For the past several weeks, I have been providing step by step tips to help people become more financially organized in an area where most people are particularly challenged—maintaining financial documents. This is the LAST STEP (you can start the first one here)! We’ll be talking about the kinds of documents you need to keep forever, and where you should store them.
A “forever” document is pretty self-explanatory; something you need to hang onto forever. Enough said, list to follow!
Storage Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated
You’ll want to invest in a fire-proof and water-resistant safe/file/container—hopefully something you can pick up and carry, should you need to! Here’s one on Amazon that fits the bill for about $55, but I saw them for even cheaper than that on eBay:
Why Don’t I Just Get A Safety Deposit Box At The Bank?
You COULD put the documents in a safety-deposit box at the bank, but you don’t have access to that all of the time. Some of this stuff you want to be able to grab at a moment’s notice, and I know if I had to run to the bank every time I needed one, I’d never go! I have issues going regularly to deposit money. And, if you become incapacitated for any reason and loved ones have to take over, they might not even be able to get access to anything stored at the bank.
These are the “forever” documents:
- Birth Certificate
- Adoption Papers
- Social Security Card
- Paid Off Mortgages
- Marriage License
- Divorce Decree
- Wills, POAs, Health Directives
- Death Certificates
Even though they are not “forever” documents, you can also store passports and automobile titles here too.
ACTIONS THIS WEEK:
- Buy a fireproof, waterproof box to store your “forever” documents.
- Gather your documents and store them in the box when you get it.
- Find a nice, out-of-the-way place for the box to live.
YOU’RE DONE! You made it through every step of getting your financial documents more organized, congratulations! If you need to go back and review the steps, you can start here.