Organizing Your Important Financial Papers

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Transcript Organizing Your Important Financial Papers

Presented by:
Jana Darrington,
FCS Agent,
Utah County
Created by:
Salt Lake County
Getting Your Financial
Affairs in Order
Adapted From:
Teresa Hunsaker , B.S. FCS Agent, Weber County, USU Extension
Marilyn Albertson, MS, CFCS, FCS Agent, Salt Lake County USU
SuzAnne Jorgensen, MS, CFCS, FCS Agent, Garfield County USU
Julie Ingersoll, MS, CFCS, FCS Agent, Kane County USU Extension
Susan Cosgrove, Area Family Resource Management Agent,
Mississippi State University Extension
LSU Ag Center
State of Mississippi
University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Are You Prepared?
 What events or situations would
require you to have a portable
document detailing your financial
affairs to take with you out of your
 Could you get it quickly?
Are You Prepared for Emergencies?
 Natural Disasters
Chemical/Bio Hazard
Medical Emergency
Death of a Family
Is Your Household Prepared for an
 Do you know what kind of homeowners insurance
coverage you have and how extensive it would be if
there be a flood, earthquake, theft, or other natural
 How much medical insurance do you have and would
it cover a severe illness, disability or hospitalization?
 Do you have a life insurance policy adequate to
cover needs of your family if you or your spouse were
to die? If single, do you have adequate insurance to
cover your bills and other expenses?
Take a Look at Your Record Keeping
 Do you have important documents stored
 Do you know how long to store different types of
 Do you have files set up for
 Family Records
 Property Records
 Financial Records
 Legal Records
Take a Look at Your Record Keeping
 Do you have a current household inventory?
 Do you have a financial notebook prepared
for an emergency?
Why Organize?
 Have you ever forgotten to pay a bill
because you misplaced it?
 Have you ever spent hours looking for your
insurance policy?
 Do you ever find yourself searching
through mountains of paperwork for just
one receipt?
 If you answered yes to any of these
questions, it’s probably time for you to
get your financial records in order!
Getting Organized
 Time. Set aside several hours of one-on-one time for you
and your financial records.
 Space. Find a spot where you can spread out for a while.
 Game plan.
Place. Designate a specific place to keep your records.
Routine. Set a schedule for handling papers and records.
Financial Binder – contact information & documents
Filing Cabinet – several years worth of records
Safe deposit box – valuable or hard-to-replace documents
First Saturday of each month or Last Day of each month
Decide on a time and make an appointment to keep it!
Person. If you share finances with another adult, decide
who will take charge. Keep your partner involved. For
singles, keep a trusted relative or friend informed about
your records.
Getting Your Home System Started
 Current Files. Files for records or transactions that
accumulate during the year. The important files will be
moved to the permanent file at the end of the year.
EX: Bank statements, medical records, bills (paid and to-bepaid)
Easily accessible filing cabinet, box, or binder
 Permanent Files. On-going records that are used only
on occasion, but need to be kept. Update annually or as
Filing cabinet, bankers box of records, or Financial Binder
 Dead Storage. Records of uncertain value or those you
are uncomfortable discarding.
 When Discarding Records, be careful. Many documents
contain sensitive information. Investing in a cross-cut
paper shredder is a wise idea to avoid identity theft!
Discarding Documents
Bank Statements
Keep for 6 years
Canceled Checks relating to tax deductions
Keep for 6 years
Keep until Updated
Credit Card account numbers
Keep until Updated
Home purchase & improvement records
Keep as long as you own property
Investment records
Keep for 6 years after tax deadline for year of sale
Loan agreements
Keep until paid in full
Real Estate deeds
Keep until transferred
Receipts for large purchases
Keep until sold or discard
Service contracts & warranties
Keep until expiration (unless part of taxes)
Tax returns
Keep 6 years from filing date
Vehicle titles
Keep until sale or disposal
Keep until Updated
Insurance records
Keep until Updated
Record of Important Papers
 Knowing what you already have can help you
decide which important papers you will need to
start organizing and/or updating.
 Fill out the Record of Important Papers
interactive form and save it to your computer's
hard drive. (
 Be sure to update the information at least once a
 What to Keep, Where, and for How Long? (click on
link to open PDF document)
Financial Information Binder
 Why?
 Provides a quick reference to your entire financial
 Readily available personal, medical, & financial
information for you or someone else to manage
your affairs if you are unable to do so.
 Update a Financial Information Binder annually
and whenever a significant change (such as a
birth, death, marriage, divorce, relocation,
purchase or sale of assets, etc) occurs.
What you need
 Sturdy 3-ring binder.
 At least 16 index dividers. You will label the
dividers with the titles of your Notebook items.
 Plastic page protectors.
 College-ruled notebook paper.
 On a piece of scratch paper or note paper,
please write down all the telephone numbers
of people you would call in an emergency.
 What numbers do
you think it would
be important to
Suggested Binder Items
 Personal Directory. People who should be
notified in case of death, incapacitation, or any
other emergency.
 Professional Directory. Medical, business, legal,
religious, professional contacts.
 Financial Information. Information related to
your checking/savings accounts, wills, trusts,
loans, investments, credit cards, etc.
Suggested Binder Items
 Goals List. Short, medium, & long-term goals
can be listed here.
 Personal Property Inventory. Should include all
personal property that you own. This
information is used for net worth statement and
for insurance purposes. Take photos and list
estimated worth where possible.
Break it into steps, rooms, or assign to family
members so it isn’t too much at one time.
Suggested Binder Items
 Net Worth Statement/Income-Expense
Statement. Include all assets and liabilities.
 Budget/Special Expenses. Annual spending
plan, cash flow statement.
 Loan Papers. All agreements you are in
 Income Tax Information and Documents. All
information that will be necessary when filing
your taxes.
 Rental or Lease Agreements. All agreements
you are in currently.
Suggested Binder Items
 Insurance Policies. Types of policies, company
names, and policy numbers.
 Social Security Benefits Statement.
 IRA or 401K statements.
 Birth Certificates, Immunization Records,
Social Security Cards. If these items are not
stored here, list where they are so you can find
them when you need them.
Suggested Binder Items
 Credit Report. You can get a free credit report
once a year, so keep your most current copy here.
Shred the one you’ve replaced.
 Paycheck stubs. Keep track of how much you
have earned by keeping your check stubs
Other suggested Items to Add:
 Cash in waterproof bag
Bills & rolls of quarters
 Valuable photos & negatives
in waterproof bag
 Contact Info for:
Credit card companies
Repair contractors
Other suggested Items to Add:
 Most original documents should be
kept in a safe deposit box or at
another location
 Copies of…
 Homeowners,
auto, flood, renter’s
insurance policies AND policy
 Health, dental, and/or prescription
insurance cards & numbers
Other suggested Items to Add:
 Copies of…
 Medical
Illnesses, surgeries, diseases
 Important
 Eyeglasses
 Children’s
immunization records
Other suggested Items to Add:
 Copies of…
 Deeds
 Titles
 Wills
&/ trust documents
 Durable power of attorney
 Healthcare directives
Other suggested Items to Add:
 Copies of…
 Stock
and bond certificates
 Home inventory
 Birth, death, adoption and marriage
 Passports
 Employee benefit documents
Other suggested Items to Add:
 Copies of…
 First two pages of previous year’s
federal and state income tax returns
 Military service records
 Back-up of computerized financial
 Keys to safe deposit box
 Combination to safe
 Labeled photos of family members
and pets
 Negatives/disks of irreplaceable
 User names, passwords
 List of debt obligations with due
dates, contact information
 Photocopies, front and back, of all
credit cards
List of Important Numbers
 Social Security (keep original card
here or in safe deposit box)
 Bank account
 Loan
 Credit card
 Driver’s license
 Investment account
Digital Files
 Scan your documents
 Store on flash drive
and CD
 If
you use a flash drive,
always back up on CD
 NOTE: Computer files
are not 100% safe;
always have a back-up
Be Prepared for Disaster
Assemble an
“To-Go” Box… or
Information Binder
Assembling “To-Go” Box
Step 1
 Place items in folders or
 Place in sealed, waterproof
 Store in durable, sealed box
Fireproof & waterproof is
Assembling “To-Go” Box
Step 2
Store box at home
location easy to
Assembling “To-Go” Box
Step 3
 If you must evacuate grab
box and take it with you
 Keep
box with you at all
 Do not leave box
unattended in your car
Update “To Go” Box
 Review annually
 Update
 Add or delete as
Planning & Preparation
Can prevent the unexpected from
becoming a harsh financial reality
Additional Preparedness tips…
72 hours kits—maintained and
reviewed—grab your “to go”box
and your kit together.
Car kits for travel emergencies.
Carry-on kits for airplane travel
Airline Carry-on Kit Contents
 Cell phone charger/important numbers
 Emergency ID card
 Cash
 Moist towelettes/kleenex
 Carry some food for backup
 Drinks—buy once you get through security
 Change of clothing/personal hygiene
 Mylar blanket
 Mark your luggage so it stands out
Sources of Information
 American
Red Cross
 FDIC—for financial document info
 EDEN—Extension Disaster Education
 from Homeland Security, or
1-800-Be Ready
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