It doesn’t take long for papers to pile up, especially when you don’t know what to keep and what to toss. Great news: You don’t have to keep everything! In fact. you may find you don’t have to keep most of the things clogging up your filing systems (or your desk).
I have advice again from Certified Financial Planner Caleb Griffith on this topic. A couple weeks ago he shared professional advice on how long to keep tax documents. But what about “everything else?” Here’s what he has to say:
- Insurance documents.
- Life – Keep the original policy document and any updates – Forever or until death
- Disability – Keep the original and any subsequent adjustments that add to policy – Forever or until terminated
- Home – Annually replace with new policy
- Car – Annually replace with new policy
- Long Term Care – Keep the original and any subsequent adjustments to policy. Forever or until terminated
- Estate- Keep all
- Power of Attorney
- Living Will
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Other estate related documents
- Asset Documents
- Car titles
- House titles
- Bank statements / Investment accounts– Everything can be done online – no need to keep paper files unless for business/accounting purposes.
- Billing statements
- Cable, Utilities, etc. – Keep the most recent statement and throw the rest. You can always go online to get your past information.
- Other things
- SS Card, Birth Certificate, Marriage license – Forever
The list obviously can change for each age group and situation, and definitely consult your accountant for specific questions. When it doubt, keep it.
I hope this helps you simplify your filing system. Clearing out unneeded papers is incredibly freeing, so go do it!
This is something I have worked with many clients on, so if you need help call me. I enjoy helping people de-clutter desk space, create filing systems, and even set up home offices (or at their place of business!). Check out a redesign I did on a home office.
And if you need a reliable and trustworthy financial planner, contact Caleb with Townsend Asset Management! Caleb@assetmgr.com
Thanks for reading,Melissa
Get Organized. Simply Live.