Can I Throw This Paperwork Out?
• When you get your bank statement, you should go through the process of balancing your checkbook. Once that’s done, file each monthly statement. If you get cancelled checks with your statement, keep them for one year in case you have some type of payment dispute.
• Tax returns for the past seven years (three years is the rule for most returns, but seven years covers a few other situations).
• Birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates
• Car titles
• Insurance policies
• Estate documents: wills, trusts, powers of attorney
• Medical records
• Investment confirmation statements for purchases and sales
• Year-end brokerage statements
• Monthly credit card statements (especially if they list items you deduct on your income tax return)
• Property tax bills
• Your bank and brokerage statements may come with “stuffers”--typically some marketing material about other services. Read it once when it arrives and if you don’t plan to use that service, throw it out.
• If you’re going to vote your proxies, do it right away. If you choose not to vote your proxies, toss them.
• Read your annual reports when you get them. Then you can throw them out.
• Credit card receipts--after you verify them on your monthly statements.
• Utility bills (unless you deduct them for tax purposes)