Keep it or trash it?

By September 16, 20152015, Money Moxie, Newsletter

This question pops up from time to time, especially this time of year. What to do with all those saved documents? To help answer this question, here are some guidelines.

  • Mortgage Information: For as long as you own the property, plus 4 years for tax purposes.
  • Receipts for Purchases: 1 month, except big-ticket items requiring proof-of-purchase for insurance.
  • Utility Bills: 1 month, unless you deduct for home office expenses as these are filed with tax records.
  • Tax Records: Forever. Supporting documents: at least 4 years
  • Bank Statements: 1 month or until checks clear. Keep documentation supporting tax deductions.
  • Paycheck Stubs or Direct-Deposit Statements: 1 year.
  • Credit Card Statements: 1-2 months or until reconciled.
  • Records for Home Improvements, Sale or Purchase of Property: 4 years after the sale of the home or property.
  • Medical Records: 4 or more years.
  • Insurance Policies & Bills: Keep current policies and bills, discard cancelled policies.
  • Investment Records: Keep initial purchase and year-end reports indefinitely.
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