Bills & Records

Information is flexibility and power. Keeping copies of medical results and primary information will make it easier to change doctors or even get a second option. The doctors can therefore easily get information from other doctors. However, this usually consumes time. When a caregiver can bring with them primary information, the first visit becomes more fruitful.

Older people have boxes of old files cluttering their closets, and if you want to clean out, there are some that you should keep because they are of great importance to the older adult including:

IRA contributions

You will need to keep these records to prove that you have paid tax on your contribution when you want to withdraw your money. You must do this if the senior has made an after-tax payment to the IRA.

Retirement plan statements

Keeping an annual summary until you close an account is necessary. Keep the quarterly retirement statements until you get the yearly summary. You can share the quarterly statements if everything matches up.

Tax returns and supporting documents

Everything to do with tax is very important. It should be preserved for at least seven years. To audit the tax returns, the IRS requests for documents three years from your filing date. If they suspect good faith errors in the tax returns, they will only do an audit for the past three years. Yet, you can file an amendment plan if you find a mistake. The IRS also has six years to challenge your returns if it thinks that you have underreported your income by 25% or more. The IRS can come for you anytime if you fail to file a return or have filed a fake return.

Tax Returns Documentations to keep

  • Charitable contributions
  • Income documentation
  • Alimony
  • Mortgage interest
  • Retirement plan contribution
  • Other tax deductions were taken

Medical bills and records

You should keep all the medical bills and support documentations, for instance, credit cards statements or canceled checks until you are sure that the bill has been acknowledged that you have paid in full either by the insurance company or by the elder person. However, if the senior is using unreimbursed medical expenses on their tax returns, remember to keep all the documents as listed above. Medical bills and information to keep include;

  • Dental
  • Contact lenses or eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Over- the counter medication
  • Laboratory results
  • Cardiac tests
  • Pathology reports
  • Hospital discharge summaries
  • And other clinical notes

Brokerage statements

Until you see all the securities covered by the brokerage statement to prove that you have capital gains or losses, you must keep the documents. You will also need to keep statements if you hold stocks or bonds for many years.

Other records to keep include:

  • Credit card receipts and records
  • Paycheck stubs
  • House records
  • Bank records
  • Bills

The above documents and records are to be preserved properly. When in doubt, don’t throw other documents unless you are sure that you can retrieve the documents and records electronically from the insurance company, hospital, or bank.

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