Important Papers-What to Keep and Toss
Updated: Jun 18
Tax season is the perfect time to start tackling all of those paper piles. Financial records can be divided into 4 categories:
Papers kept for a year or less
Papers that can be destroyed when you no longer own the items they cover
Tax records, which you should save for seven years
Papers to keep indefinitely
Keep these documents at home
Bank deposit slips After you reconcile your statements
Banking statements After a calendar year; store with tax returns
401 K, IRA, other investment statements. Shred monthly and quarterly stmts. as new ones arrive; hold onto annual statements until ready to sell the investment.
Credit-card bills After you check and pay them, unless you need them to support tax filings
Household warranties and receipts After you no longer own the household items
Insurance policies after you renew
Investment purchase confirmations and 1099s. Hold until you sell the securities, then keep with your tax records for an additional seven years.
Pay stubs After you reconcile them with your W-2
Receipts After you reconcile them with your credit-card or bank statement unless needed for a warranty.
Safe-deposit box inventory Never, but review and update annually
Savings bonds Cash them in when they mature
Social Security statements When you get a new statement, then shred the old one
Tax returns and supporting documents After seven years
Keep these Docs in a safe-deposit box or locked-box.
Birth and death certificates Never
Estate-planning documents Never. Also give copies to your attorney and executor
Life-insurance policies Never, or when a term policy has ended
Loan documents After you sell your home, automobile, boat, etc.
Marriage licenses / divorce decrees Never
Military discharge papers Never
Social Security cards Never
Vehicle titles After you sell the car, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle
Kim's Organizing Solutions
Information provided by Consumer Reports Money Adviser.