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Financial Planning for Life

by Mark Fischer
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September 2009 Archives

Whatcha got?

Do you know what you have and where it is? Where are your critical papers? Where is your money, and by the way, how much is there for your different objectives?

Here are just some things that you should consider organizing and why you might want to do so:

  • Critical papers - so you can find them when you need them.
  • Money - so you have it when you want it.
  • Bills - to avoid late fees.
  • Tax information - to minimize taxes and fight off the IRS if they misinterpret the facts.
  • Legal information and documents - to assure what happens when you are not around or able to do things yourself.
  • Health and prescription information - so you or someone else can get what you need in a medical emergency.
  • Important people list - to get help and support from the right people when needed.

Getting organized frees you up and saves you time. It improves efficiency and effectiveness. For example, when you organize your clothes and decide what to give and throw away, you have more room and can find things more easily. This is also true for papers - that is why smart people invented filing cabinets (and computers and scanners!). Consolidating investments lets you track and manage them more easily.

Getting organized lets you know what you have. It helps you to prioritize your next steps and simplify your life, if that is what you want. In fact, it is the first step in planning for the future.

Some people enjoy getting organized - at least some of their things. For others it is about as much fun as having their teeth pulled out. What if you hate doing the work or have no time or skills to do it right yourself? Then you can find someone else who actually enjoys (or will accept pay for) doing what you do not want to do - and you can spend your own time doing what you really want to do.