Retirement plan statements
Keep the quarterly statements until you receive the annual summary and if everything matches up, you can shred the quarterly statements. Keep the annual summaries until you close the account.
If you made an after-tax contribution to an IRA, you will need to keep your records indefinitely to prove that you already paid tax on the money when it is time to make a withdrawal.
You must keep these until you sell the securities covered by them to prove whether you have capital gains or losses for your tax return. If you hold stocks or bonds for many years, you will need to keep the statements. The exception is if the cost basis and date of acquisition is listed on the statements. In this case, you only need to keep the year-end statements to support your tax return.
Keep any checks or statements related to your taxes, business expenses, home improvements, or mortgage payments.
Keep bills until you receive the canceled check or credit card statement showing that your payment was received. Be sure to keep bills for big purchases like jewelry, furniture, art, appliances, cars, computers, etc. so that you can prove the value of these items to your insurance company in the event they are lost, stolen, or destroyed in a covered disaster such as a fire.
Keep all records documenting the purchase price and the cost of all improvements, as well as records of expenses incurred in selling and buying the property for seven years after you sell it.
Credit card receipts and statements
Keep original receipts until your statements come and then match them up. You can then discard the receipts. Keep the statements for seven years if they document tax—related expenses.
Keep until you receive your annual W-2 form from your employer(s) and make sure the information matches. If it doesn’t match, request a corrected W-2 from your employer(s).
Using the above guide, you should be able to clear out the bulk of your saved paperwork and then establish a system for keeping up with things over time. Remember, you can obtain many of these documents in electronic format, or you can scan them and archive them electronically. If the task seems overwhelming, you might want to consider the help of a daily money manager or professional organizer.
Important Paperwork: What to Keep and For How Long originally appeared on AgingCare.com.