Organizing Your Financial Life
Buying a home, changing jobs, or having a baby can create a lot of paperwork – and the need to find existing paperwork quickly. Getting your papers organized can give you a real advantage if you need to find papers in a hurry. You can make better and faster decisions when you have accurate, up-to-date information in front of you. Your family can also benefit if you’ve taken the time to organize because they can make better decisions on your behalf if ever you are unable to help.
You may have a lot of papers, but don’t be overwhelmed! Take small steps and set attainable, practical goals. Start with papers you are most familiar with. Then, try to anticipate future needs in small increments. What might your needs be six months from now? One year, or five years? Will you have a child entering college? Do you expect to retire? Anticipating the next stage in life can help you prioritize which areas to organize first.
Here are a few more steps you can take to get started:
- Gather your important documents using “Six steps to organizing your life” as a guide.
- Get a drop-file, fireproof filing cabinet.
- Fill out the LifeFolio Checklist.
- Update your information every six months, or as you experience a major change in life.
Be as thorough as you can. Your financial professional can help you complete the checklist if you get stuck. Don’t forget to consult an attorney or certified public accountant for legal or tax matters that come up or to obtain any related documentation. Think of the checklist as the “Table of Contents” for your financial life. A good "Table of Contents" can indicate a really good book!