Important papers to keep: a checklist
Documents to store or shred.
Is it ok to keep digital copies of important documents?
If you want to cut down on paper, you have several digital storage options. You can scan documents, but be warned: If your computer crashes, you could lose the data. Keeping all your documents on your computer isn’t very efficient. Better digital options include external hard drives or flash drives, but you might want to have multiple backups in case one is damaged.
Also be aware that, if your computer gets hacked, criminals will be able to gain access to all the financial information you store on your computer. If you choose to do so, make sure you have excellent cybersecurity in place and update it often.
Another option is cloud-based storage, which not only saves space but also can organize and keep documents secure through encrypted networks. Many providers allow access through mobile devices, making your documents accessible almost anywhere in the world.
If you do go digital, make sure you don’t need an original paper document in the future. The last thing you want is to shred something to save space, only to need it five years later.
If you need help collecting and understanding these documents, contact your financial advisor. Refer to this checklist annually to ensure you have only the most relevant and important papers saved, and enjoy shredding and decluttering what you no longer need to keep.