Are you ready for a financial fiasco?
How a financial go-bag can provide order during life’s unforeseen disasters
Disaster preparedness experts have us primed and ready for spring storm season and harsh winter weather. We know what essentials we will need in an emergency “go-bag” or kit to best prepare for these types of extreme weather situations. However, there is another type of preparedness kit that many people overlook. It is a financial security go-bag, and having one on the ready could save consumers and their families more than just headaches if disaster strikes.
“A financial security go-bag is a collection of one’s insurance policies, banking and investment accounts, birth certificate and other vital documents,” said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security at COUNTRY Financial®. “It’s essential you have these documents and others assembled in case you become sick, incapacitated or worse. We never know what could happen to us at any given moment.”
Many times close friends and family members don’t know much, if anything, about their loved-one’s personal financial information such as where they do their banking, what insurance policies they have or what their online account logins and passwords might be. Having this information assembled in one set place could offer a sense of relief if something unfortunate were to happen.
“Here in the modern age of mobile-banking, online account access and information security – it would be really difficult to track all this information down or gain access to it,” Buhrmann said. “Why not take the guesswork out and make it as easy as possible for family and friends by keeping personal affairs in order and on the ready.”
Consider adding this information to your financial security go-bag:
- List of banking/investment account numbers and their logins/passwords
- Insurance policies, account numbers and accompanying documents
- Real estate contracts, property deeds, vehicle titles, loans and debts
- List of active credit cards, account numbers and their logins/passwords
- Tax records, past returns
- Marriage, divorce, annulment, prenuptial agreement records
- Contact information for attorneys, financial representatives and doctors
- List of prescriptions and dosages
- List of social media accounts and their logins/passwords
This list is just for starters and is by no means exhaustive. Everyone is unique with their own set of circumstances. It may take weeks, even months to track everything down, but imagine how overwhelmed family and friends might be if they had to track down each document on their own.
Once ones’ information is in a set order and place, they should keep it updated and let their family and close friends know they have made changes. The go-bag should be kept in an inconspicuous location and they should only let people they trust know where to find it. If the unexpected ever does occur, they will be better prepared.