Time to Clean Up Your Finances!
Author: Lane Keating, CSA
There’s no time like the present! What might seem like a daunting task can be simplified by taking one step at a time. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
There’s no good reason to hang on to utility bills from five years ago. The same is true for expired policies, bank statements from the Nixon era, and 10 years’ worth of retirement account statements (keep the most recent and all year-end statements). Not every financial document deserves a place in your files. Tax information should be kept for seven years and bank statements for five. Unless you have a very compelling reason to keep these items longer, shred the rest and move on!
Organize the papers that remain. Group items by the institution (bank, insurance company, stock broker, etc.). You’ll then be able to store them in clearly marked boxes or binders and access them quickly when needed.
- Document Security
Now you can gather important documents (birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, titles, and deeds) and place them in a home safe. Bank safe deposit boxes are fine for grandma’s pearls, but banks aren’t always open, and you might need these documents in a hurry.
Make a master list of all important information including banks where you have accounts, companies where you have credit cards, retirement accounts, contact information for your lawyer, doctors, stock broker, CPA, realtor, insurance agent, etc. This list might be extensive but can be invaluable in the event of an emergency. This information should only be shared with a trusted family member. If you don’t have a relative to trust, your lawyer can be of assistance.
As always, I offer my services at no charge to seniors and their families. Please call me at Oasis Senior Advisors Rochester 585-206-3267 so I can partner with you to make this transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Because the right place does mean everything!