Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:40 pm

vbdoug wrote:Just how safe are bank safe deposit boxes? I use one and a lot of bank employees see my take stuff in and out. How safe are bank safety deposit boxes?
Not perfectly safe, if that's what you mean.

Presumably your bank follows federal law and provides small enclosed rooms for you do whatever it is you do with the contents when you gain access, away from prying eyes.

My local brick and mortar bank employees see me come in frequently, at least monthly, sometimes more often, to access my storage space. They do not want to know that I'm just exchanging off-site backup media. I wouldn't pay the rent just for that, but I have other reasons to, and there's enough space left that I may as well use it for that purpose, too. Maybe they could profit by recycling the legal-sized paper documents I rent the box to preserve, but I bet it wouldn't be worth the legal liability they'd personally incur.

Highly-capable physical thieves are the threat, not bank employees.

Bank employees can't, on their own, access the contents of your box, because they don't have your key. Of course, metal is metal, and a locksmith can drill out the lock, but not in secret because it's time-consuming and noisy. That's a feature of the locks, not a bug. Multiple people have to agree that the drilling is justified, document why and sign their names, and the licensed and bonded locksmith won't drill unless satisfied all the paperwork is correct.

But no, they aren't perfectly safe from each and every hazard, if that's what you're asking.

PJW

larklea
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by larklea » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:17 am

We have both.

The wills are in the home portable safe, since here (TX) the safety deposit box will be hard for heirs to get into for awhile.

The rest is in the SD box.

Leave the key in the portable home safe. This may keep a thief from walking out with it. They don't want your wills anyway.

StaTiK
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by StaTiK » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:20 am

texasdiver wrote:The safe is just sitting on the floor and is a digital Sentry Safe about 2' square bought at Costco for a couple hundred $$. More for fire protection than theft I guess as thieves could use a hand cart to just walk out with it.
I had a 'cheap' fireproof Sentry safe for a while. Had. One day the dial broke off so I took it to a locksmith who opened the thing with a SCREWDRIVER. He just set the screwdriver on top, hit on the end with a mallet, and it punched through like it was made of putty. I was honestly surprised at how easily he drove a screwdriver through it... easier than if it had been made of wood. I don't know about yours but mine was thin gauge steel over gypsum-like material, with a liner inside to keep the gypsum away from my documents.

So your next option is to get a real safe, like something TL-30 rated. But that doesn't really help in case of fire/water so you'd need to buy one that is fireproof/waterproof and now you're getting into expensive territory.

Safety deposit box for me.
"M is the amount of money you need to retire, Y is how many years you'll live, R is your future rate of return, and I is the future rate of inflation. Y, R, and I are unknown. Solve for M."

ImaBeginner
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by ImaBeginner » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:24 pm

Lets just say that you didnt care about the cost of the safe, and choose to have that over a safety deposit box. Anyone have a recommendation for an actual decent brand of large home safe (gun safe size)?

stormswami
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by stormswami » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:13 am

Mainly because of theft and tornado risks (Oklahoma), we utilize a safe deposit box. It runs us $30/year for a legal pad-size box at our local bank. We keep passports, birth certificates, marriage license, car titles, list of CC numbers/contact info, a few old family pictures, a recent tax return or two, mortgage paperwork, extra copy of our wedding DVD etc.

arf1410
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by arf1410 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:43 pm

Getting directed to this old thread from this topic loosely touched upon in a current thread. Not clear why every one seems to want to keep birth certificates and passports in a safety deposit box. They're cheap and easy to replaced, and not a real target for thieves. What am i missing here?

Tallis
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Tallis » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:34 pm

arf1410 wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:43 pm
Not clear why every one seems to want to keep birth certificates and passports in a safety deposit box. They're cheap and easy to replaced, and not a real target for thieves. What am i missing here?
I keep those in the safe deposit box so I don't forget where I put them.

Calico
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Calico » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:41 pm

bertilak wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:34 pm
paulsiu wrote:... steal the whole safe ...
Been there; had that done to me.

It was a big, heavy safe but I didn't consider that:
  • There were two of them, making it practical to muscle the safe around.
    They didn't care that pushing it down the stairs would take out a few of the steps.
    They didn't care that tipping it end over end would ruin my hardwood floor.
They were damned inconsiderate!
I am so sorry! What a pain. Not only to lose the safe but have all that damage.

I really need a safe (for my trust documents, car title, and coin collection). Right now I just have stuff tucked away in random places. I mean, really random.

I like the idea of a decoy safe and a real safe. I would put my jewelry in that. I have some decent jewelry, but most of it I just don't care about. It's just stuff as far as I am concerned. The coin collection used to be my dad's and has sentimental value to me (as well as real value). The only jewelry I would put in the real safe would be my grandmother's favorite gold broach and my great grandmother's wedding ring.

Marketman
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Marketman » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:54 pm

I'm leery about fancy home safes because I'm afraid that it might invite inside jobs and a hold-up. I don't want a home invasion while I'm at home. I guess if the safe was well hidden it might be better, but i'm afraid that workmen, etc. in my house who see a safe might tell others.

whomever
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by whomever » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:54 pm

it appears that there are few if any floor safes that are fireproof.
That sounded odd to me. There seems to be some disagreement:

"Since the safe is installed into the floor and then surrounded by concrete, fire protection just doesn't get any better. Concrete is the best when it comes to fire protection. Heat (and flames) rise, so a safe installed in the ground surrounded by concrete is definitely going to be fire protected. In my 40 plus years of experience, I have never seen the contents of a correctly installed in-the-floor safe compromised by fire. Additionally, in-the-floor safes have consistently outperformed some of the world's best fire safes in the same fire."

https://www.deansafe.com/floor-safes.html

sco
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by sco » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:00 pm

Keep in mind nothing that you put in the SDB is insured by FDIC, it isn't a deposit.

ausgenf
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by ausgenf » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:37 pm

I had a big fireproof floor safe at home but it provided very little defense against burglary. One day the lock broke and I had to have the safe drilled ($$$). It took less than 5 minutes to pop that safe open (I was in the room next door while the guy was working and I did not hear a thing). So now I have a safe deposit box. The facility where it is located also has a much better chance to survive a tornado than my home. And they have 24/7 security.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:52 pm

My home safe is a decoy. It's filled with junk.

I have some valuables stored inside the home elsewhere. Also in a bank safe deposit box.
Funding secured

likegarden
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by likegarden » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:06 pm

This comparison is not important to us. For the last 30 years we have a safe in our home, only containing documents. Probably each of those documents could be replaced if needed at all. Emergency cash is not much and losing it would not hurt us much. My wife does not collect expensive jewelry, could easily replace her jewelry.

arf1410
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by arf1410 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:19 pm

Maybe I'm naive, but unless you're in a known high risk profession - diamond importer, drug dealer, etc... do you suppose the average, or even the "top 1%" home burglar is equipped with much more than a crowbar, or maybe a hammer? I'm sure that a high speed drill, and carbide or diamond tipped bits could get thru an average home safe in 5 minutes, but you suppose that is a realistic risk for most folks?

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Geneyus
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Geneyus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:24 pm

We recently had a home invasion in my city where 4 guys burst into a house with the homeowners home, and they went straight to the safe. It appears the maid, bug guy, or a contractor told someone there was a safe in the home, and the criminals figured there was something good inside. They took the entire safe and beat up the residents pretty good.

The moral of the story: Be careful about who you let into your house. A safe doesn't do you any good, if someone is pointing a gun at you and requesting the combination. I think not having a large safe visible in an expensive house would have served that couple better. They were a prime target. I have a small mounted safe for my handguns and important documents, and I conceal it with clothes and junk whenever the bug spray guy is coming.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:44 pm

arf1410 wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:43 pm
Getting directed to this old thread from this topic loosely touched upon in a current thread. Not clear why every one seems to want to keep birth certificates and passports in a safety deposit box. They're cheap and easy to replaced, and not a real target for thieves. What am i missing here?
Cheap and easy to replace? I'm not so sure.

According to state.gov, you have to submit Form DS-64 to report the loss or theft of your passport, then you have to submit DS-11 (application for passport) in person, and you have to pay the same fee that you paid when you originally applied (the replacement is treated as if it were a brand new passport).

Replacing a birth certificate is not as bad, at least in my own state of birth; it's a $15 charge, and the request and paperwork can either be mailed in, or one can go through a third party company which contracts with the state to handle such online.

It seems to be that a safe-deposit box is an ideal place to keep my certified copy of my birth certificate, given that I don't need frequent access to it. I do keep my passport in my home safe, though, since I do use it a bit more frequently than I do the birth certificate.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

arf1410
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by arf1410 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:28 pm

well, to me $150 and 15 minutes to fill out a form, and even a trip to the post office / passport office, is cheap and easy, I guess not to you.

As far as birth certificates, as least with my kids, it seemed like every 3 months I needed them for some or another. (youth soccer and little league? Really? yes, true!). Those I kept in the home safe, but as much so I didn't loose them! As for the passports, though when traveling, I keep them in the hotel safe, I don't even bother to put them in my home safe.

Maybe I've lived a sheltered life, but I've never heard of a person (that I know or have talked to) that has had anything stolen from a house other than electronics, computers, jewelry / jewelry box, bikes, skis, etc.

Before deciding on a safe, I did talk to my insurance agent, who had in his 30 years never once dealt with a claim from a home safe.

golfCaddy
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by golfCaddy » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:44 pm

arf1410 wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:19 pm
Maybe I'm naive, but unless you're in a known high risk profession - diamond importer, drug dealer, etc... do you suppose the average, or even the "top 1%" home burglar is equipped with much more than a crowbar, or maybe a hammer? I'm sure that a high speed drill, and carbide or diamond tipped bits could get thru an average home safe in 5 minutes, but you suppose that is a realistic risk for most folks?
Yes, professional thieves will bring common power tools or they won't even need to bring their own, as they can use what's in the owner's garage. If all you're trying to keep out are bored teenagers, even a cheap home safe might be overkill.

squirm
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by squirm » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:58 pm

SurfCityBill wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:30 pm
I discontinued my safe deposit box years ago. I found it inconvenient and costly. I went with a basic 2' x 2' home safe which is anchored to the concrete slab in an inconspicuous corner of the garage with a cardboard box covering it. It is mostly for fire protection but unless a thief is planning to spend some time rummaging through every box in the house and then spending time going through the garage chances are he won't find it. If he does then he has to figure a way of removing it from the slab or just breaking in to it right there. For all that effort he'll get a few car titles, a marriage license, and a couple of other non-valuable, non-negotiable odds and ends.
What exactly goes into a safe anyway?
I'm sure we've lost all the car titles, marriage license, birth certificates, etc.

SimonJester
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by SimonJester » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:30 am

whomever wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:54 pm
it appears that there are few if any floor safes that are fireproof.
That sounded odd to me. There seems to be some disagreement:

"Since the safe is installed into the floor and then surrounded by concrete, fire protection just doesn't get any better. Concrete is the best when it comes to fire protection. Heat (and flames) rise, so a safe installed in the ground surrounded by concrete is definitely going to be fire protected. In my 40 plus years of experience, I have never seen the contents of a correctly installed in-the-floor safe compromised by fire. Additionally, in-the-floor safes have consistently outperformed some of the world's best fire safes in the same fire."

https://www.deansafe.com/floor-safes.html
The biggest issue I see with in floor safes is water intrusion. When there is fire there is usually a lot of water dumped into the house to put out said fire.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

4strings
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by 4strings » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:25 pm

Marketman wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:54 pm
I'm leery about fancy home safes because I'm afraid that it might invite inside jobs and a hold-up. I don't want a home invasion while I'm at home. I guess if the safe was well hidden it might be better, but i'm afraid that workmen, etc. in my house who see a safe might tell others.
this.

i am paranoid about the actual safe company knowing my address/name/billing information when ordering the actual safe...knowing that I have one in my house and that knowledge or information potentially being shared with nefarious parties. or perhaps that company being hacked providing information on all safe owners across the country with pinpoint accuracy.

how about the contractor who has to install the safe into concrete? he will know about the presence of a safe, the size of it and can make an inference as to the contents solely on the service being rendered and the home's appearance. after completing the job, telling all of his buddies and coworkers about a recent install giving others some bad ideas.

it would have to be as discrete as possible. has anyone given this any thought or taken any precaution?

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walletless
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by walletless » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:16 pm

Safety Deposit box for Gold/Jewelry, Copy of trust/will, Passports

AmazonBasics Home Safe for other things like 2nd copy of trust/will, car/home titles, etc.

DesertDiva
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by DesertDiva » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:40 pm

Aptenodytes wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:19 pm
texasdiver wrote:3. The best bargains for safes seem to be the big gun safes like those currently on sale at Costco. I'm not really looking to store guns or valuables, mainly just to use the safe as good place to store documents and materials that we don't want to lose or misplace (photo albums, etc.). The one disadvantage to putting in a big gun safe is that it becomes on obvious target for thieves who will think it contains all the good stuff. If I'm gone on vacation for a week or two (which we occasionally do) I hate to think that some thieves would be coming back with hammers, drills, and what not to destroy the safe thinking it is full of guns and gold or some such. That's why I was originally thinking that a hidden floor safe would make the most sense, especially as there are no guns involved.
What some people seem to do is keep two safes -- one is relatively easy to find, medium-to-low quality, and contains decoy valuables. The other is well hidden, higher quality, and has your real valuables. That's too much for me, but might be appropriate for you.
I like this suggestion, along with the recommendation to be careful who you let into your house and who you talk to.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:36 pm

I like my safety deposit box because it is also outside my house without me having to rely only on cloud storage. I visit it every 6 months and swap a hard drive into it. A lifetime of tax returns and family photos and brokerage statements are all on that hard drive - if my house burns down tomorrow I have it all in the safety deposit box (with cloud or online brokerage backup for everything recent ).
I also have car titles and home deed in it.

If you have a "fire proof" safe read the fine print. Many will only last a short and not-too-hot fire.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:43 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:36 pm
I like my safety deposit box because it is also outside my house without me having to rely only on cloud storage. I visit it every 6 months and swap a hard drive into it. A lifetime of tax returns and family photos and brokerage statements are all on that hard drive - if my house burns down tomorrow I have it all in the safety deposit box (with cloud or online brokerage backup for everything recent ).
I also have car titles and home deed in it.

If you have a "fire proof" safe read the fine print. Many will only last a short and not-too-hot fire.
Same here. I don't store anything in the cloud. Worst case scenario of house fire etc is I will have to download 6 months or less of documents (which will almost certainly be readily available) and lose the most recent six months (or less) of photos. I also have the digital rips of my entire CD and cassette collection on the hard drive.

arf1410
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by arf1410 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:46 pm

I completely agree about keeping a digital backup away from the house... so i keep mine in my desk at the office...

arf1410
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by arf1410 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:47 pm

I completely agree about keeping a digital backup away from the house... so i keep mine in my desk at the office...

cdu7
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by cdu7 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 pm

G12 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:48 pm
This thread made me smile. The Costco coupons showed up and I said to my wife that we could get a safe to replace the bank deposit box. She said no way. The biggest box at the bank is $90/yr. We have a lot of silver and gold in it, plus an external hard drive that contains a copy of my music collection which is 392 GBs (57,000+ songs) and a lot of financial info and documents. The music alone is worth > $45k + an awful lot of labor that I would never replicate, and if a home safe was stolen or in a fire and melted the contents the $90/yr would have looked ultra cheap. YMMV.
Forgive an ignorant millennial, but how is music on a hard drive worth 45k?

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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by golfCaddy » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:40 pm

cdu7 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 pm
G12 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:48 pm
This thread made me smile. The Costco coupons showed up and I said to my wife that we could get a safe to replace the bank deposit box. She said no way. The biggest box at the bank is $90/yr. We have a lot of silver and gold in it, plus an external hard drive that contains a copy of my music collection which is 392 GBs (57,000+ songs) and a lot of financial info and documents. The music alone is worth > $45k + an awful lot of labor that I would never replicate, and if a home safe was stolen or in a fire and melted the contents the $90/yr would have looked ultra cheap. YMMV.
Forgive an ignorant millennial, but how is music on a hard drive worth 45k?
45k is nothing. This sold for 2 million: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015 ... lan-album/

cdu7
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by cdu7 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:43 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:40 pm
cdu7 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 pm
G12 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:48 pm
This thread made me smile. The Costco coupons showed up and I said to my wife that we could get a safe to replace the bank deposit box. She said no way. The biggest box at the bank is $90/yr. We have a lot of silver and gold in it, plus an external hard drive that contains a copy of my music collection which is 392 GBs (57,000+ songs) and a lot of financial info and documents. The music alone is worth > $45k + an awful lot of labor that I would never replicate, and if a home safe was stolen or in a fire and melted the contents the $90/yr would have looked ultra cheap. YMMV.
Forgive an ignorant millennial, but how is music on a hard drive worth 45k?
45k is nothing. This sold for 2 million: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015 ... lan-album/
The Uber wealthy are a strange breed indeed.

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Pajamas
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:53 pm

cdu7 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:43 pm
The Uber wealthy are a strange breed indeed.
That guy is in federal prison now for conspiracy and securities fraud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Shkreli
cdu7 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:39 pm

Forgive an ignorant millennial, but how is music on a hard drive worth 45k?
Hard drive is probably worth $50 even without the music.

inbox788
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by inbox788 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:47 pm

SurfCityBill wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:30 pm
I discontinued my safe deposit box years ago. I found it inconvenient and costly. I went with a basic 2' x 2' home safe which is anchored to the concrete slab in an inconspicuous corner of the garage with a cardboard box covering it. It is mostly for fire protection but unless a thief is planning to spend some time rummaging through every box in the house and then spending time going through the garage chances are he won't find it. If he does then he has to figure a way of removing it from the slab or just breaking in to it right there. For all that effort he'll get a few car titles, a marriage license, and a couple of other non-valuable, non-negotiable odds and ends.
It's a matter of steps, and keeping life simple by not having all that many valuables to protect and paperwork that's worthless to thieves simplify the problem. I've made lists long and short to keep in either home safe or safe deposit box, but I have trouble managing even a few things. Also, I haven't taken the simple step of bolting the box into the ground or a wall (stud). It's relatively easy compared to digging a hole in concrete.

Many documents are unnecessary or replaceable. And while inconvenient, maybe not any more than trying to preserve it, even things like deeds that are recorded. If you move every 10 years, is it more trouble keeping the deed in the safe deposit box and checking in on it vs. making a request for a copy when you need it? So I keep the deed in the home safe or even just a filing cabinet.

The important thing for me is making a list of assets and accounts that can be found by survivors, and this can be online and in the cloud. By keeping information to a minimum, even if it gets out, it's not a big loss. My list doesn't even contain account numbers, just the banking or finance institutions or insurance companies. This way, the survivors can lookup the accounts if needed, but they need to know where to start. This list is moved to the home safe and/or the safe deposit box, but not as often as it's updated online, so that's the real goto source.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:16 am

arf1410 wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:47 pm
I completely agree about keeping a digital backup away from the house... so i keep mine in my desk at the office...
My office is in my house so this wouldn't work for me ;)

Beehave
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Re: Home Safe vs Safety Deposit Box

Post by Beehave » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:22 pm

paulsiu wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:51 pm
I tend to like the safety deposit idea better. Whenever someone breaks into a house and they see a safe, it will immediate be the primary target since the burgler will assume that it contains something valuable. They'll try to crow bar it, steal the whole safe, etc.

If you use a safety deposit box, your stuff will be in a sea of other valuables. Robbing a bank is more difficult than robbing a house.

Paul
My thought has been that any intruder will figure there are valuables in that safe which will induce them to threaten anyone home with harm if they do not open it. There are any number of easily imaginable reasons why this situation could turn into a disaster (safe does not work, person at home does not know the combination or whatever will open safe, etc.).

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