facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
Which Financial Documents Should You Back Up Digitally? Thumbnail

Which Financial Documents Should You Back Up Digitally?

In the last century, paper ruled but we are now in the digital age.  While technology has revolutionized the way we manage our lives, safeguarding our financial documents has never been more critical.  From tax returns and bank statements to investment portfolios and insurance policies, our financial well-being relies on organized and secure documentation.  Maintaining paper copies has been the traditional means of retaining documents.  However, with the advent of digital technology, we have a safer and easier means for storing and safeguarding our important personal information.

Most printers today provide the option of scanning your important documents so you can store them digitally on your computer.  But because of storage limitations and risk of losing data, a more popular option is storing digital information in the Cloud via the use of online storage services.

Here, we share a comprehensive guide on why storing documents digitally is beneficial, which financial documents you should back up, and why these backups are crucial for your financial future.

Why Digital Storage is Beneficial


Digital backups are typically easier to create, store, and manage compared to physical copies. With digital backups, you can automate the process, schedule regular backups, and access your documents from anywhere with an internet connection.


Storing documents digitally eliminates the need for physical storage space, such as filing cabinets or shelves. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals or businesses dealing with a large volume of documents.

Protection from Physical Damage

Paper documents are susceptible to damage from fire, water, pests, and other environmental factors. Digital backups, stored securely online or on external drives, protect your documents from physical harm.


Digital backups can be encrypted and password-protected, providing an additional layer of security against unauthorized access. Advanced security features, such as two-factor authentication and encryption protocols, can further safeguard your documents.

Ease of Access and Sharing

Digital backups allow for quick and easy access to your documents from any device with internet connectivity. Additionally, you can easily share digital documents with others via email, cloud storage services, or collaboration platforms.

Version Control and Recovery

Digital backups often include version control features, allowing you to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed. This can be invaluable in situations where documents are accidentally modified or corrupted.

Disaster Recovery

In the event of a disaster, such as a hardware failure or cyber attack, digital backups enable swift recovery of your important documents. Cloud-based backups offer off-site storage and redundancy, reducing the risk of data loss.


While there may be initial costs associated with setting up digital backup systems, they are generally more cost-effective in the long run compared to maintaining physical storage infrastructure and replacing damaged or lost documents.

What Documents Should You Store  Digitally?

Personal Identification Documents

Passport and Driver's License

Copies of your passport and driver’s license are essential for various financial transactions, including opening bank accounts and applying for loans. In case these physical documents are lost or stolen, having digital copies can expedite the recovery process.

Social Security Card

Your Social Security card is a crucial piece of identification. A digital copy can help you quickly prove your identity in various situations, from job applications to financial transactions.

Income and Employment Documents

Tax Returns

Backing up your tax returns is essential for future reference, especially when applying for loans, mortgages, or financial accounts. Digital copies make it easy to retrieve specific information when needed. When it comes to taxes, it’s best to keep any tax records for at least seven years and tax returns for one year.1

Pay Stubs

Keep digital copies of your pay stubs to track your income, deductions, and contributions to retirement accounts. These documents also serve as proof of income for loans and rental applications.

Employment Contracts

Save copies of your employment contracts to reference terms, conditions, and benefits. This can be crucial for legal matters or negotiations if needed.

Banking and Financial Statements

Investment Statements

Maintain digital records of investment portfolios, including statements from brokerage accounts and retirement funds. These documents are vital for assessing your financial growth and planning for the future.

Loan Agreements

Save digital copies of loan agreements, including mortgages, car loans, and personal loans.2 This ensures easy access to terms, interest rates, and payment schedules.

Insurance Documents

Health Insurance

Back up health insurance policies, benefit summaries, and coverage details. This is crucial for medical emergencies and filing insurance claims.

Life Insurance

Save digital copies of life insurance policies, ensuring beneficiaries have easy access to the information in the event of the policyholder’s passing.

Property and Auto Insurance

Keep digital records of insurance policies for your home, car, or any other valuable assets. This aids in the swift processing of claims in case of accidents or disasters.

Wills and Trusts

Back up your will and any trust documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out. This is crucial for the distribution of assets and the well-being of your loved ones.

Power of Attorney

Save digital copies of documents granting power of attorney to a trusted individual. This ensures that someone you trust can manage your financial affairs in case of emergency.

Safeguarding your financial documents is not just a matter of convenience but a fundamental element of a secured financial plan. By backing up the information mentioned above, you are taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

  1. https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/how-long-should-you-keep-your-bank-statements
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/money/taxes/how-long-to-keep-tax-documents-a5302825423/

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Attune Financial Planning and Twenty Over Ten.  The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information only.