Alpers Financial Planning moved recently – to a convenient new location on Gleneagle Drive. Sorting, deciding what to keep, what to upgrade, packing, transporting, unpacking, arranging files, etc. was a 1 week event. Setting up the technology, getting computers to talk to the printers they are supposed to talk to, establishing our network, backup, security, new phone system, furniture delivery, setup and arranging was another week. The ongoing final touches to make it what we have envisioned has been the fun part. A huge thank you to our tech guy, Eric, the voice and data technician, Aaron, the build out crew from the building, and of course, Brian, Michelle, and Jeff. It was gratifying to see everyone coordinating so well to settle us in. We look forward to meeting our clients in our new space.
This endeavor reminds me of talking with clients about organizing their financial lives. Undoubtedly most everyone has had a few moves, and even between moves, it is wise to survey your overall organization of financial, estate, insurance documents and other legal documents. Briefly, and not inclusive, your tax returns should remain on file for 7 years, longer if they relate to an existing business, installment sale, some active trusts, carryforward losses, etc. Your current insurance policies, mortgage documents and latest Wills and Trusts should be secured with at least one beneficiary or attorney knowing how to access them. Your online passwords should be secured with access available to those someday needing this information. We provide new clients with a home organizer and while some prefer to do all online storage, we encourage physical filing of the most important papers that may need accessing quickly. Many have a home safe or a safety deposit box. The well written article below discusses various password protection options, depending on complexity and security needs. Be certain once you decide how to store passwords that whoever needs access in the event of an emergency, is in the know. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2014/08/07/how-to-keep-track-of-your-passwords-without-going-insane/
Another thought I had during the move was the importance of balance between simplifying and keeping what will serve a useful purpose or enhance one’s life. In our personal lives, this includes determining the difference between cherished personal property, collections, memorabilia, useful or comfort possessions versus unnecessary clutter or junk. It is a good idea to basically “clean house” every now and then. There is something quite gratifying about simplifying, from giving away old DVDs or even VHS tapes, purging your closets of clothes not worn for several seasons or ones that no longer fit, cleaning out drawers and generously giving away toys no longer used or needed. Remember, they’ve created shows about hoarding. Just be sure it is your possessions you are decluttering, and not another family member’s, unless you have their permission. We hear stories of regret about throwing out someone else’s prized “fill in the blank” rather than giving it to him/her to decide its future.
What I like most about this exercise is that there is strong evidence decluttering lowers tension, refocuses our minds, brings peace, and a sense of order and rejuvenation. I enjoyed reading this blog written by Erin the Organizer. http://www.chicagonow.com/organizing-with-erin/2013/01/the-physical-and-mental-benefits-of-decluttering/
Happy last days of summer, and maybe this fall you can carve out a time for fall cleaning as you contemplate raking leaves. And come by to see our new office.