We have developed a chart that might help us figure out the answer to the above question.
What Should I Save?
|Reason To Save?||For How Long?|
» Helps establish identity, settles disputes on ownership & inheritance.
» A must have for numerous official and legal matters.
|» Establishes education history, required for getting jobs and other career needs.|
» Better if stored forever or at least until retirement.
|» Enables us to file claims.|
» Until policy expires.
» We may want to keep just the previous (to current) health/auto insurances to demonstrate continuous coverage.
|» To figure out the cost of a house for tax purposes or sale.|
» Helps in doing proper and timely maintenance of the automobiles and fetching a higher resale value.
» Until house is sold.
|» For insurance or warranty claim of lost, stolen or defective articles.|
» Establishing home address and residency. Disputing fraudulent charges.
» Doing itemized deduction for tax returns.
» Claiming refund from health savings accounts.
» Many people advise to keep only those bills that are related to tax and shred the rest. However we feel these should be stored forever as well. We never know when these may come in handy.
» For example, Uncle Sam has agreed to refund federal excise taxes on landlines, wireless or VOIP services for period after Feb. 28, 2003 and before Aug. 1, 2006. Without the bills we may have to settle for lesser amounts in deduction.
|» To figure out taxes and identify tax-deductible contributions.|
» To compute performance of our portfolio and determine asset allocation.
» Helps in financial planning.
» As long as investments are owned.
|» To claim refunds, amend returns, prepare for IRS interviews and financial planning.|
» Seven or more years.