Records Retention Guide: What to Keep and what to Shred

  
     
Type of Record Recommended Period of Retention
   
Credit Card/Purchasing Documents  
Contracts (purchases and sales) At least 6 years after the termination or disposal of item
Credit Card Receipts Shred once reconciled with your monthly statement
Sales Receipts At least 6 years
   
Bank Documents  
Bank Deposit/Withdrawal Slips Shred once reconciled with your monthly statement
Bank and Credit Card Statements At least 7 years
Cancelled Checks At least 7 years
   
Investment Documents  
IRA Contribution Statements Permanent
Pension/Profit Sharing Informational Returns Permanent
Retirement/Savings Plan Permanent
   
Insurance Documents  
Insurance Policies At least 6 years after the termination of the policy
Settled Insurance Claims At least 4 years after the termination of the policy
   
Tax Documents  
Income Tax Payment Checks Permanent
Income Tax Returns and Worksheets 7 years from filing date
Medical Bills (if tax related) At least 7 years
Records for Tax Deductions At least 7 years (e.g., charitable donations)
   
Home/Residence and Personal Documents  
Bills At least 1 year, however bills for large purchases should be retained for insurance purchases
Deeds, Mortgages, and Bills of Sales Permanent
Legal Correspondence Permanent
Medical Bills At least 3 years
Contracts and Agreements At least 6 years
Paycheck Stubs Shred after reconciled with W-2 form and taxes are paid
Plan and Trust Agreement Permanent
Real Estate Records of Improvement Retain for length of home ownership
Utility Records At least 3 years
Birth certificates, social security card, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, passports, education records & military service records Permanent