Identity Theft: What Documents Should You Shred Or Store?
In a day and age when technology has converted virtually all information to computers, why does it seem that we are producing even more paper than ever? It is really important to practice diligent shred-or-store habits, especially when it comes to documents that you receive from various financial advisors and other financial institutions. Identity thieves often obtain sensitive information from the garbage. As we have stated before, we strongly recommend that you buy a personal shredder for your home in order to properly dispose of personal documents. When storing original documents you rarely need, we recommend that you store these documents securely in a bank safety deposit box. For others, please consider purchasing a fire and burglar resistant safe for your home as well as a locked filing cabinet. By storing these documents securely, it may not only save you a great amount of time, but it will also reduce your chances of falling victim to identity thieves.
Given all the financial documents most individuals receive, it is easy to get confused on which documents are important enough to keep and which should be tossed. Listed below is a quick rundown of which documents we recommend to shred and which to safely store:
SHRED Pre-approved credit offers Charge receipts Credit applications Insurance Forms Past bank statements Expired charge cards
College financial aid (keep until ten years after loan is repaid)
Credit report (keep until new one arrives)
Insurance policies/invoices (keep until a year after replacing policy)
Loan statements (keep until ten years after loan is repaid)
Property tax assessment (keep until new one arrives)
Real estate deeds (keep until ten years after property is sold)
Retirement plan benefits
Stock/bond certificates (keep until security is sold)
Trusts (keep until new one is signed)
*Wills (keep until new one is signed)
For further information, contact Louis P. Stanasolovich, CFPä at (412) 635-9210 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.