Winter is finally over and spring is finally here. Time to dust off your file drawers and get your finances ready for swimsuit season. What are some instances that the Organized Instincts team suggests your financial files have a good once-over? Let’s take a look.
- Ready to dash outside to enjoy the sun’s rays and blue skies of spring?
- Going on a much-delayed vacation with loved ones or friends?
- Approaching or recently received your gold watch signifying retirement?
- Ready to let go of years of accumulated files and folders?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you’ll benefit from a thorough spring cleanse.
Time to Do Some Spring Financial Housekeeping
As you mature, you’re likely to have accumulated a variety of financial accounts and policies. Take the time to compile a list of all the investments you own. Include the name and phone numbers of the investment companies plus any agent or advisor who helps you manage them. You’ll also want to ensure you have statements from these accounts and that they’re complete with account numbers and the monetary amounts within each one. Put all your paperwork in one location. If your files are “in the cloud” or on your hard drive, give your loved ones or beneficiaries access to these files with any pertinent passwords or print out this information to be included in the file cabinet. This helps you prepare for the long run, but it will also help your loved ones should they need to find this information during your absence while away on that much-anticipated vacation or an unexpected illness.
Inventory What You Have
Go through your records and take an inventory. What do you have? Where do you keep your records? Do you have life insurance? Is it paid up? What is the name of the company? If you have any beneficiaries, make sure they know where these papers are kept. Your loved ones will need to know as well.
This includes records of any 401k accounts and any IRAs you may have. Where are these records? Have you consolidated accounts? Make a note of that and keep only those records you need. If you have changed beneficiaries, make sure your paperwork is updated and notes that change. Inform any new beneficiaries of where your records reside.
Tidy Up Loose Ends
- Have you recently moved?
- Have you changed your email address due to a job change or service provider?
- Have any US savings bonds laying around that need to be cashed in?
- Have any records squirreled away in a safe deposit box?
If you’ve moved and your records are not current, take the time to update your new address across all your records and accounts. Update your address to current contact information to avoid losing account statements and tax documents. If you don’t update your records, you might miss out on valuable retirement benefits or notifications. If your email address has changed, transition these accounts and paperless statement notices to this new email address. Inform family and beneficiaries of any records stowed away in a safe deposit box.
If you hold stock certificates or US savings bonds, are they still collecting interest? Do you need to cash them out? Here is a useful tool we’ve found online that might help you determine whether or not your stocks and bonds are still collecting interest.
Don’t Sweep This Under the Rug
This spring, the best thing you can do for yourself is to ensure all your financial and investment paperwork is gathered, current, and in a location your loved ones and beneficiaries know. Take the time to go through your records to give yourself more time to work on your hot summer bod.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers can help tidy up your financial file cabinet to give you more time to drink cocktails by the poolside. Spring into action and schedule a free consultation today to more fully enjoy your summer.