Quick Answer: How Long Should I Keep Old Paperwork?

Should you keep mortgage statements?

Mortgages come with a lot of documentation.

Store a copy of each of your mortgage statements for a few months to make sure all of your payments are accurate and accounted for.

Keep your personal copy of your deed, promissory note and Closing Disclosure for as long as you have your loan..

How long should you keep old investment statements?

Brokerage statements / investment records Keep monthly statements for one year; you can dump them if your annual statement summarizes all activity. Keep the yearly summaries as long as you own the security, plus seven years. You need proof of your purchases to prove capital gains and losses on your tax return.

Is it safe to throw away old utility bills?

Keep electric, gas, phone and other utility bills for one year before discarding. The exception is if you claim a deduction on your taxes for a home office; in that case, keep those bills for three years.

Should I keep old bills?

Keep for 1 month: utility bills, deposits and withdrawal records. If you’re self-employed, you may need your utility, cable and cell phone bills for tax purposes. Otherwise, you can dispose of them as soon as you verify your payment was processed.

What papers to save and what to throw away?

When to Keep and When to Throw Away Financial DocumentsReceipts. Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records.Home Improvement Records. … Medical Bills. … Paycheck Stubs. … Utility Bills. … Credit Card Statements. … Investment and Real Estate Records. … Bank Statements.More items…•

How long should you keep your bank statements?

one yearKey Takeaways. Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.

How do you destroy paper without shredding?

Add a half gallon of bleach to the trash can. Bleach breaks down paper and destroys ink, so it’s great for rendering your documents unreadable. However, be careful while handling bleach — don’t let it touch your skin, and work in a well-ventilated area. Next, add five gallons of water to the trash can.

Should junk mail be shredded?

Junk Mail Don’t just toss the junk mail in the trash bin; shred it. … Junk mail should be shredded or, in the United States, you can opt out of junk mail and pre-screened credit offers through the Federal Trade Commission’s unsolicited mail page.

Are medical records kept forever?

They differ on whether the records are held by private practice medical doctors or by hospitals. The length of time records are kept also depends on whether the patient is an adult or a minor. Generally, medical records are kept anywhere from five to ten years after a patient’s latest treatment, discharge or death.

How long should you keep records?

Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return. Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.

How long should you keep bills before shredding?

One yearBills: One year for anything tax or warranty related; all other bills should be shred as soon as they have been paid. Credit card bills: Shred immediately when paid. Home improvement receipts: Keep until the home is sold. Investment records: Seven years after you’ve closed the account or sold the security.

How many years of medical records should you keep?

seven yearsFederal law mandates that a provider keep and retain each record for a minimum of seven years from the date of last service to the patient. For Medicare Advantage patients, it goes up to ten years.

Should health information be kept indefinitely?

When hospitals retain information indefinitely, they run the risk of exposing personal health and other information over an extended period of time, she says. Hospitals must ensure they can maintain the integrity of the record over a potentially long period of time, Fox says.

What should you not shred?

Be sure to lock up any important documents that you don’t shred, including birth and death certificates, adoption papers, marriage and divorce papers, citizenship papers, Social Security cards, tax-related documents, deeds and titles, and financial statements.

What records do I need to keep and for how long?

To be on the safe side, McBride says to keep all tax records for at least seven years. Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

Should I shred old utility bills?

You probably already know that you should always shred documents that contain your name and address or financial information, such as bills and bank statements. … There are many types of document that you should dispose of securely – not just those that contain obvious confidential information.

What do you do with old bank statements?

You may be ready to throw them out, but you’re not sure how. Is it safe to throw away old bank statements, or do you need to shred them first? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft.