Protect Your Personal Information: Retention and Destruction of Records

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Credit Card/Purchasing Documents

Type Recommended Period of Retention
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

Type Recommended Period of Retention
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

Type Recommended Period of Retention
IRA Contribution Statements Permanent
Pension/Profit Sharing Informational Returns Permanent
Retirement/Savings Plan Permanent

Insurance Documents

Type Recommended Period of Retention
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

Type Recommended Period of Retention
Income Tax Payment Checks Permanent
Income Tax Returns and Worksheets Permanent
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

Type Recommended Period of Retention
Bills At least 1 year, however bills for large purchases should 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