We have spend the last several days comparing prices of some of our monthly bills to see if we can get them for a better price. While we still have more to go in this area, let’s take a short break from comparing and have a bit of fun in search of extra money. It’s not often that we are able to go on a treasure hunt as part of our daily life, let alone have it a recommended Financial Challenge as a way to possible pay down your debt or place extra money into your simple investing plan. This treasure hunt, however, is a bit different and it’s exactly what today’s Financial Challenge will be.
The lost treasure we are searching for is money that, for whatever reason, you’ve forgotten about. Estimates are that as many as 1 out of every 8 people in the US have an unclaimed asset lying around somewhere. Assets get lost for any number of reasons, but it’s usually a result of a move, a change of jobs, a change of name through marriage or when a relative dies.
States currently hold tens of billions of dollars in unclaimed assets. To try and reunite these assets to their rightful owners, states have developed their own individual unclaimed asset website page or belong to a free online database which is sponsored by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. The key here is that searching for these lost assets is 100% free and the states want to give you the money if it is rightfully your.
In the time you have set aside for today’s Financial challenge, we are going to make a deliberate plan to go searching for these forgotten assets. We want to make a deliberate plan because that will give us the best opportunity to locate a forgotten asset. Instead of merely typing in your name and hoping, the first step is to grab a piece of paper & pen so that you can make a couple of lists:
1) Make a list of all the different states where you have lived or held a job.
2) Make a list of all your deceased relatives and the states where they lived and worked.
Once you have these two lists completed, you can begin searching the appropriate state sites to see if you can find any forgotten money. If a matching name does appear, you can usually begin the reclaiming process right on the site by following the direction given with the state. While finding large amounts isn’t common, finding amounts in the hundreds and thousands do happen on a frequent basis. Listed below are the links where you can find where to search for the forgotten assets the states are holding.
If you live in Canada
Canada: Free search for unclaimed accounts in Canada.
British Columbia: Free search for unclaimed accounts in British Columbia.