How Long To Keep Paperwork?

Start the year by cleaning out all your old paper work and starting a new filing system.  Now not only will you be able to find things but so will your children if something should happen to you.

Here is a list of how long to keep your papers:
  • Bank statements and canceled checks:  One year until after tax filing
  • Birth or adoption certificates:  Forever
  • Contracts:  Until Updated
  • Credit card account numbers:  Until Updated
  • Marriage or Divorce papers:  Forever
  • Real estate deeds:  As long as you own the property
  • Life insurance policies:  Forever
  • Car, home insurance:  Until updated
  • Investment records:  Six years after tax deadline for year of sale
  • Loan agreements:  Until updated
  • Military service records:  Forever
  • Purchase receipts:  One month if on credit card, longer if it’s a gift
  • Service contracts and warranties:  Until sale or discard
  • Social Security Card:  Forever
  • Tax returns:  Six Years
  • Vehicle titles:  Until sale or disposal
  • Will:  Until updated

Handle your paperwork just once when you receive it – either file it or throw it out.  Every month go through your purchase receipts to match them to your statements and then file until you do your taxes.


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