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Time to Get Organized

April 29, 2014

Have you done your Spring Cleaning yet? It's time to get organized! April is National Record and Information Management Month. The goal is to emphasize the importance of organization and backup records. This can also protect us from loss or theft of personal information.

  • Document Protection
    • Keep it Private, Confidential and Secure
    • Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Retention of Records
    • You should keep all tax documents, policies, etc for a minimum of three years. According to numerous consumer websites, three to seven years is safe, with ten years being on the high end.
    • You only need to keep bank statements and bills for an extended period of time if they directly pertain to your taxes.
    • Retirement statements should be kept until you begin taking contributions.
    • Investment statements should be kept as long as you have the investment.
    • For more information, visit the IRS website.
  • Proper Document Destruction
    • Make sure you shred all documents when discarding. This protects your credit identity.
  • Transparency
    • Make sure your documentation is clear and concise. This will minimize confusion later if you have to go back and read your notes.

One great option that provides all of the above is a fireproof safe or lockbox with a random code.

Jayson Jones, Jones Insurance & Associates, suggests videotaping contents in your home. “In the event of a claim, we have to be able to prove ownership. Most of us don’t keep receipts of things very well,” said Jones. “Then, keep the video off-site; at work, a family member’s home, or in a lockbox so the tape is not lost in the fire or tornado.”

  • Benefits of Videotaping:
    •    Cuts down on time spent hand writing inventory of your personal property.
    •   Captures the serial numbers on electronics to tell the insurance company exactly what they need to replace.
    •   Captures more detail via vocal descriptions, such as where a product was purchased.
    •  Increases the items captured. Some people will only take photos of what they think to be important, but video will capture everything in the room.

 “Even though the trash can may only be $12.00 to replace, I want to be able to help people get back the stuff they had, and a bunch of little $12.00 things add up,” said Jones.

Author: Jones Insurance and Associates
April 29, 2014

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