Financial Documents: What To Keep, What To Toss

Keep these financial documents in a box or file cabinet at home

  • The last 7 years of your tax returns (state and federal)
    • With each year's tax return, keep:
      • W-2 forms
      • Income statements from your bank and mutual funds (called a 1099)
      • Canceled checks for deductible expenditures.
  • Bank statements and canceled checks for 3 years
  • Insurance policies, including car, health, life, rental and/or homeowners insurance
  • Pension plan or retirement plan statements
  • Mutual fund or other investment annual statements
  • An inventory of the things you own, or at least records of major purchases
  • Password List
  • Inventory list of Safety Deposit Box
  • List of bank/credit union, and credit card accounts
  • Loan Statements and payment books


Keep these in a safety deposit box or a fireproof box

  • The deed to your home or other property you own
  • The title to your car
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates, passports and social security cards
  • Divorce and property settlement papers
  • The original copy of your will, with another copy at home
  • Leases
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Military discharge papers
  • Powers of attorney/Advance directives


What to Toss

  • Canceled checks or nondeductible expenses, after 3 years
  • Expired warranties
  • Pay stubs, after reconciling W2
  • Bank statements - after 1 year, unless needed to support tax filing
  • Investment Statements - shred monthly statements; keep annual statements until you sell the investments





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