8 Things to Do in 2017

Financial Planning checklist

Now that we’ve started the new year, this is a great time to take a fresh look at your financial picture and update things that may be stale or outdated. To help you do that, here are eight ways to improve your financial health in 2017.


Review your 401k contribution. Will you turn 50 in 2017?  If so, you are now eligible to make “catch-up” contributions to your plan.  Are your contributions properly allocated for current market conditions? Do you have an old retirement plan that you can rollover?

Cash Flow

Audit your auto-debits and recurring charges. Review how much you are paying for those services that you no longer use. Should you terminate any of these?


Create an emergency fund. Do you have three to six months of expenses in reserves? Are you saving money in an HSA plan that can be invested and then used for your healthcare purposes?

Debt Management

Reduce your debt to cut expenses. Can you transfer some of your debt to a lower rate so you can reduce your monthly payment?


Create stronger passwords for your financial accounts. Don’t rely on the same passwords for you Starbucks account and your bank account. Do you have your passwords stored in a safe place where someone can access them in case of an emergency?

Social Security

Start learning about how Social Security works and ask your financial advisor about your options and which may be best for you. Visit the Social Security website to become familiar with its resources.


Review your insurance coverages. Is the amount of coverage appropriate? Is this coverage still necessary? Should you raise your deductible to reduce your premium?

Age 70½

If you turned 70½ in 2016 and have not yet taken your required minimum distribution, please contact your Wealth Manager as you have until April 1 to withdraw the appropriate funds. The consequences of not withdrawing at least your required minimum distribution is a penalty equivalent to 50% of the amount that should have been withdrawn.

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Mindy Gasthalter
About Mindy Gasthalter
Mindy’s financial planning skills are honed over 26 years in the industry. She graduated from Golden Gate University with a Master's in the field of financial planning. She had worked at a financial firm in Alexandria, Virginia before coming to worked at Pinnacle Advisory Group in 2004. She works with clients regularly, often drafting and presenting retirement plans and portfolio reviews. During her years, many of her clients have become personal friends and these personal connections make her job particularly gratifying. Mindy is a Registered Paraplanner (RP®) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) for Pinnacle Advisory Group.