The Financial Documents You Should Save

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,856
    Wells Fargo financial expert Sherry Littlejohn provides an overview on what important documents everyone should save.

    Sherry Littlejohn: Hi! I'm Sherry Littlejohn with Wells Fargo and Company. Today we're discussing what documents to keep, where to keep them, and for how long. Take a moment to think about what important documents you have at home. Are they still needed? If so, are they in a safe and secure place so that identity theft is not at risk.

    Damage to or loss of documents containing important personal information can be devastating. Whether it's at work or at home, it's important that you take every precaution to keep your documents safe and out of harm's way.

    Most companies have a corporate policy regarding document retention. But what type of personal documents should you keep and for how long? Many tax and investment documents need to be saved for seven years and others will need to be kept for ten years or longer. You should retain copies of tax returns, bank statements, and canceled checks for seven years. Many legal documents such as birth certificates, citizenship papers, powers of attorney, and titles should never be discarded.

    It's always a good idea to hold onto documents containing important and personal information. Anything from receipts and warrantees to tax filings and marriage certificates should be kept in a safe and secure place for easy access in the future. Once you no longer need a document, you should make sure to shred it.

    Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States and a $30 shredder is a fairly inexpensive insurance policy against identity theft and fraud. And just to be sure, check your credit report regularly.

    Keeping your most important documents safe and secure can help you achieve a sense of security. To reach your financial goals, it's important that you protect your identity as well as your personal documents.