One More Year Gone and a New One is Beginning!
How long do I have to keep my papers? The following will give you an idea on what papers to keep and for how long. Please double check with your tax consultant.
Tax Returns. The general rule for tax records is to retain them for seven years.
Bank Statements. The only reason to keep bank statements is if you are thinking about applying for a mortgage which requires a three-month history.
ATM Receipts. Keep these until you balance your bank statement.
Credit Card Statements. It is recommended that you keep three months on hand.
Bills: Keep until you have received confirmation of being paid. Larger purchases such as jewelry, rugs, appliances, furniture should be kept for the lifetime of the item.
Legal Correspondence: Marriage and Death Certificates along with Divorce papers should be kept forever.
Medical Insurance. This includes your premium statements, doctor bills, prescriptions, hospital bills, etc. Keep these for five years from the date of service rendered.
Home Insurance. The minimum suggested is five years, however, if you think that you may have any issues in the future, save them for ten years.
Pay Stubs. You need to save the latest pay stub. The exception is if you are planning to get a new mortgage, which usually requires a few months of pay stubs.
Investment Documents. You should retain three months of balance statements and anytime you purchase new investments you should retain that until you sell the investment and complete your taxes for the year.
IRA Contributions: Keep forever if you made a nondeductible contribution to an IRA.
Insurance Documents: Keep for the life of the policy plus an additional 10 years.
Home Repairs. These should be kept for ten years in case you need to prove something w/regard to guarantees of workmanship. If you are doing home renovations, make sure you get the satisfaction of lien from the contractors doing the work. Keep that document for as long as you own the property.
Utility Bills. Keep the last three months.
Mortgage Documents. Keep the loan info for the duration that the mortgage is open. After you've paid off the mortgage the bank is will record a satisfaction of mortgage.