Yup, already opened up a new IRA so my 401(k) will have a home! Sprinted right over to USAA and opened up my 16th account with them ;) You know I don’t waste any time with my money! Haha… It’s gonna be a crazy one too when all that $180,000 gets transferred over like that… gonna be the BIGGEST one of my life! (That’s what she said!)
But for the first time in a while, I actually paused for a good hour or so before deciding on going with USAA again. Not that I don’t trust them or anything (obviously) but because there are a ton of OTHER great institutions out there that are known for handling big amounts like this too – especially when it comes to retirement funds (Vanguard and Fidelity being the best from what I hear – at least from the financial blogging community ;)). And for the past 5-6 years or so, I thought I WOULD actually go with one of those guys when it finally came down to it.
But something else was growing in importance too this whole time – the main desire for SIMPLICITY. While I appreciate high interest rates and growing my money as much as the next guy, I’m starting to have a MUCH more appreciation for simple, streamlined operations these days. Even if it means not having the “best of the best” accounts spread across town (I liken it to rate chasers - there’s always a better deal around the corner, but the idea of switching and moving your funds every other week is just exhausting).
I’ve realized that I am much more happier having everything in one spot than I am when I have multiple accounts opened all over. Even if financially, or rationally it’s smarter (like the rate chasing again). So while the old me would have gone over to Fidelity or Vanguard in this same situation, I decided to keep it easy and continue going with the one place that’s been the best to me over the years. Adding to my previous 15 accounts and making me USAA’s biggest Super Fan yet! :)
It sounds insane, I know (and you’re right! Haha…) but it’s seriously the sexiest thing ever. I’ve knocked away yet another website out there and now have almost *everything* under one roof. With the only exception of my 1st mortgage (arghhh…. the biggest one!).
In case you’re wondering how it’s possible, here’s how it breaks down:
- I have a total of 8 “personal” accounts: Checking, savings, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, my new Traditional IRA (woo!), my credit card, auto insurance, and life insurance ;)
- And then a total of 8 “joint” accounts: Our “house” checking account, “house” savings account, “house” credit card, money market fund, personal property insurance, homeowners insurance, another life insurance policy (for the wifey, which is under my account), and then lastly our stupid 2nd mortgage loan (a maxed out HELOC).
Wild, huh? I kinda wanted to keep USAA outta the picture on today’s post since we’re concentrating on multiple accounts in *ANY* financial institution, but then it occurred to me that I don’t even KNOW of any other institutions that allows for this? Do you? A place that has banking and credit and insurance all under one roof? I’ve never heard of one myself, but I’m curious to know. Though we have yet to determine whether this whole thing is still a good idea or not, haha… ;)
So let’s list out some pros and cons here, shall we? Make this one my longest post ever?
Pros to banking all at one spot:
- That everything’s under one spot! Which means I don’t have to log into 10 billion websites to check my balances every single day (which is what I do cuz I’m addicted!), and I can get a snapshot view in one sitting. Errr.. screen opening.
- It’s SUPER easy to xfer funds back and forth!
- I have only ONE number I ever need to call no matter what area I need help with. (Making customer service KEY in this department)
- I have both SAVINGS and DEBT related accounts there! So if anything goes KABOOM! and all that is USAA disappears into thin air (Ack!), wouldn’t all my debt do the same?? ;)
- UPDATE: I also have more leverage! Hard to not help someone when they have 16 accounts with you ;) (Good one No Debt MBA)
- UPDATE: Roger came up with another awesome pro – If something should happen to me, it’ll makes it easier for Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy to access and manage everything! Very very true!
Scary Cons to banking in one spot:
- If our relationship turns bad, so does my relationship with my entire finances (until I xfered everything out — which would be a PAIN)
- If I get hacked, well, I’d be F’d. Unless someone went in to pay off my loans? ;) (Though No Debt MBA brought up a good point that even with separate accounts they’d all be tied through ACH anyways. So this threat still remains either way unfortunately…)
- I don’t get the best of the best rates in each department. Sure USAA rocks and has some pretty killer deals (particularly w/ insurance), but are they the best in *every* category? No way. The “smart” route to take is to open up accounts where all the strengths are in each institution. Keeping everything in one spot def. limits your choices, which is probably the biggest con here. Besides being hacked, of course ;)
- If I had more than $250,000 in an account, it wouldn’t be FDIC insured. Nothing to worry about now, but one day I’ll have to!
- If the site goes down, I have no access to ANY of my accounts. Not the worst thing in the world, but def. frustrating.
I think that hits most of the areas? Am I missing anything glaring? Would YOU put everything into one place if you could? Sometimes I get so stuck into my own little world that I forget to come up and look around ;)
But yup, that’s the new word over here in BudgetVille. Closing accounts and taking names! It’ll be weird not having a 401(k) any more after all these years, but perhaps we’ll meet again!
UPDATE: I totally forgot about my business accounts! Those are not at USAA either, but through no fault of my own (*ahem*). Last time I checked, they said they can’t offer them due to the way they’re set up… and they get asked every single day. Though it’s probably for the best – you most def. want to separate business with pleasure! Errr…. personal!
UPDATE #2: All of my investments have now moved over to Vanguard! Here’s why I love them so much :)