Sunday, October 08, 2006

Financial Records

Fidelity recently had an interesting piece (both in podcast form, as in the On Track flyer) about financial records to keep and for how long. Some of the key points:

  • Keep tax records (W2 forms, canceled checks for deductible items, 1099 forms etc) for 7 years. (Three years for regular audits, but it's better to be on the save side.)
  • Keep investment records until you sell the security, plus seven years.
  • Keep retirement records forever.
  • Keep home improvement records until you sell your house, plus seven years
  • Keep bank statements seven years (to support your tax records)
  • Keep personal bills until you have proof of payment
A few weeks ago, I finished my paperwork clean up into nice Ikea hard carton boxes. I sorted them per year and fit about 2 years worth of paper trail in one Ikea box. My record keeping is pretty much on par with what Fidelity has been recommending.

In addition, I keep electronic copies of my statements and bils on a external hard drive and on a CD-RW.

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