Preparing Financially for 2012 and Beyond
At this point in 2012, we’ve seen plenty of articles and blog posts about making new years resolutions. Rather than offer you a litany of financial resolutions to set for yourself, I’m offering you a checklist to help you organize your life—financially—and get 2012 off to a good, sound start.
Think coordination and integration! It is virtually impossible to make sound financial decisions when your financial information is disorganized and/or not accessible. The first step is to gather all your financial information into one place for easy access and review. I suggest, at minimum, a plastic box designed for holding files—available at many stores.
My Financial Checklist
Collect the most recent copy for each of the following items:
Checking and/or savings account statements
Checking and/or savings account statements for your minor children
Federal and State tax returns (for at least the past 5 years)
Property tax statement
Mortgage statement if you’re a homeowner/Lease agreement if renting
Auto or other vehicle insurance policy
Homeowner’s insurance policy
Life insurance policy
Disability insurance policy
Health insurance policy
Long-term care insurance policy
Employee benefits policies from your work
Retirement (IRA, Roth IRA, 401k, 403b, etc.) investment statements
Certificate of Deposits (CD) statements
Stocks and/or mutual funds or other investment statements (non-retirement)
Real estate documents
Name and contact information for your attorney
Name and contact information for your accountant
Will, directives, power of attorney, trust
After you’re finished reading this list, cut it out and stick it in a prominent location—the refrigerator is always a good spot—where you’ll see it every day! And as you complete each task on your financial checklist, put the information in your file box, check it off and know that you’re one step closer to gaining greater control over your financial life and making the most of your hard-earned money.
If you have questions about any of the items in the list, send me an email or give me a call. It’s highly unlikely that you’d have every single one of these documents.
In future articles, we’ll talk about strategies to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness in your money decisions. Wealth building begins by protecting your money from being transferred unnecessarily to the government, financial institutions and corporations. But you must first be aware of what you have and who’s getting it.
What’s the easiest way to make money? Don’t lose it!
Here’s to an organized and Happy New Year!
Small Business Strategies: Clear Your Clutter, Rhonda Abrams