How Long Should You Save Important Documents?

The Bird’s Eye View:

Clients often ask us how long they need to keep important documents on file. Today, we’re sharing a checklist of what you need to save and why.


Your Guide:

On this episode of Your Retirement Elevated podcast with Scott Dougan, we’re sharing how long you need to keep documents on hand and why.

First, you should create different categories – such as tax documents, health care, legal, assets and debt and other documents – and make a process that works best for you.

Tax documents

You never mess with any government agency that has three letters. For the IRS, you need to keep at least three years of state and federal income tax returns and all your supporting documentation.

If you live in California, you need to keep them longer than three years. In other cases, there are some tax documents you may need to keep for six or seven years, which we detail in the podcast.

Health care

If you’re on Medicare, you’ll want to keep your summary notices for at least a year or until the bill is paid in full. If you’re in an employer drug plan, keep your annual notice of credible coverage. You’ll need that if you’re on Part D at a later time.


You definitely want a copy of your Social Security card, birth certificate and passport. If you have an estate plan, you want a digital copy in a PDF. You also want to save marriage certificates and military discharge papers.

Listen to the full episode or use the timestamps below to find specific segments.

[7:15] – Taxes

[8:54] – Health care

[9:54] – Legal

[11:13] – Assets and debts

[12:55] – Other documents

Thanks for checking out the Your Retirement Elevated Podcast. We’ll talk to you again on the next show.

Download the free PDF: What Documents Should I Keep on File


Your Guide:

Home Insight About Scott

Scott Dougan, RFC, Investment Advisor – Contact

Will the Pandemic Rob Your Retirement? 4 Things to Check Now

The Bird’s Eye View:

The fear for many right now is that once the pandemic finally passes, the financial impact will knock them off track for the future. If you’re worried that the coronavirus could rob you of your retirement, there are four areas of your finances that you can check right now. Find out what they are and why they’re good indicators of where you’re headed.


Your Guide:

With the coronavirus still creating many economic and financial issues across the country, pre-retirees along with retirees are concerned about their future. How long can they withstand the volatility before it robs them of their retirement?

Our hope is that you already had a solid plan in place when the year started and haven’t spent much time worrying about the state of your finances, but many people did not. And then there are others that just aren’t too sure about where they stand.

On this episode of Your Retirement Elevated Podcast, Scott Dougan will provide you with a list of four items that you can check on right now that will help you determine whether you’re still on track or whether you need to make adjustments.

No. 1 – Check in on your expenses.

How well are you managing you money during the pandemic? You should have a budget in place already but you should check to see if you’re sticking to it. You might even find during this time that you can cut certain expenses out of your life. Plus, look ahead to see if there are any expenses coming so you can allocate that money now.

No. 2 – Check your assets.

These assets give you the ability to generate income and that’s essential to live the way you choose. Take inventory of what you have.

No. 3 – Check your risk tolerance.

Is your portfolio built to withstand the ups and the downs? You might have thought your risk tolerance was higher than you realized you’re comfortable with, but check to see if you have more risk than you actually believe.

No. 4 – Check the income gap.

Finally, take a look at what your expenses are compared to your guaranteed income sources. If there’s a gap, you need to make changes.

We’ll run through all of these in more detail on the show but use this as an opportunity to look through your finances and find out exactly where you stand.

If you’d like to check out the PDF we’ve created, click here. 

Thanks for checking out the Your Retirement Elevated Podcast. We’ll talk to you again on the next show.

[0:53] – Will a recession rob your retirement?

[2:07] – Most of the folks we work with still have the same plan now that they did before the pandemic.

[3:29] – No. 1 – Check in on your expenses.

[6:26] – No. 2 – Check your assets.

[9:26] – No. 3 – Check your risk tolerance. Here’s what that means.

[14:18] – No. 4 – Check the income gap.

[18:12] – How does Scott use this checklist with clients?


Your Guide:

Home Insight About Scott

Scott Dougan, RFC, Investment Advisor – Contact