Document Storage

Best Practices

Even in such a technology-driven society, paper documents have a way of accumulating and it can be hard to tell what you should hang on to and when it’s okay to shred. Use this reference guide below to make sure you keep what’s necessary and de-clutter the rest.

Keep for a month: 

  • Credit Card receipts (until verified on your statement)
  • Receipts for minor purchases
  • ATM/Withdrawal and deposit slips (until reconciled on statements)

Keep for One year:

  • Paycheck stubs (until reconciled with your W2’s)
  • Monthly bank statements (7 yrs)
  • Monthly brokerage/ mutual fund statements (until receive annual summary that reflects yearly activity)
  • Medical Bills (maximum 7 years for tax purposes)
  • Utility Bills (if you want to check billing pattern, otherwise one month

Keep for 7 Years:

  • W-2’s
  • 1099’s
  • Other documents for tax returns
  • Year-end credit card statements
  • Year-end brokerage/mutual fund summaries
  • Medical Bills (if tax-related, otherwise 1 year)
  • Stock and Bond Records (keep for 6 years beyond selling)
  • Investments (purchases or sales records)

Keep Indefinitely:

  • Tax Returns
  • Retirement / Pension Documents
  • Vital Records (Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates, Divorce Papers, Social Security records, Wills, etc.)
  • Educational certificates and diplomas
  • Real Estate Records
  • Insurance Records
  • Medical Records