Sage Rutty recently announced five steps to take to help clean finances for spring.
“With the end of tax season, spring is the perfect time to declutter your financial life,” said Sage Rutty Financial Adviser Craig Gingerich. “Whether you realize it or not, filing for taxes has already jump-started your spring cleaning — you more than likely have already gone through all your paperwork and have a clearer understanding of your overall financial situation.”
Gingerich recommends gathering documents and setting aside a day to buckle down and complete a financial spring-cleaning checklist:
• Organize, organize, organize: Financial wellness is about feeling in control, and it’s hard to do so if files are in disarray. Take time to dispose of unnecessary files and organize documents by institution. Then store everything in a binder or an electronic filing system.
• Review financial statements: Not every financial statement is created equal, and not all are worthy of a place within files. A rule of thumb is that tax information should be maintained for seven years, bank statements for five years and hold onto the most recent retirement account statement and every year-end statement.
• Keep documents safe and secure: Important documents — such as birth certificates, vehicle titles, home deeds, Social Security cards and marriage and divorce certificates — should be kept in a home safe, not in a Social Security box. Because banks are not open 24/7, a good home safe is a better place to keep these key documents, as they may be needed in a hurry.
• Create a master list of key documents: Take time to review all permanent documents and form a master list to share with a trusted family member. In case of an emergency, it’s crucial that someone know where the papers are kept. Those who don’t have a relative or friend to trust, ask a lawyer to help.
• Consult your financial adviser: Spring is a perfect time to work with a financial adviser to review beneficiaries and consolidate like accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s and brokerage accounts. In addition, most institutions have industrial shredding capabilities for identification security.
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