As time passes it may become more difficult for you to manage your finances and other areas of your life. There may be things you can do now, while your mind is sharp and you are able to make good decisions for yourself, to enable you to maintain your independence longer. Below are a few things to consider:
Holding stock certificates: If you are currently holding any stock certificates, consider depositing them into a brokerage account for safe keeping and to be able to list a beneficiary. You will then remove the risk of losing or misplacing it.
Direct deposit of all checks: Contact each company and arrange for direct deposit of all income checks to your checking or savings account. This includes pension, social security, dividends and any other checks you receive. If the check is sent to you, you need to get it to a financial institution to cash it, regardless of the weather or your ability to get there. Having the check in your hand does not help you in any way. Direct deposit can be a much better choice.
Direct payment of bills: The more bills you can have set up as “direct pay” the better it can be. This will eliminate the chance of you forgetting or misplacing the bill. And, can save you money on postage, envelopes and late fees.
Each of the above can help in the ongoing management of your finances. This may be especially helpful in the event someone else (such as a family member) needs to step in and assist you in the future.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Consult your tax advisor regarding any tax issues and your attorney regarding any legal issues prior to making any changes.
©Nancy Butler, September 2011