4 Money Must-dos If You Want Basic Financial Security

Most mistakes can be fixed. With regard to your financial safety, there are a few things you can goof up that can cause long-term and sometimes irreparable mistakes. What really matters when it comes to financial safety?

Financial documents My two millennial children aren't into paper documents. They've fully given themselves over to the cloud. I get it. I've physically lost airplane boarding passes, shopping receipts and insurance cards, only to be saved by finding the electronic version on my email.

However, in 2020 you still need to be able to clutch a few key docs in your sweaty palm. Hard-copy documents will help you prove your identity and justify well-deserved benefits if your identity is stolen or key electronic keys are irreparably compromised. Here's a list:

  • Original birth, adoption, marriage and death certificates and Social Security cards (and copies kept in a different location).

  • Current and expired passports and passport cards (and copies kept in a different location).

  • Last will and testament.

  • A list of your credit card numbers, expiration dates and CVC codes, because these are no longer available on your statements.

  • Military discharge information, including DD214 and Certificate of Eligibility.

  • Social Security retirement benefits estimate. (Just one for each family member. Info is online, but a printed-out copy can be useful if identity theft occurs.)

  • Tax return (returns and W-2 forms for the last few years).

  • Financial and investment-related statements. (Just one of each will do.)

  • Original loan documents (student loans, mortgage, car, etc.)