By Joni Lindquist

What documents to keep, what to shred?

Now that another tax year is wrapped up for those of us who did not file an extension; what better way to celebrate than to do some spring cleaning and get our personal documents in order?

KHC is hosting a shred event on Saturday, April 25 from 9 am to noon at our office.  While opinions differ about what to shred, below are some guidelines to follow.  First, let’s start with documents you should keep in a safe place:

  • birth certificates, marriage certificate
  • college transcripts, diplomas
  • divorce decree and property agreements
  • mortgage documents
  • home inventory
  • insurance policies
  • passport (current)
  • pension-plan and retirement-plan documents
  • Social Security cards
  • stock purchase agreements
  • tax returns (keep 3 – 7 years)
  • vehicle records – titles and registration
  • wills, trust documents, power of attorney documents and living wills

These physical documents should be kept in a safe deposit box or a fireproof box.  Alternatively, we offer a secure electronic vault for our clients to scan their important documents and retain them electronically.

Other documents to keep include:

  • medical records – guidelines differ, some say to keep up to five years
  • large ticket product warranties (as long as you own the items)
  • cancelled checks, contracts, invoices for permanent home improvements (as long as you own the house)

What you should shred is pretty much anything else that has some personal information on it, including:

  • Monthly and quarterly statements for your investment accounts
  • Old bank statements not needed as back-up for prior tax returns
  • Credit card bills
  • Other paper bills , such as utilities (and now would be a good time to sign up for electronic billing)
  • Canceled personal checks for a year
  • Pay stubs, (keep for a year, shred all others)
  • Credit card, debit card and ATM receipts – keep until you verify the transaction, then shred
  • Old airline tickets
  • Insurance policies that are no longer current – keep current ones
  • Credit card applications received in the mail

For help getting your financial and career plans in order, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Joni Lindquist –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: NNSANews / Foter / CC BY-ND