Financial record keeping

Here are some important papers and records. You should keep them in a safe place and organize them so that you can find what you need. The chart shows their “shelf life” – how long you should keep them.

Remember: For safety, shred or destroy important papers before you throw them away.


Shelf Life

Birth Certificate or other ID

Keep for life

Social Insurance Number

Keep for life

Monthly Bills with Confirmation of payments

Keep for at least 1 year

Receipt for major purchases

Keep until past return date or warranty date

Warranties and guarantees for items you buy

Keep until warranty expires

Bankbook and statements

Keep for at least 1 year

Unused cheques or copies of bank statements

One year or six years if used as receipts for tax purposes

Investments papers and statements

Keep for as long as you own the investment.

Credit card statements

Keep minimum one year or seven if used as a record or expenses for tax purposes

Lease (Lease to own) , loans and mortgage papers

Keep until paid off. Keep the receipt of final payment.

Tax returns, notice of assessment or tax related receipts

Keep for 7 years

Insurance papers

Keep for life of the insurance policy

Final will and testaments

Keep for life

November 10, 2014
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