here’s a fine line between keeping financial records for a reasonable period of time and becoming a pack rat. A general rule of thumb is to keep financial records only as long as necessary. For example, you may want to keep ATM receipts only temporarily, until you’ve reconciled them with your bank statement. But if a document provides legal support and/or is hard to replace, you’ll want to keep it for a longer period or even indefinitely. It’s ultimately up to you to determine which records you should keep on hand and for how long, but here’s a suggested timetable for some common documents.
|One year or less||More than one year||Indefinitely|
|Bank or credit union statements||Tax returns and documentation*||Birth, death, and marriage certificates|
|Credit card statements||Mortgage contracts and documentation||Adoption papers|
|Utility bills||Property appraisals||Citizenship papers|
|Annual insurance policies||Annual retirement and investment statements||Military discharge papers|
|Paycheck stubs||Receipts for major purchases and home improvements||Social Security card|
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