My Dad passed away suddenly & was a teacher in life & remained one moving forward. This series of life lessons will periodically appear on our blog. I am a big believer the positive items of the past need to be revisited & one of the many lessons he taught me was organization of your financial life.
After a tear-filled session putting into action his last wishes, which by the way were already determined & paid for. My mom & I set about putting together the her life without my Dad. What an overwhelming task was ahead of us! While I messed with putting the day-to-day living in place, she worked through the file box & notified the organizations. The first item on the agenda was social security & pensions.
Then under his desk we found a black-lidded plastic portable file holder. As we opened it we found all aspects of his financial life were accounted for. So the overwhelming task became less so, since not only were all the account numbers, contact phone numbers accounted for, the files were easy to read in his block printing style.
If my Dad’s legacy of teaching can move forward a new generation, he will be continuing his life work. As a fellow teacher blogger has taught me, life is a series of transitions.
1.) Will/Estate/Trust copies & where to locate the originals
2.) Social Security info.
3.) Pension info.
4.) Bank info.
5.) Investment info.
6.) Life insurance
7.) Car info.
8.) Home info.
9.) Death instructions/info.
10.) Health insurance
I came home and did the same for my husband. I do most things on-line so, I included passwords, login information, & account numbers. Sometimes, there was nothing in the folder but, the info I had written. Maybe one piece of paper with all the access codes would have been less cumbersome but, I was paying homage to my Dad-so I did it his way!
What if something happened to me, as the keeper of our financial life, where would he look? It is not something you think about at a young age but even if you don’t have the item, create a folder as a holder for it later. This life lesson re-taught me that life is fragile & preparation will help those left. By having everything in order, it gave us time to grieve, re-organize our lives, & be able to move on concentrating on happy memories.
Illinois State University (my father’s undergrad teaching degree was from here)