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



Window air conditioner

5-7 years


Dehumidifier (basement)

8 years



9 years


Sink waste disposal

12 years


Clothes dryer

13 years


Washing machine

5-15 years



9-13 years


Microwave oven

9 years



15-17 years


Home Features



Central air conditioning

7-15 years



40 years



15-20 years


Garage doors

20-25 years


Wood decks

10-30 years


Composite decks

8-25 years


Asphalt driveway

15-20 years


Water Heater

6-12 years


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 television

7.4 years


Desktop computer

5.9 years


Video game console

5.7 years


Laptop computer

5.5 years


Tablet computer

5.1 years



4.6 years


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.