In July of 1996, I attended a movie in the theater. This would be the only movie that I have ever seen more than once in theater seats. Independence Day. A great flick, culminated by a fantastic and moving speech given by Bill Pullman. “…today we celebrate our Independence Day.”
July also brings us to a mid-point in the year. This is a good time to take stock on the first half and do any planning for the second half. Let me get you started. How about start with a list.
A few years ago, I had the crazy and headache resulting idea that I would like to know where all of our accounts were at. I think back to when I was a teenager and only had a checking and savings account. Initially, I didn’t think this process would be too difficult. I made a list that would help me jog my memory. It included checking, savings, old and current 401Ks, investments, insurance policies and even the places that we have debt or credit accounts. I then compared this list to what is listed on my credit report to find out that there were more accounts open than I even realized. By the time the spreadsheet was completed, I had over 200 accounts listed for my wife and I. A long way from the teenager Dan Rundahl simplicity. I wanted to start a list, not draft my memoirs. This exhausting project morphed into the alternative nature of why I performed this practice. As the primary finance person in our house, I take for granted that what is in my head of knowledge doesn’t exist in a simple to understand form for those that may need to “take the baton” if I were gone.
There is an old saying that says “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I get the philosophy of the statement, but I never thought that I would personally find a way to create over 200 Easter baskets to accounts that we have. As we work with our clients, we always aim to simplify their retirement plans and end of life estate planning needs. Although, this forced headache took us over 25 years to create, and a few weeks to track down, the end result has a purpose. This 4th of July, as you are meeting with family and friends, catching a BBQ, and relaxing with a cold drink in hand, there are many things you will do…and not do. Have the end-of-life discussion with your kids and grandkids is likely not one of them. I urge you to take stock in your halfway point of this year and get some of your “life’s accounts in order.” The headache will ultimately be worth it.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office to see if we can offer you any assistance with this or any of your other financial needs. Best wishes for a safe and happy Independence Day.