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Constructing Your Financial Organizer

by Scott Antritt
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financial_organizationThere are numerous suggestions and ideas on how to go about organizing your personal financial information. Go to Google and there will be pages upon pages of recommendations. Some are rather simple and others can be fairly complex. It doesn’t matter how you chose to get organized but you must choose some process that is easy to repeat and continue. Here are a few recommendations to organize the major financial items in your life for quick reference for you or your loved ones.


-          Purchase a 3-ring binder, 4” or larger
-          Organize as follows:
o   Contact information

  • Attorney, CPA, Financial Advisor and other important people in your financial life
o   Electronic Account Information
  • Website, username & passwords for all online accounts
o   Auto / Home/ Titles assets – Titles, Deeds, etc.
o   Bank/Brokerage/Investments/Retirement
  • Retain current and prior month statements
    • If you use electronic statements, make a note of that in this section
    • Shred all old records but be sure the cost basis is up to date on any investment holdings before doing so
    • I also like to keep a year end statement in a separate filing cabinet
o   Insurance – Auto, Home, Umbrella, Life, Health
  • Current Policy Information
    • No need to keep the entire policy here but a recent invoice or declaration page will suffice. (keep the policy in separate filing cabinet to save space in this binder)
o   Loans
  • Recent statement or information on any loanIf you have loans receivable be sure to include that information here as well
    • Home, auto, personal, etc
o   Tax records
  • Prior tax year filing
    • Keep all other years in separate filing cabinet
o   Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning
  • All current, executed estate-planning documents, as well as a list of beneficiary designations
  • Be sure to include where other copies are located – Attorney’s office, vault, etc

o   Finally – make a list of all recurring monthly bills and how they are currently paid – auto draft from bank or manually by check or electronic. Be sure to include due dates.

This process is efficient and takes very little time to throw out the old and put in the new information from month to month. It is flexible and allows you to add other information that you feel is necessary such as medical and employment information. Store it in a secure, fire proof location and be sure your spouse or trusted other knows where it is and has access to it in the event of an emergency.

Caldwell Trust Company

Caldwell Trust Company is an independent trust company with offices in Venice and Sarasota, Florida. Established in 1993, the firm currently manages over $800 million in assets for clients throughout the United States. The company offers a full range of fiduciary services to individuals, including services as trustee, custodian, investment adviser, financial manager and personal representative. Additionally, Caldwell manages 401(k) and 403(b) qualified retirement plans for employers. 

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