Well, it is that time again. This winter, although fairly odd due to our friend El Niño, was a very mild and tempered event. However, the end of winter still leaves us with the Spring Cleaning we, as Flint residents have all become accustomed to. Many of us will be deep cleaning the garage, dusting off our golf clubs, and getting the boat de-winterized and ready to hit the water.
As a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, working through spring cleaning with our clients takes on a different spin. The tax due date looms, 1099 forms need to be gathered and documents piled up from the year past need to be sorted and organized. A common question from clients and others continues to arise: how long do I need to keep my financial documents? Although not an expert in document storage, there are a few general “rules of thumb.” Listed below are some guidelines that may be beneficial as you organize.
|Until sold or discarded
|Until paid in full
|Until property sold
|Credit Card Records
|Until paid in full unless needed for taxes
|Social Security Statements
|Monthly Investment Statements
|Reconciled Bank Statements
State and Federal Income Tax Returns Seven years along with supporting documentation including W-2 and 1099 forms, charitable contribution and tax deduction receipts, real estate records.
|Annual Investment Statements
|Birth Certificates Forever
|Social Security Cards Forever
|Marriage/Divorce Papers Forever
|Wills and/or Trust Documents Forever
(annually update household inventory) Forever
|Pension and Retirement Plan Records Forever
|Medical Records Forever
|Education Records Forever
I would also recommend some additional organizational steps. If possible, scan your documents into readable format and then store these documents on your computer or separate hard drive. If that is not an option, make copies of your most important documents, place them in sealable bags and invest in a safety deposit box to store these forms.
I hope these suggestions have encouraged you or provided guidance as you seek to do some paperwork straightening. Putting things in order sometimes appears to make more of a mess, so as you systematize your files, be sure to properly and safely discard sensitive paperwork. As you work through your “spring cleaning” and find you have questions about financial planning for your future, feel free to give us a call at OLV Investment Group at 810-744-4450.
OLV Investment Group The Durant 607 E Second Avenue Suite 100 Flint, MI 48502
Securities offered through Sigma Financial Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC.
OLV Investment Group is independent of Sigma Financial Corporation and SPC.
Investment Advisory Services offered through SPC, a Registered Investment Advisor.
This is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or legal advice. Consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your specific situation.