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How Long to Keep Every Important Financial Document

Lifehacker – Avoid identity theft and legal nightmares through proper document retention and destruction. Properly storing, saving, and disposing of financial documents isn’t just a good way to cut down on clutter and save yourself from potentially nightmarish paper-chases when The Man calls. It also makes it harder for anyone to steal your identity. How to store your most vital documents If you were living your ideal life, you’d scan your most important paperwork, encrypt the digital records, then store them on a password-protected computer. The hard copies would be placed in a fireproof safe, a bank’s safe deposit box, or within a locked filing cabinet. This applies to “can’t lose ever” documents like your:

  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Insurance policies
  • Property deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Will and related documents

You should also scan and encrypt your passport, driver’s license, and insurance cards. But you’ll probably need them, so the safe deposit box might not be their best home.”

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