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As we get ever closer to retirement, I have found it very helpful to create a 3-ring notebook with dividers (home made out of old discarded file folders) for all the retirement accounts, Social Security info sheets, 401K investment reports, etc., for both my husband and myself.
Each divider is carefully labeled and the reports we receive are filed with the most recent one on the top of the appropriate section. Also in this notebook (by section) are all the insurance papers and policies along with contact info for each company, a copy of our living wills, a copy of our personal will, funeral and burial instructions, our lawyer's name, address, telephone number, as well as a section with pertinent bank account numbers, safety deposit box numbers and bank name, etc.
This allows me to track where these important papers are, but even more so, every one of our grown children know that the red notebook on the bottom shelf of the library in my office is the place where they will find every scrap of information they need should they be put into a position to have to handle this information on our behalf. This notebook, in existence for five years now, gives me incredible peace of mind.
By Ronsan from Southwest Missouri
Wonderful idea!! Since we are not leaving this Earth
a minute before it's time or before He says, unless we are foolish and bring about an early death, and because we cannot add one minute to our life, may the Prince of Peace be your HOPE and in your heart at all times. God bless you.
This is a great idea and everyone approaching retirement age should organize their paperwork like this. My father just passed away at the end of July and we have had quite a time sorting through all of his paperwork trying to find the necessary stuff among all of the meaningless junk (example- check registers, credit card statements from the '70s). Creating a well-organized notebook or file is a gift to yourself and helps you understand your financial status. But it's also a gift that continues to give after you are gone. Do your family this favor and they will be very grateful!
I have done basically the same thing and my daughter has a copy of it all, and she and my husband know the color of the folder in my desk, as I do not keep it out in the open. I also included internet passwords to important sites, a list of programs, subscriptions, social security, medicare, etc to notify/cancel.
She is on our bank accounts, and has the logins so she can transfer any money if something happens as she lives in another state.
I tried to think of everything I could so I would not leave anything to chance. I wanted my daughter and/or my husband to be able to immediately take over things without any difficulty. I go through it every so often and make sure it is all up to date. It does offer peace of mind knowing that when my time comes, all is ready to be taken over.