If you’re having trouble keeping track of how old millennials are, you’re not alone. This generation was born between 1981 and 1996, which means that older millennials are already in their early forties while the youngest are still under 30 years old. And that range covers a variety of life experiences.
Millennials came of age during the Great Recession, accrued more educational loan debt than any prior generation, and came to be known as the first generation since the Great Depression not to outdo their parents in terms of wealth and homeownership.
But many members of this generation are well into their careers: this group currently makes up the majority of the global workforce and they are accruing wealth – if at their own pace.
With the right documents and tools, millennials can improve their life management skills to protect their financial assets. Here, we’ll first explain how documents like a will can help millennials manage their financial life and legacy. Then, we’ll note how a digital storage system makes it easy to reference, locate, and share their will and other associated documents.
Financial life management includes getting the right coverage and document security
Sometimes framed as the cousin of time management, life management is all about having the ability to handle, well, everything that must be taken care of in order to live a productive and fulfilling life.
To execute a successful life management plan, it’s important to have a firm handle on your financial life – and the documents that come with it. This includes holding appropriate insurance policies, including life insurance. It also means creating a will (and other appropriate documentation) to manage your financial legacy.
But financial life management isn’t just about creating or obtaining certain documents at any single point in time. It’s just as important to secure this information and ensure that the right people have access when necessary. The best way to do this is to store them in a cloud-based vault that’s designed specifically to secure and selectively share items as needed.
Make a plan: decide what’s next for your assets with a will
Millennials have heard for years that they just don’t have their lives in order, but this isn’t the case. This generation may have built their lives later than their parents or even Gen Xers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have valuable assets – or that they don’t need a will.
A staggering 68 percent of millennials don’t have a last will and testament, commonly referred to as a will. This means that their wishes regarding what happens to their possessions, financial assets, and children may not be carried out upon their death. Instead, their state’s intestate succession laws will both dictate child custody arrangements and determine who receives their estate.
With such high stakes, why don’t more millennials have wills? It’s partially due to this generation’s current age – it’s hard to think about the end of your life when you feel like you’re just reaching your prime. But it’s still helpful to plan for tomorrow so you can stay prepared for anything.
One way to start planning: preserve your wishes in a will. With the right components, a will can help you maintain agency over your wishes and legacy.
What should go in a will? Make sure to include these elements:
- Your personal information. This establishes the will document as yours.
- The document’s purpose. For legal purposes, be explicit that this is your “last will and testament.”
- Assets. Detail which assets – bank accounts, investments, real estate, etc. – should be transferred.
- Beneficiaries. Clearly state who should receive which assets and detail their relationship to you (e.g., parent, spouse, child, etc.).
- An executor appointment. If the worst happens, the named executor will be responsible for carrying out your affairs – including the execution of your will.
- An appointed guardian. If you have children, this section will note who will receive custody.
Once you’ve drafted your will, keep a digital record of that document. Then, make your wishes – and all associated documents – available to the right people for easy reference and action.
Get organized for the long term with a digital storage system
Whether you rely on an old-school file cabinet with folders for each fiscal year or you use a bevy of apps to do your taxes, manage your bank accounts, and monitor your investments, it’s likely you’re missing one piece of the puzzle: a secure, centralized location where you can store and easily retrieve all critical pieces of information, from monthly bank statements to digital copies of your tax returns.
There are many techniques to help you get organized, but rather than limiting yourself to a tool designed solely to store your documents, select a robust solution that’s made to help you organize, store, and share all the items and memories that matter to you – from family photos to audio files to your business records.
The best digital storage system is the tool designed to secure what matters most to you – and that list of things, images, and memories will only grow with time. By starting today, millennials can set themselves up for better life management. When you can digitally reference your life essentials when you need them, you’ll have the right files available to stay prepared every day.