Life can get hectic fast and people can easily allow certain tasks to fall through the cracks. Unfortunately, sometimes we never remember to complete those tasks -- or even what those tasks were -- and it can end up costing you your hard-earned money.
For example, you may forget to leave a forwarding address with an old utility company that still has your deposit on file, or forget about a retirement account you had with an old employer. The good news is that websites exist to help you find and claim your forgotten money.
MissingMoney.com allows you to search public records to find money that may belong to you. Searching for money is a simple process. Simply enter your first name, last name and the state in which you want to search. Missing Money will then return a list of unclaimed money that could potentially belong to you.
Missing Money will list the name associated with the money on record, the last known address of the person, where the money is held, who reported the money and a rough estimate of the amount of money being held, if available. If you find money that you believe belongs to you, click on the line item, read the instructions then click on the "Yes, I Can Claim" button. Follow the instructions on the next page and you may finally be reunited with your money even though you're still in your pajamas.
Looking for Life Insurance Policies
Life insurance exists to help families survive financially after the passing of a loved one. Unfortunately, many loved ones are not aware of all of the insurance policies a person may have taken out during their lifetime. Unless you are able to find paperwork for the policy while searching through a loved one's estate, you may never find out about a missing life insurance policy that requires payment to the beneficiary.
Luckily, an option exists to help you search for policies of which you are not aware. For individual life insurance policies (not group policies like those included in benefits at your workplace), MIB.com's lost life insurance website provides a great resource. MIB charges a $75 fee to use their Policy Locator Service, but the small fee could pay off should they find an unclaimed life insurance policy that benefits you.
Old Retirement Plans Often Get Forgotten
Another hectic period in our lives occurs when switching from one employer to another. Most of us worry about moving their family, getting settled into a new job and figuring out the benefits that the new company offers. However, many people forget about retirement plans at their old workplaces, especially if they did not contain a substantial amount of money.
If you have lost track of a pension that you were entitled to at a previous employer, first try contacting your old employer for information regarding the plan. If that does not work, you can try searching the Employee Benefits Security Administration's website or the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's website to find your plan. If you have lost track of another type of retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, then you should search the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits.
Searching these websites for unclaimed money that rightfully belongs to you is a relatively painless process that should only take a few minutes of your time. The next time you're bored, check them out. It could be more rewarding than googling "skateboard fail videos"!
Let the free Retirement Planner by MoneyTips help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle.