Magazine article USA TODAY

Tax Season Is the Perfect Time to Get Organized

Magazine article USA TODAY

Tax Season Is the Perfect Time to Get Organized

Article excerpt

Gone are the days of saving your financial documents in a box and shoving it into the attic. Technology advances have made organizing your personal finances easier with minimal cost. Make 2012 the year you get organized by moving your finances into a 21st-century filing system--and tax season is a great time to do so, points out financial planner Rick Rodgers, author of The New Three-legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach to Retirement Planning.

"Going through records in getting ready to file a return provides the perfect opportunity to get smart about what you need to keep and then set up a system to store it efficiently going forward."

Rodgers suggests these five steps to help organize finances for 2012 and beyond:

Out with the old. Discard the records you no longer need: tax returns older than seven years; bank records and credit card statements that are not related to the tax returns you are keeping; and brokerage statements that are not related to purchases of current holdings. Be sure to shred all of your old documents before throwing them out. …

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