Anyone else always shocked by how exhausting adulting is? There’s always some thing to be written, chore to be done, errant to run. Of course, as an adult, you have more freedom, but you also have more responsibilities too, and many of these responsibilities come in the form of documents that enable you to manage your affairs more effectively.
With that in mind, here is a list of documents that every adult needs:
1. A Decent Resume
Most adults need to work and as such, it is vitally important that you have a decent resume typed up and ready for whenever you need it. Even if you think you have a job for life or you have no plans to look for a new position any time soon, having a resume that is up to date and ready to go is so important because, should the worst happen and you need to look for a new job, you will be able to do so quickly without quite as much stress.
If you can afford it, you might even want to pay someone to create a rocking resume for you, so that you can stand out from the crowd and beat the competition.
2. A Career plan
In a similar vein, you may also want to sit down and draw up your very own career plan. Why? Because unless you want to stagnate in your working life, you need to have an idea of where you want to be and what you want to do now, in five years from now and even a decade down the line. A career plan will help you to work out the steps you need to take to get from your current position to your dream position.
It can be really basic or incredibly detailed, but having something written down that outlines the skills you need to acquire, the people you need to meet and the work you need to do to get where you want to be, boost your salary and have a job you truly love, can only ever be beneficial.
3. A Budget
Now, I’m personally awful at this, but I know a budget is something we all need. A budget helps you to understand exactly how much money you have coming in and going out in the form of bills and purchases, so you can more carefully plan how and where you spend your money. It will enable you to make smarter financial choices so that you can save, invest and build up a decent pension pot for your future. When you know where you stand, you can start plotting a route to where you want to be.
4. A Balance Sheet
On a related note, creating a balance sheet can also help you to get to grips with your finances in a sensible, adult way. Basically, a balance sheet is a document that outlines every single asset that you have at your disposal, whether that be your savings, a property portfolio or stocks and shares, AND every debt you have from credit card debt to mortgages.
Once you have this information you can subtract the total of your liabilities from the total of your assets and determine your net worth. If you do this annually, it should give you a good idea of how well you’re doing and where you need to make changes to your budget. It’s also pretty interesting to see how well you’re really doing in your financial life.
5. A Retirement Plan
Few of us want to, or will even be able, to work forever, which means that we will all need to retire one day. If you want to retire at a time that suits you and ensure that you retire in comfort, creating your own retirement plan is vital. To create a retirement plan, work out when you would like to retire and how much money you will require during retirement and then formulate a plan of action that will enable you to save enough. There are apps, and of course, financial advisors, who can help you with this.
6. Your Credit Report
Having your credit report is a fantastic way of keeping on top of your financial commitments. It will show you at a glance who your creditors are, how much you owe, where you could potentially seek another line of credit if you need it, and even if someone has stolen your identity. That’s why you should get a copy of your report at least once each year. Oh, and when you get that report, if there is a problem, work on it instead of burying your head in the sand, or things could look much worse when you download the next one.
7. A Will
A lot of people, especially if they are younger, do not bother making a will whether it’s because they feel like they don’t have anything much to pass on or because they don’t think they’ll die anytime soon, But, you never know what’s around the corner, and speaking to a probate lawyer to have your will drawn up is a smart move, a move that will ensure that your nearest and dearest don’t have the stress of trying to work out what your wishes would be when they’re also dealing with their grief from losing you. If you won’t do it for yourself, make a will for the sake of your loved ones.
9. A Living Will
As well as having a last will and testament drawn up, if you’re a sensible adult, you’ll probably want to have a living will create too. A living will is basically a document that outlines what you would like to happen in terms of your medical treatments should you not be in the position to advocate for yourself. For example, you may not want to be resuscitated should you be seriously ill, instead opting for a peaceful death, or conversely, you may want your doctors to do everything they can to keep you alive for as long as possible. A living will will communicate this when you cannot.
10. A Health Care Proxy
Another important document you really should have for your health needs is a health care proxy that hands over the power of your health care decisions to a third party should you be incapacitated in such a way that you cannot make decisions for yourself. Usually, it would be a spouse or family member that you would give this power to, and it can be really useful should you need an advocate for your health in the future.
11. A Durable Power of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney document is similar to a health care proxy, excep[t it gives a chosen individual the power to make decisions about your finances and any legal issues should you not be able to look after them yourself. It will ensure that you are well looked after should you lose the capacity to make decisions.
12. A Funeral Directive
No one likes to think about their own death, but as an adult, sometimes you need to think about the people in your life and how you’ll affect them. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get something in writing about your final wishes.
A funeral directive will layout exactly what you want your funeral to be like from your choice of casket to the music you want to be played. Not only will this give you peace of mind knowing that your final wishes will be carried out, but it will also ensure that your loved ones do not have to worry about this stuff when you’re gone and they’re trying to deal with your loss. It’s so important.
13. A Bucket List
On a slightly more upbeat note, I really believe that every adult should have a bucket list; a list of things they want to achieve and experiences they want to have before they die. Life should be fun and fulfilling but often we drift through it because we don’t really know what we want. By sitting down and creating a list of things we want to do before we die, we can really work out what matters to us the most and set about doing the things that we truly value.
14. A Letter of Instruction
With so many documents to keep track of, having a letter of instruction that is kept with your attorney and which tells your nearest and dearest where to find all of your important documents, is vital.
Be prepared by collecting these important documents and life will flow more easily for you and those closest to you. It might seem like a lot of effort, but it is so worth it!