Published by Lucky Taylor, Furniture Analyst
Although I am truly grateful to the Taylor family for employing me as a Furniture Analyst (which basically means that I just nap on couches all day and get paid for it!), I think that the time has come for a slight career change. Sure, I am uniquely qualified for my current job (my innate ability to lay motionless for hours at a time helps to establish the strengths and weaknesses of our furniture), but I am capable of so much more!
Therefore, I would like to formally apply to be a Dog of Wisdom. This is a very esteemed position for which you need many qualifications. Some important qualifications include: unique vocal abilities (I can whine for treats for hours), flawless physique (I have perfected my body through years of hard work as a Furniture Analyst), and champion chewing gifts (I was rejected from competing in Nathan’s Hot Dog challenge as it would have been no competition). As a Dog of Wisdom, I would use my years of knowledge to educate humans on the finer intricacies of life. After all, as Oscar Wilde says, “With age comes wisdom.” *
*Editor in chief, Debbie Taylor, would like to add that the full quote reads: “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.” -Oscar Wilde
For my first Token of Wisdom, I recommend that humans reconsider the merits of the safe deposit box. With digital records and cloud storage are becoming the norm, I believe that the safe deposit box still has its benefits. For example, you still need to be able to present certain original documents, rather than photocopies or reproductions. Below are 3 important things to keep in a safe deposit box.
- Social Security Number (SSN)
The SSN is possibly the most valuable piece of identity that identity thieves can steal. With your SSN, identity thieves can open financial accounts in your name and damage your credit, get medical care, taint your medical records, steal your benefits and deplete those resources. Essentially, a stolen SSN could mean a whole world of trouble for you. Therefore, I suggest safely storing your Social Security card in a safe deposit box (rather than your wallet), which will reduce the chances that the card will be stolen. If necessary, carry a copy in your wallet.
- Birth, Marriage, Divorce, and Death Certificates
These important records are rarely needed, but they can be expensive to replace if lost or stolen. Although government agencies can usually provide copies of these records, it can take weeks and cost more than $10 per certified record. For example, Virginia charges $12 per certified record, and it can take weeks to receive the document by mail. Instead of storing these documents in a box in your basement or leaving them lying around, consider placing them in a secure safe deposit box.
- Jewelry and Personal Items
Consider storing valuable jewelry and personal items in a safe deposit box (if they’re insured), as the bank does not insure your stored possessions. Off-premises coverage provided by homeowners insurance is often low, storing your items in a safe deposit box only makes sense if they are properly insured, so talk to an insurance company about your options. Regardless, if you possess expensive jewelry that is rarely-worn, consider placing it in a safe deposit box until a special occasion arises.
In conclusion, safe deposit boxes have many uses for keeping valuable items and documents safe. But remember not to store the only copies of your Will and estate planning documents in your safe deposit box, because your loved ones will be unable to access them in case something happens to you. And, don’t forget that all of our clients have access to WealthMatch, where we can electronically store all of your important documents, including deeds, estate planning documents and tax returns.
Personally, if I had a safe deposit box, I would want to store all of my precious items there (like squeaky toys and dog bones), but Debbie says that my toys are not likely to get stolen. She also mentioned something about how I would have more bones if I stopped digging holes for them in the yard and then forgetting where I left them…. Regardless, I hope that my Token of Wisdom taught you something new and got you thinking about the merits of safe deposit boxes. If you would like any additional advice, please feel free to contact the Taylor Financial Team for more assistance.
Till next time,