Goals are helpful but everyone always complains about how hard New Year’s resolutions are to keep. So what can you do to make the New Year financially successful and ensure that goals you set in January don’t end up on the back burner by February? Here are some of my thoughts about money and personal organization that can bring a lot of success to your financial life in 2017:
New Year Challenge: During the first month of the year, sit down with your spouse and start the discussion by announcing that you are dead, at least on paper. Then begin asking him or her the following thought-provoking questions and see how many of them they can answer without any prompting from you. This little exercise will reveal just how organized you are financially (oh, and how well you can communicate about such things).
- How much life insurance do I have on my life?
- Where is the policy?
- Who is the agent to call and report my death?
- How much debt do I have?
- Will you have to sell the house or refinance the mortgage, and how do you find out which you will need to do?
- Do I have any savings or safety deposit boxes?
- What investments do I have?
- Do I have a will or trust?
- How long will it take to clear assets and take ownership of the trust
- Who is the executor of my estate?
- Do I have a burial plot paid for?
- Does anyone owe me money, and how can you find out?
- Where do I keep my tax returns and who prepares them?
- Does Social Security pay a death benefit to you upon my death?
- How much will Social Security pay you when I die, and why/when?
- What attorney should you use and what will be his/her average costs to settle the estate?
- Where will the funeral be held and what will it cost?
Now you may be thinking that some of these questions most couples would know the answer to, together. But you might be surprised by how many spouses stay completely out of the finances and let the other partner handle everything. When their spouse dies, they have no idea what to do or what problems they may have to handle. Asking these questions gets you both thinking and gives you a chance to review exactly what each partner knows or doesn’t know and what needs to be done to get on top of things financially so BOTH people are taking responsibility for the financial success of the marriage.
I urge yo to take this challenge in the New Year as a catalyst for getting completely and totally organized financially. For more ideas on financial organization, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Money Mastery Master Planner organizational system I use personally and with my clients will totally change your life and help make 2017 the best year ever!