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Vacations are great, but there’s a lot to remember as you get ready to go. So how about a travel checklist to help you get organized before your next trip?

A retired financial adviser named Bruce McGuffin recently sent me a copy of a travel checklist he used to make available to his clients. Given that the summer travel season is almost here, I thought I’d share these points with newsletter readers. I shortened the list a little for space considerations, but think it covers a lot of points that will help you minimize stress while away. Here goes:

  • Have emergency numbers (family friend/relative) saved in your cellphone.
  • Keep your travel medical insurance policy number in your wallet or purse.
  • Pick someone to be a financial back-up person in case of an emergency while you’re away.
  • Make sure that back-up person knows where your papers are if something happens.
  • Make sure your power of attorney for personal care is current.
  • Check with your doctor to make sure you get any necessary vaccinations.
  • Divert mail, newspaper or have a neighbour pick it up daily.
  • Make sure your passport is still valid.
  • Make sure the address labels on your luggage are current.
  • Check with your cellphone provider regarding data costs while you’re away.
  • Photocopy all your documents including wallet contents and keep separate.
  • Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member.

For snowbirds:

  • Check your gutters, downspouts and drains before leaving for the winter, and remove debris that could cause a blockage.
  • Winterize outside taps and sprinkler systems.
  • Check locks on doors and windows.
  • Replace bulbs on exterior security lights.
  • Shut off the water main.
  • Turn off or turn down hot water heater.
  • Turn down the furnace.
  • Turn off the icemaker on the fridge.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances.
  • Take a photo/video of your valuables in case of loss.
  • Arrange for a friend/neighbour/relative to check your home weekly.

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Q: I know you may not be able to recommend a particular adviser, but I am 66 and have been looking after my own investments, mostly stocks. Now, I need more tax advice combined with investment advice and would like to trust someone with this work. My attempts to find someone worthy have failed badly in the past. Any way you could point me in the right direction would be welcomed.

A: Sounds like a smart move to get some help with your financial planning and investments. Here are a couple of resources for finding candidates to do this job for you:

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