Many of us go through our careers and might change jobs a number of times before we finally settle into something we do for the majority of our lives, whilst others stick to one job from leaving school to the time they retire. What many don’t think about is how they can plan for their financial future, even if you’ve been the kind of person that has regularly paid into a pension scheme or made some kind of provision for when you reach your golden years. A lot of people don’t think they can consolidate retirement money they may have saved already or find that managing all the small pensions they have from the various companies becomes too much. Here’s a guide to managing your finances as you reach the later stages of your life and want to think about planning for the time you can relax and enjoy your freer time.
Start With All Your Paperwork
The most obvious place to start when you’re looking to consolidate retirement money is with your paperwork. If you’ve had a varied career or one that has involved many job changes or different pensions, then go through everything you own – it’s possible you could have many different accounts with money in that all add up. Make a list of all you bank accounts, savings accounts, pension accounts or any bonds you might have. Once you see it all in front of you it can make everything suddenly seem a little clearer in terms of what you have and what you own.
Do You Have Any Assets Lost?
Think about assets you’ve owned but might have lost track of over the years. This is another path to think about as you start to consolidate retirement money. If there are lost assets then there are ways of retrieving them and people you can contact to help you recover them. They’re listed below:
1.) Life Insurance: If you think you might have had a life insurance policy that you can’t trace, then the easiest way to move forward is to look online to find the company it was with then give them an email or a call to see if they can help. Very often they will be able to locate a policy and give you some advice on how to proceed.
2.) Savings Bonds: This used to be a somewhat difficult procedure but now all you need to do is log on to the government’s treasury website and go to the “individual” section and perform a search. If you have anything there it will show up and you’ll be able to assess how much you have.
3.) IRAS: The easiest way to find out about other retirement accounts is to locate the company they were with and again give them a call to see if they can help you. Sometimes companies may have changed hands or merged or be known by another name so they may be slightly more difficult to negotiate. However, if all else fails then you can contact an organisation such as the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators who will be able to assist you to consolidate your retirement money should you wish to go forward.
4.) Safe Deposit Boxes: If you had money in a bank which became insolvent, the money should have been turned over to the FDIC for safekeeping. You’d need to contact them to take it further forward and to see if the money can be reclaimed.
5.) Pensions: If you know you can claim pension money from a company you previously worked for then you should contact them to make arrangements to consolidate retirement money. If you worked for a company, had a pension but they went bust or out of business then you can contact the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to see if they can assist you in recovering any money you might have lost.
6.) Social Security: One of the best places to enquire to about to consolidate retirement money is Social Security. Many people are shocked to find out how much money they are sometimes owed from unclaimed wages and miscalculated benefit claims. Always worth looking into if all other areas have been exhausted and you feel you’ve got nowhere else left to turn to find a little extra financial help.
It pays to be smart and make sure you’re always on top of your finances. As well as giving you a clear way forward it can help you see where everything is and make managing your money a whole lot easier to deal with should there be any long term issues or, for instance, in the event of the death of a partner or loved one. Knowing where your money is means should the worst happen, it’s one less worry to have to deal with.