Considering Downsizing? Here’s Some Important Planning Information

Posted on by Marsha Keller to Downsizing, Selling Tips

Are you considering downsizing? Maybe thinking of selling your large home and moving into something smaller? In today's digital age it's increasingly difficult to organize essential personal, financial and medical information. In the past, you could keep paper copies in safes, file cabinets or with an accountant. But in today's new electronic world, most paper copies never reach your mailbox. 

The world has changed and that's why working with a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) is so important. A (SRES) has special training designed to help you maneuver through all the challenges you will encounter through your journey and transisiton into the next phase of your life. Unfortunately, most people do a better job preparing for their taxes, than preparing for the future. Consider how not preparing now will impact the future for your loved ones. This is a guide to give you the first steps in securing the most important information. Here are some simple steps to help you prepare for the future:

Start gathering these important documents. Let your family members and others who are involved in your life know where they're located.

Planning 101: The Basic Documents

  • Instructional: wills and trust
  • Care planning: advance directive, living wills, and do not resuscitate
  • Financial: bank accounts, credit cards, investments, safety deposit box info, home mortgage information
  • Insurance: life, health, homeowner/renters, long-term care, disability
  • Benefits information: pensions, retirement, social security, veterans administration
  • Legal documents: real estate deed/titles, marriage/death certificates, divorce decrees
  • Arrangements: power of attorney, eldercare, funeral, dependents, pets

Planning 201: The Next Steps

  • Emergency contacts: with current email addresses and mobile numbers
  • Medicines: including notes on how they are taken, who prescribed them and why, which pharmacy filled them
  • Doctors: names, locations and specialties
  • Financial/legal service providers: list all lawyers, bankers, trust officers, financial advisors

Planning 301: Other Personal Information:

  • Identification: copies of your drivers license, medical/insurance cards, original social security card, passport, military ID, discharge papers
  • Employment timeline/resume: this is important, even for retirees, since it might be used to track down dates of employment and accounts that may not be recorded for benefits. For the same reason, you may want to list places you have lived and dates of residency
  • Vehicles: gather information on your cars/trucks/boats/RV, including VIN numbers, titles, any financing information, and related insurance details
  • Family/friends: basic information on your parents, children, next of kin, and closest friends. Include full legal name, physical address, cell/home/work numbers, place of employment, and another person who can reach them (a roommate, spouse, friend, co-worker)
  • Pet arrangements: your veterinarian, any medical issues, pet insurance, care instructions, and guidance on your pet's likes/dislikes
  • Personal budget: monthly bills, how they are paid, where income originates and is stored, and related access details
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