Retirement Planning and the I.C.E Folder
I am a big advocate of privacy. But when it comes to our financial matters there is a downside to it that we must address, especially retirees.
We are increasingly going online to access our accounts, get bills and statements etc. in an electronic format. Living our financial life on the internet demands that we be careful to guard our privacy. Most institutions do a good job to remind us to be careful, change passwords regularly, use more abstract passwords etc.
Unintended consequence: for most of us, our financial lives get complicated with multiple accounts, multiple email accounts and multiple passwords. All this happens gradually; we never intended life to get so cluttered.
But, what if something happens to you? Now suddenly all the privacy, security controls etc. work against your family. Can your spouse or children get to your accounts without access to passwords? Do they even know where to go and where the accounts are? Might you lose them to escheat?
And this can cost a lot in aggravation and in opportunity costs.
So, one solution is to create an I.C.E (“In Case of Emergency”) folder, and keep it updated. This keeps a record of all your important data so that people you trust can get to it in an emergency. A good starting point for this is our Personal Document Locator. (Email me if you would like a copy).