With tax season in the rear view mirror for most of us, we usually vow to keep better records for the coming year. But, there are a few important documents that are imperative to know where they are at all times and ensure they are protected from theft and in case of emergency. Often times, these documents can be difficult to find when needed most, so here are some tips on what documents are most important and how to store them.
Safe Deposit Box. The good old reliable safe deposit box is one of the securest way to store valuables. Be sure that you tell a trusted person where to find your key in case of an emergency or have them included on record at the bank to access the box.
Fireproof and Waterproof Safe. For documents you need to keep at home, a fireproof and waterproof safe is a great way to ensure important documents and valuables are locked away for safe storage from theft as well as protected in case of unforeseen disaster.
4 Important Documents to Be Sure to Protect
Tax Returns. The IRS has suggestions about how long you should keep your annual tax returns. In most cases, you should hang on to them for three years. Keeping the actual paper documents in a fireproof safe is fine, it’s also a good idea to make electronic backups, too. Be sure to use two-factor authentication to protect them from hackers.
Birth Certificate. A birth certificate is required to enroll in school or the military, get a passport or a marriage license, and, in some cases, a driver’s license. The original should be kept in a safe deposit box at your local bank. This goes for any children’s birth certificates as well. Make copies and keep them in a fireproof safe.
Social Security Cards. You won’t often need your actual Social Security card, but you must provide your Social Security number in many situations and, at times, the physical card is necessary. This is a piece of information that can be detrimental in the wrong hands so don’t walk around with it in your wallet or on your person. Keep it in a safe deposit box or a fireproof safe.
Travel-related documents. Items such as your passport and visa, should be kept at home when you’re not traveling. Before your trip, make copies (in color and black-and-white) and keep the copies in your hotel room safe when you travel. Keep the original documents in a waterproof document wallet and carry them with you at all times when overseas.
Hopefully these tips help you protect the documents that you need to make your most important financial decisions. It’s equally important to get your financial life organized and safe, so if we can help in any way, let’s connect.
Protecting your most important documents are just a part of a smart financial strategy.
Reach out if you want to connect and make your best next steps.
Storing Your 4 Most Important Personal Documents
April 22, 2022