financial tip of the week...

by Genya Harley 

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Financial House in Order (part 3)
Hello All: Once again thank you for reading and passing on this information you've deemed valuable send to family and friends. I am interested in hearing your questions and comments. Also, if you have a business or service and would be interested in showcasing it at my financial wealth & health seminar this fall, please contact me at the information listed below. I am looking forward to seeing you there. More information is forthcoming. Today continuing my message on greeting yourself organized, I am giving you some information you can use to get your "financial house" in order. I always tell my clients that keeping your paperwork organized is key to good management of your finances. I also tell them simply, "READ YOUR MAIL".
Many of us get pieces of mail from the bank, insurance company or other financial related businesses and we ignore them because we think because we've already paid the bill or we can look up something online or they might be trying to sell us something, we ignore critical pieces of mail, doing this have a negative impact on your finances. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

What to Keep & What to Get Rid Of
NOTE: Keep till warranty expires or can no longer return or exchange
* Sales Receipts (Unless needed for tax purposes and then keep for 3 years)

What to keep for 1 month
* ATM Printouts (When you balance your checkbook each month throw out the ATM receipts)
What to keep for 1 year
* Paycheck Stubs (You can get rid of once you have compared to your W2 & annual social security statement)
* Utility Bills (You can throw out after one year, unless you're using these as a deduction like a home office --then you need to keep them for 3 years after you've filed that tax return)
* Cancelled Checks (Unless needed for tax purposes and then you need to keep for 3 years)
* Credit Card Receipts (Unless needed for tax purposes and then you need to keep for 3 years)
* Bank Statements (Unless needed for tax purposes and then you need to keep for 3 years)
* Quarterly Investment Statements (Hold on to until you get your annual statement)

What to keep for 3 years
* Income Tax Returns (Please keep in mind that you can be audited by the IRS for no reason up to three years after you filed a tax return. If you omit 25% of your gross income that goes up to 6 years and if you don't file a tax return at all, there is no statute of limitations.)
* Medical Bills and Cancelled Insurance Policies
* Records of Selling a House (Documentation for Capital Gains Tax)
* Records of Selling a Stock (Documentation for Capital Gains Tax)
* Receipts, Cancelled Checks and other Documents that Support Income or a Deduction on your Tax Return (Keep 3 years from the date the return was filed or 2 years from the date the tax was paid -- which ever is later)
* Annual Investment Statement (Hold onto 3 years after you sell your investment.)

What to keep for 7 years
* Records of Satisfied Loans

What to hold while active
* Contracts
* Insurance Documents
* Stock Certificates
* Property Records
* Stock Records
* Records of Pensions and Retirement Plans
* Property Tax Records Disputed Bills (Keep the bill until the dispute is resolved)
* Home Improvement Records (Hold for at least 3 years after the due date for the tax return that includes the income or loss on the asset when it's sold)

Keep Forever
* Marriage Licenses
* Birth Certificates
* Wills
* Adoption Papers
* Death Certificates
* Records of Paid Mortgages
As always, be safe and use wisdom!

If you would like more information or if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please call me or email me at 773-251-1865 or, or

Genya Harley
Financial Consultant
Mutual of Omaha
19255 Everett Lane, Suite C
Mokena, IL 60448

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