Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Are your files full of paper you no longer need?

I am slowly making the calls to find out if I need to keep the paperwork that accumulated in our life before the advent of on-line accounts and records for most financial aspects of life. Today it was 3 inches of paper that were records from IRAs long ago rolled over into the one IRA we each have. No need to keep it my tax adviser said. I suspect I could toss the paper copies of the investment contracts too but this is baby steps!

Financial record keeping is the hardest for me to be sure of in terms of requirements. I tend to over save which has produced a lot of files full of paper. I'm in the process of looking at it all carefully and removing what is not needed and then shredding the appropriate papers before they are recycled. Not fun but then I don't want to move all this paper when we finally do sell this house! Maybe I will reconsider those paper copies of investment contracts and verify what is online. I guess all we need is a list of the account numbers.


Update: I decided to keep the paper copies of the contracts for now as I couldn't find the same info online easily. It's probably there but I needed to move on!


  1. Accumulation of paper is one of my biggest problems! Good luck with your purging. I'm sure you'll feel so much better when you are done!

    1. What happened to the predicted paperless world? I did have a "My I am getting old" moment when I called TIAA-CREF to ask if I needed any of this paper and the person I was talking with couldn't seem to really wrap his mind around the fact that we had started accounts with them before everything was electronic and/or that we still had paper copies LOL.

  2. I too have slowly been discarding papers from all those old mildewed boxes down in the basement -- old bank statements, credit card statements, telephone and utility bills, tax forms. Oh, why did I think I needed to keep so much stuff!?!

    The hardest part, if you ask me, is the shredding. I only have a little shredder on my wastebasket. It takes FOREVER to destroy all that stuff, but I guess it has to be done b/c my SS number and acct. numbers, etc. seem to be on every page!

    1. I hear you about the shredding. I have the same set up so I just do a bit at a time. It is important to do though.


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