How Long Will It Last?

Planning to replace common items

Part of financial planning is having a sense of how much it will cost to replace your possessions when they break down or wear out. 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 AppliancesLifespanPrice
Window air conditioner5-7 years$250
Dehumidifier (basement)8 years$300
Dishwasher9 years$750
Sink waste disposal12 years$200
Clothes dryer13 years$800
Washing machine5-15 years$800
Refrigerator9-13 years$500+
Microwave oven9 years$150
Oven15-17 years$500
Home FeaturesLifespanPrice
Central air conditioning7-15 years$5,000
Boiler40 years$4,000
Furnace15-20 years$4,250
Garage doors20-25 years$1,000
Wood decks10-30 years$7,000
Composite decks8-25 years$7,000
Asphalt driveway15-20 years$4,500
Water Heater6-12 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, and and do not include installation costs. Actual costs may vary.

Flat panel television7.4 years$250
Desktop computer5.9 years$650
Video game console5.7 years$250
Laptop computer5.5 years$700
Tablet computer5.1 years$500
Smartphone4.6 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. 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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