What Financial Documents Should I Have?

If you’ve reached a new stage in life, such as graduating college, buying your first home, or having your first child, then now is the perfect time to review your finances and make sure all of your ducks are in a row. Or at least make sure they are all walking in the same direction. As you get older, there are some things that everyone should update, you don’t want to get yourself into an emergency, and realize that you aren’t prepared.

Let’s run through some examples.

What financial Documents do you need?
What financial Documents do you need?

Just graduated college? Now’s the time to write out a financial plan to pay offthose student loans. If you were skilled or lucky enough to land a job right out of school, you should also look at your retirement and benefit options. Make sure you don’t just take the first choice because it’s easiest. Give us a call and we’ll make sure you have the plan that works best for you. Don’t know the difference between defined benefit and defined contribution plans? Don’t worry, we’ll help you out.

Did you just buy a house? Better make sure you’re covered for insurance. If you had less than 20% down, then you are required to have private mortgage insurance (PMI) as well, but how much is enough, and how much is too much? (Do I need volcano insurance too?) The general idea is that you want enought insurance that the payout will cover the costs to replace any damage that may accrue. You could lose the roof in a storm, or your home could be burglarized. You’ll want to be covered in case of stolen jewelry, or paintings from your home as well.

Getting married? Congratulations! That is when you really need to get things prepared. Don’t feel like you need to get everything done in a week, but it’s helpful if you have a plan for when you are going to get the following things done. Now is the time to look at life insurance, investments, joint banking accounts, and getting started with your estate plan.

  • Life insurance: This is not supposed to be a savings account for your retirement. Some people will tell you otherwise. Don’t listen to them. Life insurance is to pay your family for the costs of burial, and replacing your income in case you die.
  • Investments: Open a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA, these will be helpful for you as you age. You can use contributions to these accounts for tax planning purposes, and you can save for retirement as you do it.
  • Joint Banking: Everyone has a different opinion about whether to use joint banking in their marriage. If you are open to it, then find a Credit Union in your area that you both will agree on, and make sure you both contribute approximately an even amount to the account. We’ve seen some fights between couples over one person contributing more than another.
  • Estate Planning: This one can be fairly quick if you are still young and don’t own many assets. It’s always a good idea to consult an estate planning attorney if you have any questions, but the basics can be covered with a will. (look at your local laws to see how to structure a will appropriately, or consult that attorney we mentioned before)

Trust us, making sure these things are handled now is the best thing you can give to your new spouse. If you work with Arbogast Advisers, we’ll also keep any documents you need on file in case you have an issue recovering them in the future.

When you move into a new stage of life, things can get complicated and scary. But your financials shouldn’t be that way. We’re here to make sure that you feel comfortable, and relaxed when it comes to your finances. So call or email us and we’ll get right to work making sure you are set up for success.

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