Which Records Should You Keep and Which Can You Ditch?
Obviously, you should keep records documenting the cost basis of your home and all your other taxable investments for as long as you own them. The same goes for the basic documents concerning your retirement accounts and insurance policies, not to mention all loans and mortgages.
But don't be shy about getting rid of old materials. Here's a list of items you should consider throwing away (or shredding if the documents contain personal information):
- Outdated warranties
- Outdated instruction manuals
- Outdated wills or trusts (provided you created a new one)
- Canceled insurance policies
- Credit card statements for closed tax years
- Canceled checks for closed tax years
- Old brokerage statements for closed tax years (unless they have cost-basis information you might eventually need)
- Old annual reports from stocks and/or mutual funds
- Old investment newsletters (some people keep these things for years because they paid for them—let them go)