Document Your Details

word docOnce the kids are more or less independent (or gone altogether), you should notice new, possibly, yawning gaps of time in your day. It probably won’t be as noticeable if you work outside the home. And, the additional time didn’t just suddenly appear all at once. It’s been gradually introduced over the years.

In any event, what to do with this newfound time can be a daunting question. Maybe it’s a job if you didn’t have one before. Or volunteer work. Or a new hobby. Or how about just getting organized? Finally.

One thing I highly recommend, if you haven’t already undertaken it, is to document the details of your life and keep it somewhere safe but accessible. Imagine you’re doing it for your spouse or kids in case something happens. I did this a number of years ago and it’s been invaluable without even having to face a disaster (knock on wood). I refer to it practically every day.

I have a Word document. If you don’t like the idea of keeping it on your hard drive, just save it to a disk and keep it locked up. In it:

– bank account info (accounts, PINs, banker names/numbers, website login info)
– mortgage and HELOC info
– info about our rentals
– insurance company and policies
– investment/401k/IRA/Mutual Fund details
– credit card info
– contacts (lawyer, accountant, life insurance agent)
– social security details
– driver’s license details
– passport details
– airmile accounts
– medical insurance details
– Verizon details

I’m talking 12 pages of information for us.

It took awhile to put it all together and it requires regular updating, when new credit cards arrive, licenses and passports are renewed, cellphone contracts extended, etc. But it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor. In the upper corner of the document, I include when it was last updated and where to find the original. In case something happens.

Knock on wood.

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