Tame Clutter of Financial Records

You might feel like pitching those invoices and statements piling up on the counter. Before the paper shredder goes to work, check this list on how long to keep financial records. Then, consider opting for electronic statements from banks and brokers who offer them.

Keep these records for the calendar year:

  • Bank statements
    ▪ Pay stubs (consider direct deposit 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
  • 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.
Written by kprather on Monday February 29, 2016
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