We each have a life story, penned without ink, read by the people around us. Who's writing your story?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Ready for Anything? When Life Redefines You - # 2

When's the last time you tore the house apart because you couldn't find an important document? And you had to have it that day? The more you searched, the more panicky you felt . . .  You found yourself muttering, "I know it's gotta be here somewhere . . ." Keep reading. I found the perfect solution!

This is the second post in a series designed to explore how to be prepared for the unexpected . . . how to be "ready" in advance for a crisis of any kind. So far we've looked at

Strategy # 1 - Examine your relationship with God.
Strategy # 2 - Check your relationships with others.
You can check out my last blog post HERE.

Today, we'll take a look at Strategy # 3 - Keep complete and accurate records with important information in one place. In one place . . . Ah-h-h wouldn't that be nice!

Barry and I began to gather our information and records in a more organized way after our car crash in 2003. It took a little time, but then we just had to update it once or twice a year. After he passed away in 2015, I could find much of the information I needed quickly.

Create a RED FILE

Find a notebook and fill it with clear heavyweight sheet protectors in which to place the following:

Birth certificates, death certificates, marriage license, divorce papers, adoption papers, passports, visas, citizenship papers, military papers, insurance policies, leases, deeds, cemetery deeds, titles, US Savings Bonds, income tax returns (the last seven years), wills, power of attorney (POA) documents.

Then type up the following information:
Personal: Full names of all family members, social security numbers, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, location of user names and passwords

Legal: Names and phone numbers of attorney(s), location of HIPAA forms, wills, power of attorney documents

Insurance: List each insurance company, policy numbers, and phone numbers/contact information for car insurance (VIN and license plate numbers), homeowners/renters insurance, life insurance, disability insurance

Medical: Health insurance company, ID numbers of each family member, monthly premium, location of contracts and insurance information, contact information, copies of insurance cards, HIPAA, names and phone numbers of primary care physicians, dentists, eye care specialists, etc., immunization records, blood types, allergy information, list of medications

Financial: Name and contact information of financial advisor
Assets – home, property, car(s), jewelry, coins, trusts

Credit/debit cards – type, account numbers, expiration dates, PINs, passwords, 1-800   numbers, line of credit; Paypal account – user name, password, PIN, accounts linked to

Mortgage company/bank - contact information, contract, monthly payment amount, amortization schedule, etc.

Bank accounts: savings, checking, money markets – name, address, and phone number of each bank, account numbers, what each account is used for

CDs – name, address, and phone number of each bank, account numbers, due dates, rate
Retirement funds – 401K, IRA accounts, pension information
Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities

Personal loans to others - location of contracts, pertinent information

Business accounts, location of business/partnership agreements

List of debts with all pertinent information/account numbers, contact information: credit card debts, car loans, home mortgage, home equity loans, personal debts, business loans, educational loans

Account information for:  EZ Pass, AAA, cell phones, utilities: gas, electric, water, sewer, garbage, landline, internet, newspaper delivery, snow removal, lawn services, name/phone number of tax accountant
Home History/Maintenance: roof, siding, windows, furnace, driveway, hot water heater

Store all this information in a safe place: a safe, a fireproof box, a safe deposit box . . .

Make your system work for you . . . and be sure your spouse knows where the red file is located. No more panicky moments when you're tearing your hair out! For more on the red file: http://theredfile.com/financial.html.

I'd love to read about your ideas on this topic. Here are a few suggestions from the ladies who attended the Women's LYFE Conference this past June: 

"Get a three-ring binder with plastic pages to keep in the car. Every time your car is serviced, place the receipt in the binder."

"Here is a system for storing user names and passwords: Use a 3 x 5 card ABC file. Use one card per organization, and list the information that goes with that organization. Easy to use at your desk."

"One thing the military suggests is to keep a magnet on the fridge with emergency information printed on it in case someone is incapacitated and emergency workers need to come to their aid. They are trained to look for information on or around the fridge. In our case this also includes clear instructions on how to reach a deployed spouse."

I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Images from bing.com    

No comments:

Post a Comment