Steps to Financial Security

We often know what we need to do to shore up our finances, but sometimes need a gentle nudge. MutualBank has developed this checklist to help keep you on track. You can set your own e-mail alerts to remind you to complete these tasks and work toward a more secure financial future.

1. Make a list of short-term financial goals.
  1. (e.g., new vehicle down payment, vacation)
2. Make a list of long-term financial goals.
  1. (e.g., save for a home down payment, college tuition, retirement)
  2. Include target dates
  3. Include amounts
3. Organize my records
  1. This will help me file my state and federal income taxes efficiently and by the deadline
Budget & Spending
1. Develop a monthly budget.
  1. List income, recurring bills, savings targets
  2. Include amounts to save each month toward larger expenses (e.g., taxes, insurance)
2. Set up Online Banking and Online Bill Pay.
  1. Keep an eye on spending between statements
  2. Pay bills electronically. Save money on stamps and the cost of checks
3. Check my health care or dependent care flexible spending account balance each month
  1. Be sure to use up the balance before the end of the plan year
Savings & Investment
1. Determine amount needed in an emergency savings account.
  1. Recommended amount is to cover at least three and preferably six months of living expense.
2. Consider opening and contributing to a college savings account.
  1. (e.g., education savings or 529 savings plan)
Credit & Debt
1. Order and review my free annual credit report
  1. Go to for my free report from all three credit bureaus in a 12-month period.
2. Review my debt load
  1. Consider consolidating debt if it results in a lower monthly payment and overall lower interest paid.
1. Take advantage of IRAs and retirement plans, especially if my employer offers a matching contribution.
2. Review and update the beneficiaries on my retirement plans, life insurance policies and any other accounts with beneficiaries.
3. Review my life, homeowners/renters, auto, health and disability insurance coverage with my insurance agent to determine appropriate coverage.
4. Review my Social Security benefits.
  1. Estimate and consider whether to retire early, at normal retirement age or hold off until age 70.
  2. If I don't have an estimate, visit for more information.
5. Apply for Medicare three months before my 65th birthday.
Estate Planning
1. Establish a will
  1. This directs how my assets will be distributed and names guardians for my minor children upon my death.
  2. Find out if a trust can help me better reach my estate planning objectives.
2. Consider meeting with MutualWealth Management Group.
  1. They will help determine if I am on track to meet my financial goals.
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