“Knowledge Is Powerful” Check List
You may be called upon at any time to discuss your personal finances. Follow these steps to empower yourself for whatever the future may hold.
- Assume financial responsibility for yourself. Establish your own credit by getting a credit card in your own name and create a record of on-time payments. If you do not have a checking and savings account in your own name, now is the time to open them.
- Educate yourself about what you have (assets), what you owe (liabilities), and what is your net worth (assets minus liabilities equal net worth). Ask questions to understand your assets including any held by your spouse.
- Prepare a will. Choose your trustees and executors wisely and update your will frequently to reflect changes such as marriage, divorce, birth of children, or a major change in your financial position.
- Regularly photograph the contents of safe deposit boxes and always know where to find your key! This holds true for anything in a home vault.
- Don’t be afraid of today’s technology. To keep up you must explore resources on the Internet. Take a course through local adult education program. Know how to send email and surf the Internet. Many public libraries offer access to the Internet; a librarian will be able to help in your research.
- Hire the most talented people you can find to help with your financial affairs. These individuals should be able to give you objective, impartial advice and work as your advocate.
- If you are divorced or widowed, do not rush into any investments with your money. You may need some time to sort through your emotions. Take your time.
- Most of all, trust yourself. Your instincts and common sense can go a long way in the world of finance and investments.