000
Asphalt driveway 15-20 years $4,500
Water Heater 6-12 years $1,000


Source: Home product lifespan estimates come from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Midrange price estimates come from various sources including Consumerreports.org, Angieslist.com and HomeAdvisor.com, and do not include installation costs. Actual costs may vary.

Electronics Lifespan Price
Flat panel television 7.4 years $250
Desktop computer 5.9 years $650
Video game console 5.7 years $250
Laptop computer 5.5 years $700
Tablet computer 5.1 years $500
Smartphone 4.6 years $550


Source: Electronics lifespan estimates come from a 2014 Consumer Electronics Association survey of consumer habits. Midrange price estimates come from market research firms IHS and NPD Group, and online retailer research. Actual costs may vary.

Remember, each of the items noted above can vary greatly in price depending on your tastes and willingness to spend more. For instance, a high-end refrigerator can cost well over $7,000, vastly more expensive than the $500 noted above.

Smart budgeting idea

When creating an annual budget, review your appliances and note how old they are. Then develop a five-year plan to replace some items each year. Use the values noted above, or estimate your own costs with a little research.

This process can help reduce the risk of an unplanned expense if one of these costly appliances or electronics fails when you least expect it.

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