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Sort & Organize Your Personal Files

Jason Hemenway,

May 11, 2015

Retiring Your Way


Spring is a great time of year to not only clean and organize your closets, but also to organize your personal files. You will need a personal inventory to ensure all your financial records are safe and accessible. So where do you begin? What documents do you need to keep and for how long? What items can be discarded?

A great place to start is by filling out a personal inventory worksheet. This is a wonderful tool that allows you to organize items such as home, life and auto insurance, assets and liabilities, benefit plans as well as the location of these documents and it helps you identify those people who you have knowledge of these documents.

What items should I be keeping and for how long? This helpful "What to Keep and How Long to Keep It" chart is great reference for trimming down your filing cabinet.

What items should you discard? Items such as cancelled checks for cash or nondeductible expenses, expired warranties, pay stubs, after reconciling with W-2. Also discard other records no longer needed, such as those that were replaced by newer versions, manuals of appliances that you've replaced, etc. (resource:

So don’t just organize your closets, organize your financial records as well. For other helpful tools, visit The Retirement Education Center at

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This blog article is for informational purposes only, and is not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.