Rules for Retaining Documents

We all have those important documents that we know we must keep safe.  But how safe must you keep them and how long.  It is important to keep documents in a place that can be accessed when needed.

There are many options for storage.  At the very least everyone should have a home safe that can be secured and is fire proof.  From experience very few small safes are truly 100% fireproof. So for documents that are irreplaceable (or nearly) you should consider renting a safe deposit box at your bank. The expense is minimal especially when compared to the headache of trying to replace a document after a fire.

Here are a few guidelines.

What to store in your home safe
  • Tax records for six years
  • Pay stubs until W2 arrives
  • Credit card statements
  • Cancelled checks
  • Utility bill
What to store in a bank safe deposit box
  • Wills, deeds, and titles
  • Birth and death certificates
  • Passports
  • Military records
What should you keep indefinitely
  • Personal health records
  • Medical history
  • Retirement benefit statements

Shared at: Simply Sherryl

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