downsizing and eliminating clutterMost people in the market for a home to enjoy during their retirement years are hoping to downsize. That means there probably won’t be room to keep those bankers boxes stacked in the attic – those you’ve moved five times already because they’re crammed with bank statements and you think you should keep them “just in case.”

The

Equifax Personal Finance blog offers advice on what to file and what to throw away (after shredding, of course). Written by tax expert Eva Rosenberg, “

Tax Paperwork: What Can You Toss and What Can You Keep?” does what the

Equifax Personal Finance blog authors do best: provides commonsense guidance.

Found a tax return from 1965? Keep it and all other returns. Papers from your first car loan – the 1967 Mustang convertible? The car might be more valuable now (if only you’d kept it), but the paperwork is worthless. And all those bank statements? If they’re older than five to seven years, send them to the shredder.

Before you throw them all away, you might want to save one or two envelopes of canceled checks to let your children and grandchildren see how things were “back in the old days.” Your children will wish they could buy or rent a home for such a small monthly payment. And your grand-kids might wonder why you wrote so many checks at all. Wouldn’t it have been easier just to use your debit card at the store?

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