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Pre-Retirement Checklist November 11, 2022

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Financial Toolkit – Lesson 4: Create Categories September 12, 2022

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Financial Toolkit – Lesson 3: Time to Snowball September 12, 2022

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Financial Tool Kit – Lesson 2: Track Your Categories September 12, 2022

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Financial Tool Kit – Lesson 1: Build a Better Budget September 12, 2022

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What Should You Do With Your 401(k) When You Change Jobs? May 4, 2022

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Reduce Your Credit Card Debt April 5, 2022

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4 Ways To Manage Your Money More Effectively March 2, 2022

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Be Aware of Online Dating Scams February 11, 2022

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Transitory Inflation? Not Anymore. February 2, 2022

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Pre-Retirement Checklist

Older couple walking on beach

You may have considered all the fun things you will do in retirement – travel, take up a new hobby or spend more time with your family – but well before your official retirement, it’s a good idea to create a pre-retirement checklist. This checklist should help you to continue pursuing your financial goals even when your income and financial strategies have changed. Consider these options when creating your pre-retirement strategy.

1. Take Inventory of Your Assets

Figure out where you stand financially by taking a comprehensive inventory of all your assets. This can include savings accounts, checking accounts, other income streams, investments, real estate, and insurance policies. This inventory should also include any debt you have. Your asset inventory may change as your assets change, so it can be a good idea to keep a running list of all your assets as you go through retirement. This can benefit both you and your loved ones in the future.

2. Determine Your Retirement Needs

Consider factors like where you want to live, what you’ll do with your time and how you’ll pay for life’s necessities. These should be factors that you have previously considered as you near retirement, but as you get even closer, it’s important that you add more detail to your strategies. It’s also important to consider how long your retirement may be so you can plan accordingly. Think about the expenses you plan to incur, as well as the different income streams you might have and how to best use them.

3. Make Decisions About Social Security

You’ll also need to decide when you want to sign up for Social Security benefits. While you are eligible to begin claiming Social Security at 62, most experts suggest that you wait. As you can sign up for Social Security anytime between the ages of 62 and 70, the longer you wait to sign up the more advantageous it could be for you. At 70 you qualify for the maximum monthly benefits. You will need to decide if your other income streams can allow you to wait for as long as possible or if you might need to begin drawing from Social Security earlier than 70 years old.

4. Create a Withdrawal Plan

It may seem counterintuitive to start planning to withdraw the funds you worked so hard to save and invest. But hopefully, your retirement is what you’ve been saving for. There are tax considerations for withdrawing the funds, just as there were considerations for adding the funds and maximizing your contributions when you were doing the bulk of your wealth accumulation. Depending on the type of retirement accounts or plans you have, you might consider rolling the funds into a different type of account – one that can help you minimize the taxes you’ll pay and allow you to take out the funds more conveniently.

5. Examine Your Insurance Options

You should also consider your insurance coverage when thinking about your retirement expenses. Healthcare is one of the largest expenses you may face in this stage of life. If you’ve previously used the insurance options provided by your employer or your spouse’s employer when you retire, that will no longer be an option and you’ll need to secure insurance independent from an employer. If you are 65 or over and retired, you may also consider Medicare for your insurance needs in retirement.

When you’re ready to begin creating your pre-retirement checklist, contact the office. We’ll help you create a strategy that you feel comfortable with that may also help you pursue your goals in retirement.

This material was developed and prepared by a third party for use by your Registered Representative. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information.

Before deciding whether to retain assets in a 401(k) or roll over to an IRA, an investor should consider various factors including, but not limited to, investment options, fees and expenses, services, withdrawal penalties, protection from creditors and legal judgments, required minimum distributions and possession of employer stock. Please view the Investor Alerts section of FINRA website for additional information.

Cetera does not offer tax or legal advice.

Steve Lindquist

Steve Lindquist
[email protected]
Financial Consultant
295 Los Altos Parkway, Suite 105
Sparks, NV 89436
(775) 789-3140

Securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency LLC), member FINRA, SIPC, a broker/dealer and a registered investment adviser. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. CA Insurance License #0G30574

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Financial Toolkit – Lesson 4: Create Categories

colored folders

There are as many budget methods as there are people. My hope is that I can help recommend ideas so that you will find the method that works for you.  To that goal, I thought I’d share a peak into my budget as an example.  

I have four basic “spending” categories: mortgage, utilities, food and fuel.  The rest of my categories are “saving” categories.  This has shifted my perspective from how much I spend to how much I save.  Here’s a few of the things I save for:   

  • Auto insurance- paid once a year 
  • Home and car repair – it’s going to happen, might as well be prepared 
  • Gifts  
  • Clothes 
  • Any remaining funds go into my emergency fund    

Expect for the emergency fund, these aren’t long terms savings accounts.  I will use funds from these accounts as needed and I use them as very fluid accounts.  There are some additional benefits to multiple savings accounts: they help me “hide” money from myself (I don’t spend what I don’t see); and, because I’ve automated these savings, my accounts grow without me having to “find” money to save, especially when things get tight.  

The Money Management App has a savings goal feature where you can set and track three saving goals.  Additionally, you can create numerous sub-savings accounts within your savings account at Great Basin.  You can save for anything you want; your categories won’t necessarily be the same as mine.  Automate the savings to make it easy on yourself.  You’ll be surprised at how things can grow.  

Be sure to look out for a short video that explains the savings feature in more depth as well as tips throughout the month.  And, of course, if you want more hands-on help, give me a call. I’m happy to help.

Financial Toolkit – Lesson 3: Time to Snowball

Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in August 2022, further diminishing the American dollar and increasing the price of everything from gas to groceries. According to data from Lending Club, 61% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck.

It doesn’t help that consumers are turning to their credit cards to help pay the bills.  In the second quarter of 2022, consumer credit balances have reached an all time high of $887 billion.  This at a time when the average interest rate on credit cards is at a whopping 19.11% according to WalletHub. 

Credit debt can be a finance killer.  It gobbles up your cash flow, makes the things you buy more expensive, causes more stress, and is just NOT FUN!

This is where our Money Management tool can come to the rescue.  Using the “snowball” method, you can run a scenario which will help you see which debt to pay first and how long it will take to get out of debt.  Basically, in this method you pay the minimum on all your debts except for the one with the smallest balance, to which you would make extra payments.  Once that debt is gone, use the money from that payment to attack the next smallest debt and so forth. 

When you use the snowball method, momentum – not math – is key to eliminating debt. When you pay off a smaller debt you experience a win – an endorphin confidence boost – which helps you stick with it to conquer the next debt. 

Be sure to look out for a short video that explains the debt feature in more depth as well as tips throughout the month.  And, of course, if you want more hands-on help, give me a call. I’m happy to help.  

Got Financial Questions? Miu

Financial Tool Kit – Lesson 2: Track Your Categories

calculator and graphs

In the last post, I discussed tracking in place of formal budgeting,  Most budgets fail because people don’t track their expenses .  Well, congratulations!  You’re already one step ahead!  When I first began tracking, I was surprised at how much I was actually spending in some areas.  I decided I needed to move from tracking – or just knowing how much I was spending – to creating spending guidelines.   It’s likely that you’ve noticed some areas where you’d like to make changes as well and perhaps you’re also ready to define some parameters to your spending plan. 

The important thing about a budget is that is is a living document. You won’t be as successful if you create and then forget about it. You also can’t check it once a month. I tried that and all I did was find out how over budget I was!  Neither should you worry about checking every purchase against your budget – that sounds awful and unsustainable!  

The Money Management tool can help.  First, a budget can be created using the information from your tracking data.  Then you can tailor it depending on how much you’d like to spend in each category.  Money Management uses a visual system called “bubbles”.  The larger the bubble the more you are spending in that category. Housing and food categories are typically the largest while entertainment or recreation tend to be smaller, for example.  

Secondly, tracking becomes a fast, visual exercise.  Budget bubbles are color coded like a stop light: green, you have funds available to spend; yellow, you are approaching your budget limit; red, you’re out of funds in the that category.   I tend to track only one major category: Food.  That is the problem area in my household.   I look at that bubble at least once a week – and it’s just to check the color of the bubble.  I may check another category if I am unsure of the fund status before making a purchase but I don’t track those categories like I do the Food category.   

Getting into the habit of “following” yourself regularly does require some discipline.  But creating, and tracking, spending goals has allowed me to save more and ditch my debt.   

Be sure to look out for a short video that explains the budget feature in more depth as well as tips throughout the month.  And, of course, if you want more hands-on help, give me a call. I’m happy to help.

Got Financial Questions? Miu

Financial Tool Kit – Lesson 1: Build a Better Budget

Woman in blue striped top sitting at a table with laptop, coffee, and calculator

Inflation has hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in June 2022, diminishing the real value of your paychecks and increasing the price of everything from gas to groceries. According to Lending Club, nearly 60% of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Inflation is affecting the American pocketbook, leading people to consider whether budgeting would be a helpful option.   

Budgeting, however, is not easy. Sometimes you want to give up before you even start. This may be why not many people have a spending plan.  In fact,  over 56% of people don’t budget at all.    

I get it.  Even as a financial coach I do not “geek out” on budgets. So, here’s a radical recommendation: throw out the budget sheet. If it’s causing stress and anxiety, let the idea of a budget sheet go. Instead, try tracking. 

As a Great Basin member, you have access to our Money Management App which you can use to track your spending. Your Great Basin accounts will automatically transfer into the Money Management app and, if you choose, you can add any other outside accounts you might have. The more information, the more complete financial picture. 

Although transactions are automatically sorted into categories, it is a good idea to go through the last two to three months of data to be sure you’ve got the information in the correct categories. 

Doing this will give you a good idea of what you are spending and where. You’ll get an idea of what you’d like to trim or where you’d like to cut back. After tracking for a month or two, you can move into the Budget section to firm up some of those numbers.   

Tracking makes cash flow planning a lot easier and less stressful.  Look out for a short video that explains this feature in a bit more depth as well as more tips from me throughout the month.  And, of course, if you want more hands-on help, give me a call – I’m happy to help.

Got Financial Questions? Miu



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