Are You Financially Organized at Year End?

It’s almost the end of the year. Are unopened bank statements and receipts piling up on your kitchen counter? It’s time you got financially organized, so you know what to keep and how long to keep it.

1. Collect 2013 receipts, separating those needed to file income taxes.
2. Store the year’s pay stubs, banking statements, and credit card statements.
3. Make a net worth statement- list all assets (including banking and investment accounts) and all liabilities (including credit card balances and loans).
4. Make a copy of all credit cards, passport, licenses (save time if lost or stolen).
5. Rent a safe deposit box to keep important papers (will, birth certificates, passports, real estate deeds/titles)
6. Shred mail with your private information before discarding.

Not sure what to keep or how long to keep it?
Keep these records for the calendar year:
• Bank statements
• Pay stubs (consider autopay direct to your bank account)
• Social Security benefits statements
• Investment/broker statements, including 401(k) plans

Keep these for 7 years:
• Tax returns and supporting documents
• Bank statements needed to prove a deduction on a tax return

Keep these forever:
• Employer-defined benefit plan communications
• IRA contributions
• Brokerage statements (document gains/losses until sale)
• Life insurance policies (most recent copy)
• Loan documents (until paid and you have title)
• Home improvement records/receipts (keep 7 years after you sell)
• Savings bonds (you can convert paper bonds to electronic)
• Safe deposit box inventory

Keep until you’ve reconciled your statement:
• Bank deposit slips
• Credit card receipts
• Monthly bills and credit card statements
• Keep statements and receipts you may need to prove tax deductions

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