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 Post subject: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:49 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:43 am
Posts: 2
We are thinking of getting a safe deposit box for the usual suspects (birth certificate, marriage cert, etc). Some suggest a home safe is less than ideal since home safes can be carried off, broken into, none are totally fire proof and can be flooded (rec: keep in plastic bag).

Since we are only proposing to store papers and not monetary valuable items such as jewelry, would you get a safe deposit box or home safe? We could keep a copy of our docs at work so copies could be stored off site in case someone steels the safe. Thoughts? Opinions?


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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:22 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:02 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Charlotte, NC
We paid for a safety deposit box for these type of items for years. We eventually realized that everything we had stored in it was replaceable. Of course it would be a pain if we had to do it, but we decided it wasn't worth the expense.

I did scan the documents, OCRed them so they are searchable and have them backed up to an internet service, but otherwise we're not protecting these sort of documents anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:43 am
Posts: 2
Thanks for your response. I'm finding it harder to figure out why we might actually want to pay for a safe deposit box since as you point out, all the docs can be replaced and I've lived 40 years without one just fine.


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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:31 pm 
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huruta wrote:
Thanks for your response. I'm finding it harder to figure out why we might actually want to pay for a safe deposit box since as you point out, all the docs can be replaced and I've lived 40 years without one just fine.


We have a safety deposit box that costs about $25 a year. I don't think you can get a decent safe for, say, 10 years of that fee. You can get a cheap safe, but what's the point. That's like shopping for the cheapest neurosurgeon!.

I think the safety deposit box is a convenient and reliable place to store important documents. It's probably entirely unnecessary as you say, but if you have things like deeds, trust documents, stock certificates, receipts for big ticket items, or similar things that have value only in original form (i.e., scanning and storing electronically is not acceptable) then you need to have something.

It's probably totally personal choice but I don't think the fee can be beat for the security it offers.


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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:24 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1624
Location: Seattle, WA
Any tips on where to get one that cheap? When I looked into it, the cheapest option I found was $150 per year, for a box far larger than what I would need.

It's hard to quantify the value of off-site storage. Ignoring that, $25 per year in perpetuity has a present value of $600 to $1000 (depending on what inflation rate you use.) Which amount I would imagine could buy you a decent, fireproof and waterproof home safe.

I am even considering getting a tiny home safe for a few bucks just to have one place to keep important documents.


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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:09 pm 
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stannius wrote:
Any tips on where to get one that cheap? When I looked into it, the cheapest option I found was $150 per year, for a box far larger than what I would need.


Stannius, from previous posts I think I know you are in Arizona. We pay $35 a year at a local Chase branch in Tucson. That is for a box about 2 inches high, 9 inches wide and maybe 20+ inches deep I think. Until very recently we had a smaller on (maybe 6 inches wide but same length and depth) that was $21.40 per year. I don't think Chase is particularly good or bad. I just know those figures are accurate.

I could not find out anything about them online. You would need to go to the local branch to find out what is available and the costs.

You point about the value of $25 in perpetuity seems about accurate.

Like I said, it's probably a matter of personal preference. People used to say that bank boxes were safer for various reasons. But there have been a few instances where items were lost or destroyed (9/11, Katrina) so that argument is less common now. But if you live in a flood prone area then having a box at a bank branch on high ground adds additional security.


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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:26 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1624
Location: Seattle, WA
DoingHomework wrote:
Stannius, from previous posts I think I know you are in Arizona. We pay $35 a year at a local Chase branch in Tucson. That is for a box about 2 inches high, 9 inches wide and maybe 20+ inches deep I think. Until very recently we had a smaller on (maybe 6 inches wide but same length and depth) that was $21.40 per year. I don't think Chase is particularly good or bad. I just know those figures are accurate.


Do you have to be a(n existing) customer of a bank to get a box there?

The credit union I use does not have boxes of their own. They recommended another local company, which is where I got the $150 per year quote from.

Interesting... I actually live in Washington though :)

Quote:
You point about the value of $25 in perpetuity seems about accurate.

Like I said, it's probably a matter of personal preference. People used to say that bank boxes were safer for various reasons. But there have been a few instances where items were lost or destroyed (9/11, Katrina) so that argument is less common now. But if you live in a flood prone area then having a box at a bank branch on high ground adds additional security.


Well, there are definitely pros to having it at a bank, regardless of the katrina/911 argument:
1) You could keep a copy at the bank and at your house. So while Katrina could kill both, a house fire would only take out one at most.
2) The bank is certainly more secure than your closet. No matter how good a safe you get, the bank's is better. And the bank never goes on vacation for a week or more.


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 Post subject: Re: safe deposit box?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:34 pm 
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stannius wrote:
Do you have to be a(n existing) customer of a bank to get a box there?

Not sure, we've had the box for 20+ years.

stannius wrote:
Interesting... I actually live in Washington though :)

Mea Culpa

stannius wrote:
2) The bank is certainly more secure than your closet. No matter how good a safe you get, the bank's is better. And the bank never goes on vacation for a week or more.

Ah, but try getting something out of your safe deposit box on Sunday!


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