Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’

Can I throw away my records?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I have a friend who does organizing for people as a business and I’ve used her services myself.  Why?  Because I always think I may need things later.  It helps to have someone hold up a t-shirt that I haven’t worn for 15 years, and is in a size that I am sure I’ll never see again and make me say out loud that I really need to keep it.  And yes, I now have 2 big bags of clothes to take to the charity resale store.

That works with clothes, but what about my financial records?

Part of me knows that I really don’t need my electric bills from 1994 from a house that has since been sold, but they really don’t take up much room and they would be difficult to recreate if I ever did need them.

This time of year, I hear people recommending that you dispose of financial records that are over 3 years old.  This may be correct for tax purposes.  I’m not a tax expert so I really can’t say.

But, if you want to apply for Medicaid, you need to be able to ‘look back’ 5 years to see if you’ve made a gift that might create a penalty period.  Or rather, you need to be able to prove that you did NOT make a gift in the past 5 years.

And since I’m never sure of what may happen in my life, I want to be prepared, just in case.

So my goal for this spring is to dispose of financial records from 2005 and before.  Yes I know that 2006 was 6 years ago and not five, but at least I’ll get rid of those electric bills from 1994!

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