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Maintaining Important Documents

Keeping important documents organized and accessible will save you time and hassle when you need them. As a good rule of thumb, if the document is difficult to replace or from the government, then it’s likely more important to keep it safe and secure for longer periods of time—even forever.

Consider these maintenance guidelines for important personal documents:

  • Keep utility bills, credit and debit card receipts, ATM receipts, and banking deposit or withdrawal receipts for one month.
  • Keep pay stubs, checkbook ledgers and deductions for tax purposes for one year.
  • Keep bank statements, W-2 forms, 1099 forms, tuition payments, medical bills or claims, and unemployment income stubs for seven years.

If you are storing documents at home, consider protecting them in a fireproof safe. For an added layer of security, choose one with a locking mechanism to avoid losing documents during a burglary. With today’s technology, it’s also possible to scan documents to have a digital backup. When it’s time to dispose of documents, it’s important to use a shredder to destroy physical copies and safely delete digital copies to protect against potential identity theft.

By Zywave, Inc.

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