topic | life planning - legacy
Step 3: how to organize financial information . . .
Determining one's financial status provides the foundation for a financial plan - the key to being prepared, organized, and informed.
The forms below should be used for purposes of capturing information and sharing with family and advisors as appropriate.
- List cash accounts, certificates of deposit, money market funds, promissory notes, savings bonds etc. on form Liquid Assets.
- List bank and credit union cash accounts on form Accounts.
- List stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, etc. on form Investments.
- List household contents, art, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, and items stored outside the home on form Personal Property.
- List cars, boats, etc. on form Vehicles.
- List real estate property on form Real Estate Records.
- List limited partnerships, investment clubs, etc. on Other Assets.
- List current and previous job information on Employment Records.
- List Life Insurance information on the Life Insurance form.
List beneficiaries for private pension plans, life insurance polices, etc. on the appropriate forms. Having beneficiary designations can help avoid probate.
- List day-to-day bank and credit card accounts on form Accounts.
- List automatic deposits/deductions on form Deposits Deductions.
- List organization/subscription payments on Dues Subscriptions.
- List ongoing donations to charities on form Charities.
- Payments made regularly or renewing automatically should be listed on Other Payments.
The information gathered above can assist in determining:
- Net asset valuation
- Monthly expenses and forthcoming changes (up/down)
- Short term credit card debt
- Are the monthly expense obligations a problem?
- Is there enough money allocated for investment growth?
- Are credit card balances and associated interest rates a burden?
- Is there a plan to get 'debt free'?
- What can be cut?
- What are the retirement plans? Are we on track?
This quick analysis will result in a profound conclusion - that either the current financial plan is sound or in need of review. Now may be the time to have a "tune-up." Financial planning should be guided by a financial advisor.
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