Moving your financial life

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(MoneyWatch) A few days ago, I wrote about the tax breaks and deductions folks can claim when they move and incur related expenses.

But in addition to tax deductions, there are a lot of other financial considerations to take into account when you move. Here are a few of the things you may need to consider:

New Bank Accounts - You may need to open a new bank account if you need one at a local bank. If yo do this, have the account opened and the checks printed and held at the new bank until you arrive. Also, open a new safe deposit box if you use one.

Inventory Personal Property - Moving is disruptive and items can be damaged or lost. Make a video or photographic record of your personal property and create a list of valuable items, including specific descriptions. Hopefully you will not need this but it will come in handy if you have a loss and need to file a claim on your home insurance policy.

Gather Records - Collect all important papers and records that you keep in your home. Get copies of medical and dental records so that you will not have to repeat expensive tests or procedures.

Record Moving Expenses - Keep a record of all costs to pack, store and move your personal property and household goods. Also, the cost of travel, tolls, lodging and meals on the way to your new location may be deductible.

Buy Travelers Checks - Buy enough to cover several weeks' cash needs. Travelers checks may come in handy because you may not be able to cash checks at you new location without a local I.D. or drivers license and you do not want to carry a large amount of cash when you are in new, unfamiliar places.

Review Insurance - Call your insurance agent and confirm that you'll be covered for property that you plan to move personally or plan to keep in storage temporarily. Items that you move are probably the most valuable and fragile and coverage on these should be through your homeowners or renters policy, not your automobile policy or the mover's liability and loss coverage.

Review Financial Accounts - Switch automatic deposits and direct deductions from your old bank account to your new one. Also request to change the address of record on all accounts so that the next month's statements are sent directly to your new address.

Social Security Benefits - If you receive these, file an address change on the SSA web site or at your local Social Security office and change the direct deposit into your new bank account.

Collect Contents from Safe Deposit Box - Make copies of all negotiable securities and mail the copies to your new address. Carry the originals with you and deposit these in your safe deposit box at your new bank.

Check back in a few days when I'll write about the things you need to consider after you've moved and settle in.

  • Ray Martin

    View all articles by Ray Martin on CBS MoneyWatch»
    Ray Martin has been a practicing financial advisor since 1986, providing financial guidance and advice to individuals. He has appeared regularly as a contributor on the CBS Early Show, CBS NewsPath, as a columnist on CBS Moneywatch.com and on NBC-TV's morning newscast TODAY. He has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and is the author of two books.

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