Think 'inside the box' to protect yourself

Thursday, Feb 18 2016 05:17 PM

Tip of the Week to welcome a prosperous Chinese New Year

From complicated passwords to smart home security systems, it seems like everyone these days is coming up with novel ways to protect themselves and their family and keep their valuables secure. We all want to feel safe. However, almost 60 percent of adults believe the overall level of risk facing their family - whether to personal safety or financial assets - is increasing, according to Travelers 2015 Consumer Risk Index. With so many creative and often confusing ways to achieve security, experts from the FBI to AARP agree that people need to start thinking “inside” of the box. That is, use a safe deposit box to store important documentation, jewelry, currency, collectibles and other valued possessions.

For baby boomers and seniors especially, thinking inside the box is one of the easiest, most effective and inexpensive ways to protect valued assets. It is important, however, to also remember their limits. Contrary to popular belief, safe deposit boxes are not insured by any financial institution or federal agency. 

Life transitions require blueprints

Life transitions are never easy and can often become entangled in unforeseen difficulties if a document is misplaced. The need to store important materials in a secure and accessible location, away from the shuffling of everyday life, is important. Wills, trusts, titles, legal directives for financial holdings and other documentation are critical to keeping your life in order, plus ensuring that those closest to you have a complete and organized ‘blueprint’ for executing and managing your personal and financial wishes.

Moving makes you more vulnerable

A Better Homes and Gardens survey found that 57 percent of boomers - amounting to almost 48 million - plan to move out of their current home. At the same time, their parents are often moving into assisted living facilities or retirement communities. These kinds of physical relocations increase the risk of having valuable property lost due to human error, theft or larceny and make your home more vulnerable to burglary. FBI crime report statistics show that of the approximately $2.6 billion in jewelry, precious metals, currency, notes and other documents stolen from homes, less than 8 percent was ever recovered.