Your guide to organizing essential end-of-year financial documents
It’s hard to believe that 2017 has almost come to an end. While this time of year generally gives way to holiday celebrations, it also presents the perfect opportunity to do a bit of housekeeping. And we’re not talking physically here — but sure, clean out the basement while you’re searching for the decorations.
Year’s end is the perfect time to do a bit of financial housekeeping, because it’s a period when you’ll receive a wealth of statements from any number of sources. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of some essential end-of-year financial documents that you’ll want to make sure you have on hand.
Income statements: Whether from investments, Social Security or professional pursuits, make sure you have documentation of all your earnings for the year.
Bank account records: If you keep all your printed monthly statements, take time at the end of the year to put them together. And whether you do that or not, make a list of all active bank accounts and lines of credit for your records. It never hurts to know what you need to keep tabs on.
Loans and debt records: Your records will only be half complete if you document your income, but neglect your expenses. Keep a running tally of any open loans or debts so that you can measure your progress year-over-year and budget accordingly.
Investment records: Just as you’ll want to keep a running list of bank accounts, lines of credit and debts, you’ll want to ensure you’ve accurately accounted for all stocks and bonds, as well as their performance. You’ll likely receive end-of-year statements for these accounts but may have documentation from other times of the year as well.
Pension documents: If you have a pension, you’ll want to track any income, but you may also wish to file annuity contracts and summary plan descriptions (SPDs) for 401(K) pension plans, particularly if you’ve made any updates to your beneficiaries in the previous calendar year.
Property deeds and titles: If you’ve made any major property purchases in the past year, your financial housekeeping session is the perfect time to ensure you’ve collected all related documents and filed them accordingly.
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