Snowbird season has arrived and we’ve listed some important things to consider when planning a prolonged absence in the sun. Start keeping a running list on your phone a month before you leave. That way, when it’s time to pack, you’re already done with the mental preparation and packing will just be collecting what you need.
Unplug all appliances if not in use. Washer, dryer, printer, etc.
Turn off your ice maker and empty the ice bin in the freezer. If the electricity goes off and the ice melts it can create some water damage.
Turn off the main shutoff valve to your water. But remember to blow out all of the pipes with water when you turn the water back on. Otherwise, older homes can have a buildup of sediment that may clog your pipes.
Set your thermostat back between 55 and 60 degrees. Home monitoring systems may provide some valuable alert if a power outage occurs.
Close the flue of the chimney to keep unwanted guests out.
Close drapes and shades to make it harder to see into the house.
Arrange for snow clearing and set some lights on timers.
House Sitter List of To-do’s: Mail pickup / home security / Wi-Fi / Newspaper/ Maintenance Troubleshooting / Plumber/ Electrician/ Pet Schedule / Cleaning / Gas-Electric / Internet-Cable-Phone / Handyman / Management Company / Garbage Day/ Plant Maintenance / Home Automation.
PACKING THE ESSENTIALS
Consider the culture of where you will be traveling too. Think about how the locals typically dress. Even in the US, your summer uniform may not look right in your new winter home even if temperatures are the same.
Does your condo/house have a coffee maker, cookware, and bedding? Is there a washer/dryer in the unit? If not, pack more clothing to extend time between laundry days.
Bring Smoke alarms and carbon dioxide alarms with fresh batteries if you are renting a condo or home.
Pack little travel necessities like plastic bags (for dirty laundry, trash, protecting delicate items from the rain, and separating wet shoes from dry items in your luggage).
Also pack basic first aid items like bandages and painkillers. And add anything else that you personally require for a comfortable journey, such as antiseptic hand wipes, a neck pillow, or a shawl.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Set up online statements, pre-authorized bill payments, automatic deposits and look ahead at any renewals that may come due while you’re away.
Set up a Power of Attorney before you leave as well as someone to watch over your monthly affairs. Leave copies of important paperwork with your Power of Attorney as well as reliable contact details so that they can reach you.
Put important papers and valuables in a safety deposit box.
If you will not be driving a vehicle, consider suspending your collision coverage to save some money.
Hold or forward your mail depending on how long you will be gone. The post office will hold mail for up to 30 days. And hold the newspaper.
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THIS!
Passport/ Driver’s license / Armed Forces ID/ Club Membership / State ID/ International phone access. Set up online access to Credit Cards, Bank and Financial Advisor.
Doctors / Lawyer/ Neighbors/ Family Members / Insurance/ Emergency name / House Sitter
Notify your bank or credit card companies of your change of address so they don’t decline what looks like suspicious charges from your new location.
Bring copies of prescriptions and pertinent medical records.
Take your taxes if you’re going to be gone over April 15th.
Finally…share your itinerary with a friend or family and have someone check on the house regularly to check the furnace or malfunctioning appliances, gather stray flyers or packages, etc.
We wish you a safe and worry free trip. Rest assured, we are only a phone call away if you need us. And you can see your full financial picture at a glance at WealthVision at OlsonWealthGroup.com Full access to your account is just a click away whenever you want it, wherever you are. Happy Travels!!
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