Financial Stability: Just a Drop in the Bucket(s)

How many spreadsheets do you have on your computer? Most have a few. 

But where’s the spreadsheet that counts all the emotions we feel while planning our future? It is, after all, called ‘personal finance’ for a reason. 

That’s why, at Nabell Winslow, we’ve devised a three-pronged strategy to help you see the psychology behind your retirement income plans.

And it starts with some drops in the bucket.

We call the first strategy The Bucket Approach. Here’s how it works: Picture three metaphorical buckets earmarked for a time frame. The first “short-term” bucket contains money for the first one to five years of your retirement. This is where your low risk investments will be stored. The second contains enough funds for six to 10 years. Treasuries and insurance contracts will be here. And the third, our largest bucket, contains enough funds to sustain for 10-plus years.

The idea is, as investments in your long-term bucket matures, we then pour the excess into your short- and medium-term buckets to replenish what has been spent.

At Nabell Winslow, we want our clients to succeed. So, I remind them retirement plans are not always about investing in stocks. It’s really about getting from point A to point B, then all the way to Z, while using low-risk investments. People feel guilty spending their retirement. They feel like they are consuming their life and their legacy. But the bucket approach adds stability for your short-term investing needs by getting you through to your long-term investing plan.

Within my 20-plus years of experience, I’ve seen the market fluctuate. Would you believe I began my career at 21 years old? From that point, have I ever been emotional? Absolutely, especially when I see my clients come in shaken to the core, afraid of losing it all, versus waiting for the appropriate time to restore their buckets. 

But there’s something else I’ve learned – keeping a bit of ice in your veins will help chill the emotions. And, most significantly, the buckets can always be rebalanced. 

Registered Representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisors LLC, Member FINRA / SIPC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

Investments in securities do not offer a fix rate of return. Principal, yield and/or share price will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and, when sold or redeemed, you may receive more or less than originally invested. No system or financial planning strategy can guarantee future results.

Scott A. Winslow, ChFC, CLU is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Nabell Winslow Investments, a financial advisory firm that helps accomplished entrepreneurs, professionals, retirees, and those with sudden wealth transition to a life of long-term financial independence through personalized and professional assistance.Contact Scott and his associates at (910) 239-9130 or, or visit

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