Financial planning isn’t about maximizing investment
returns, minimizing taxes, or developing strategies to pay less for college or
beef up your Social Security check.
It’s really about structuring your personal and financial
resources so you can get more joy and happiness from life. That means making
the most of the next 90 days, even if it’s not always very summerlike outside.
As a planner, I am fond of lists. I love to create them and
attach them to walls, refrigerators and computer monitors. Sometimes I even get
to experience the sweet satisfaction of crossing things off them.
I find that a good list not only helps me define and
prioritize my goals, it helps me remember what I wanted to do in the first
Without a good list, I am likely to find myself at the MN State Fair wondering how I managed to let another summer slip through my fingers.
Borrowing from the wildly popular “KonMari method” of getting your life organized, getting your financial affairs in order may start with getting rid of any unnecessary documents that may be cluttering up your life.
While very few financial documents may spark actual joy to
your life, I suggest saving only those documents that may have some value in
the future. Shred the rest.
On May 7th, Focus Financial hosted its 5th annual shredding event in which clients can bring their personal documents to be shredded by a professional shredding company. Shred-it of MN provides “secure document destruction” services to over 300,000 customers around the world, as well as community Shred-it events like the one we are hosting.
To learn more about hosting a Shred-it event for your
business or organization, read
this blog post.
tips on what documents to keep and what you should destroy.
forever. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but the
following documents should be kept in a secure place forever.
ID cards and
wills, power of attorney, and other legal documents
vehicles you own
and mortgage documents
returns. Most experts recommend keeping your tax returns for up to
seven years. However, once your return is organized and stored in a safe place,
I say keep it forever. Odds are your tax returns aren’t taking up that much
space. Besides, there are some situations in which the IRS can go back and
audit you indefinitely.
For a more detailed list of what documents to keep and for how
long, check out this article by Consumer
The Focus Financial Shred-it event has also become a fun opportunity to spend time with clients in a fun and decidedly non-work atmosphere – Able Seedhouse + Brewery, in this case.
Food, beer, good music and the promise of a more organized financial life, is there a better way to spend a nice spring evening?
One of the most common questions people ask about Social Security is when they should start taking benefits.
This is the $64,000 question. Making the right decision for you can have a meaningful impact on your financial income in retirement.
Before considering how personal circumstances and objectives may play into your decision, it may be helpful to preface that discussion with an illustration of how benefits may differ based upon the age at which you commence taking Social Security.
As the accompanying chart reflects, the amount you receive will be based upon the age at which you begin taking benefits.
It’s probably no coincidence that the year ends at the same time we experience the longest nights and coldest days; a perfect excuse to spend a little extra time with family, reflect on the past 365 days and consider what may be ahead in the coming New Year.
If you are reading this, it is likely during those quiet days between Christmas and the New Year holiday where time seems to slow just enough for us to count our blessings and prepare for the coming new year.
A new year brings uncertainty, but also hope for a better future.
In the weeks and months that lie ahead I will roll out major changes to my website, update how we communicate with our people, and possibly even add some new people to my team. I can’t wait to share all this and more with you in 2019.
My blog posts will resume their regular weekly schedule in January. Until then, I wish you and your family a safe and blessed holiday season.