The Balance Sheet 10 Minutes
Have some questions about the app? Check out our tutorial below! If you can’t find the answer to your question, please send us a message and we will get in touch with you.
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Start by adding your savings and checking accounts, then add any retirement savings you have such as 401(k)s, IRAs, Mutual Funds, Annuities, Real Estate Equity, Business Ownership Equity, etc.
As you add accounts you will see the Balance Sheet grow. Make sure to create an accurate representation of your portfolio.
Next, you will fill in the details of the accounts you have added.
** If you didn’t add your spouse in the beginning, now is a great time. Click on the gear symbol at the top and click “Edit Spouse Information”. Now that is done, you can designate who owns the account, or if it is a joint account.
Description Column: Designate what type of account it is that you have created. By clicking on the description a drop-down menu will appear. Click on the type of account. We suggest the typing some details about that account. For example:
IRA – Fidelity Account
Roth IRA – Charles Schwab
Business Equity – Acme Inc.
Mutual Funds – American Funds (Growth)
Buckets Column: Skip the buckets column for now. This is a feature that will be utilized once you have a full plan in place.
Owner Column: Who owns the account? Click and a drop-down menu will appear.
Account Balance Column: Here you will input the account balance. Please note that you can create multiple Account Balance Columns! This can be done by clicking Add/Edit Columns. This is a useful feature for keeping a history of your account balances over time, and may also be utilized for planning out future account balances. It is suggested that you use a date for the column name. By doing this you will know when the information was current. Up to 5 columns may be displayed at a time.
The Scenario illustrator will pull from the column that you choose. If you are accumulating assets, but want to plan for your retirement you may choose to input retirement assets that you hope to accumulate, and by doing so create a retirement income plan based off of those hypothetical numbers. When you get to the Scenario Illustration Tab you will click on the Available Assets drop-down menu. The columns you have created here will appear. Choose one to create your plan.
Check Boxes: The last step on this page is to check (or uncheck) the boxes. Checking a box means you will plan to spend that money during your retirement years from the value of the account or asset. If you have annuities, and you plan to annuitize them, please uncheck the box as this will be accounted for as an income source, which you will add on the next tab.
Take a look at your accounts. Do you have all of your assets accounted for on here? Make sure you have a complete picture of your portfolio.
Great job! You are making very good progress!
The Financial Calculator is used to help you find answers about the future. This feature of Four Buckets is not necessary to use, but you may find it helpful. To use it, fill in any 4 of the 5 variables and then hit the refresh arrow on the cell you would like to solve for. The answer will then be populated into that cell.
Beginning Balance: $45,000
Annual Contribution: $6,000
Years: 32 years of growth and contributions
Growth Rate: 6.5%
Hit the refresh arrow ———–> $937,799.00
This can be done for any of the variables. So if you would like to find out what it would take to have $1M in an account by the time you retire, simply input $1,000,000 into the Ending Balance and fill in 3 of the known variables and solve for the last.
If you are creating a hypothetical retirement scenario for the future, create a new column (You may choose to name it something like “Retirement at age 65”). Once you have solved for each of your accounts, input the Ending Balance into the cells of the new column. When you go to the Scenario Illustration Tab you will be able to select this column’s assets and create a plan based off of your hypothetical assets. Neat!
Variable Amount of TIme
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