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How long do you keep tax returns and financial records?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to get rid of unnecessary paperwork. 

 

How long do we need to save tax forms?

 

What about 401(k) statements? We check most of them online and have canceled the paper statement. Is this OK?

 

What about bank account statements? We get most of these online as well.

 

Besides financial statements, we have saved our passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, etc. in just a filing cabinet. Should these be in something that's fire proof?

 

Thanks for any advice. I don't want to go on a decluttering spree and throw away something important...

post #2 of 5

One thing you NEVER. EVER. throw out (and none of the guides show this) is the title insurance policy documents for any and every property you own in your lifetime.  OMG, people toss them when they sell the house a lot of the time!  And while I love the link below, I HATE that it doesn't note this.  irked.gif

 

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/how-long-to-keep-financial-records.aspx

 

This one goes into more records (including non-financial), but again, doesn't note keeping the property title docs permanently irked.gif:

 

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/fammgmt/he445w.htm#What

 

 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info! I never thought about the title insurance policy. We have lived in our home for 8 years and did purchase title insurance, but I have no idea where it is! Hopefully it's in our file cabinet somewhere.

post #4 of 5

If it's not, contact the lawyer or title company that did the closing and get a copy before they purge THEIR records (they wait longer than we do most of the time--I have a lawyer that waits 10 years :)  )

post #5 of 5

I keep my tax returns.

 

 

of course all birth certificates, social security cards, titles, deeds etc

 

not much of anything else though.  I keep things until the end of the year and throw them away after I file my taxes.

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