Spring is a time many of us think about cleaning out old items and reorganizing the necessities, and while they may not always be top of mind, financial and electronic items should not be missed in this process. Are your accounts still in line with your goals and current life stage? Do you know if updates are needed? Here are some important items to “spring clean” besides your closets and junk drawer.
1. Check Your Beneficiaries
Do you have beneficiaries on all your accounts? If so, are they still correct? There are many reasons beneficiaries may need to be updated, including (but not limited to):
- Life changes due to birth, death, marriage, divorce, or children who are no longer minors.
- New retirement/investment accounts opened or assets purchased, e.g., new home or car.
2. Update Passwords
In the digital world we live in with so much information stored electronically, it’s important to have strong, unique passwords for each account:
- Be sure to create new passwords for your accounts periodically. Some require this be done periodically, but doing this on all accounts is vital.
- Have a central storage location for your passwords:
- A password manager (LastPass or Keeper, for example) or password-protected spreadsheet is a great solution for keeping track of all passwords. Keeping the password storage location safe, secure, and up to date is critical.
3. Review Safe Deposit Box & Safes
If you keep important original documents and other valuables in a safe at your home or a safe deposit box at the bank, it’s good practice to confirm a few things periodically:
- Do the right people have access to this information? Who has a key/combination?
- What’s in the safe/safe deposit box? Do you need to add or remove items?
- Are the contents insured? This is great practice to review and confirm, saving you from a potential financial obligation if something happens.
4. Review Recurring Expenses
With the convenience of automatic payment features prevalent in today’s society, you may be enrolled in multiple monthly and/or quarterly subscriptions. Reviewing credit card charges or your checking account can help you see what recurring charges you’re paying for:
- Are you still using these goods/services?
- Are better prices/rates available for this same service somewhere else?
Any recurring expenses you are no longer using should be canceled, resulting in immediate savings.
5. Check Your Credit Score
Your credit score is important, but you may not think about it often, unless buying a new home or car. Here are some important things to consider while you’re in “cleaning” mode:
- Is the information correct? Dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report.
- •Are there changes? If so, make sure they are correct and not fraudulent activity.
If you aren’t happy with your current credit score, it can be improved by:
- Paying bills on time – Autopay may be the right solution for you.
- Paying off debt and keeping credit card balances low.
- Only opening new credit accounts as needed.
- Keeping unused credit cards open, as the length of having an account positively impacts your score.
Each of these items can be done throughout the year, but with spring cleaning on your mind, make sure to spring clean your financial and electronic items as well!
If you have any questions, contact your advisor or submit the Contact Us form below.