Spring Cleaning -- The Money Edition
Do you ever feel like your financial accounts are spread all over the place like shattered glass? Maybe you had a 401(k) at your first job, a savings account still open from a bank you no longer use, or retirement accounts at several different custodians.
Well then, it's time to spring clean!
Finding Old Accounts
Before you can put your money to work for you and your values, you have to locate it all.
According to Brian O'Connell (2020), there are many ways you can find out about old retirement accounts. He suggests calling your old employer, talking to old co-workers, or talking to your old employer's HR division.
The FDIC (2011) says you can search for lost bank accounts and other money sources through sites like Unclaimed or Missing Money. You should also review your credit report each year and close unused and old accounts. You can access your credit report for free each year at Free Credit Report.
You've Found Your Accounts. Now What?
Now it's time to talk to a qualified professional about how best to consolidate your different accounts. Certain combinations have tax implications, while others may not help you meet your savings and giving goals.
Principal Financial Services (2021) says there are sometimes benefits to consolidation. For example, consolidation can minimize fees and streamline tax planning.
But Dana Anspach (2019) warns that there are certain restrictions that you'll want to be aware of. For example, you can only do one IRA rollover per year and you can't move a current employer retirement plan.
Also, the pandemic has caused changes with retirement accounts and taxes, so you'll want to be aware of those implications as well.
Given that, it's wise to consult a financial advising professional.
Why Choose Ella Financial Advising?
Here at Ella Financial Advising, we create a partnership to help you align your money with your values. We don't just do traditional financial advising. We look at your finances as a whole, but we also look at you (and your significant other, if you have one) as a whole.
What are your hopes and dreams? How much money do you need and how much can you give away? What causes are you passionate about?
So, as you spring clean and consolidate or combine your money from various sources, ponder these important questions.
And if you're looking for a financial partner who can provide confidence and clarity around your money, call us!
Financial Spring Cleaning Checklist
Here are some suggestions for financial spring cleaning:
Locate all of your bank accounts, retirement accounts, properties, trusts, and other financial assets.
Figure out if it's a good idea to consolidate or combine them.
Think about how you want to use your money now and in the future.
Align your financial goals with your values.
The Sweet Side of Finance
Tune in to the blog on Tuesday (3/30) for the latest recipe (which my newsletter readers already know about).
Since we're talking about spring cleaning this month -- which involves finding all your financial items and consolidating them -- I decided our recipe should do the same. So, I went digging through my grandmother's recipe book and found just the right one!