Investment counselor – and Edmonds resident – Erin Eddins suggested adding a financial records review as part of your spring cleaning. Here’s her advice:
“I am an independent Financial Planner (CFP) working with local individuals and families to develop financial plans and implement investment portfolios to help clients secure their financial future. It’s always a good time for people to take a closer look at the big picture of their financial structure and tidy up where needed.
“Now that we’re approaching the end of tax season, it’s a great time to clean out financial records and paperwork. My clients often ask about what documents they need to keep and what they can discard. The attached article, Save or Shred? – What to do With Your Financial Records provides an overview of what to keep and for how long and a summary of how to safeguard your records.”
To Save or Shred?
What to do with Your Financial Records.
Do you have boxes of financial records and paperwork stored in a closet? Do you throw away everything as soon as you don’t see a need for it? People tend to fall into two categories – they either save EVERYTHING or they save NOTHING. When it comes to your financial records, it’s important that you save the right things, for the right amount of time, in the right way.
There are a few primary reasons to save records: for tax purposes, to prove you paid for something or to prove you did something.
What to Keep and for How Long
While your unique situation might make it necessary to save some of these items longer than indicated, the chart below gives you a general idea of how long you need to keep your paperwork and records.
Things to keep permanently:
- IRA contribution records
- Marriage, birth, divorce and death certificates
- Medical, military, education and employment records
- Wills, trust agreements, court documents and decrees
- Anything that you think might be in dispute or contention