Here’s Part IV of my thoughts on Consumer Reports’ ten steps to simplifying your financial life. Today we’ll be covering steps 9-10…
(9) Safeguard your financial identity. Put your outgoing letters in a post-office collection box instead of leaving them in your mailbox for pickup. A thief might beat your mail carrier to the door. Get your name removed from offers for preapproved credit cards and insurance by going to www.optoutprescreen.com or calling 888-5-OPT-OUT. (You will have to provide your Social Security number, but the service, operated by the major credit bureaus, is legitimate.)
Donâ€™t carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Photocopy the front and back of every card that you do carry. Keep your copies in a secure place in your home. If you lose your wallet, youâ€™ll be able to cancel those cards quickly.
(10) Draw up a durable power of attorney. Your financial life might be the very picture of simplicity while youâ€™re healthy enough to make your own decisions. But all of your hard work could blow up if you donâ€™t take this final step and hire a lawyer to draft a durable power of attorney for you. A DPA will permit someone you trust to safeguard your assets and pay your bills if you get sick and canâ€™t manage your own money.
My thoughts on these:
(10) Done. I would also recommend writing a will. While you won’t be around if/when it comes into play, it’ll certainly simplify your finances for whoever has to deal with what you leave behind. And if you have kids, you should seriously consider setting up a testamentary trust.