Anyone who has ever moved knows that it’s no small feat. Your days are filled with finding a new home, arranging financing, investigating school districts and finally packing up your belongings in anticipation of the big moving day. But don’t forget! The personal belongings in your home aren’t the only things you need to move. Your financial family should be an important part of your plans as well.
Organization Is the Key
As the time nears for your moving day, take a few minutes to make an inventory of your accounts and who provides them. You’ll need to include:
• Checking and savings accounts
• Holiday club accounts
• Certificates of deposit
• Safe deposit boxes
• Stocks, bonds and other investments
• 401(k) plans
• Credit cards
• Outstanding loans and lines of credit
Contact the providers of these services and let them know you’re moving. If you’re planning to maintain any financial relationships be sure to inform them of your new address in advance. Otherwise, make arrangements to close your accounts or transfer them to your new financial institution.
In addition, you may want to contact your accountant, attorney and financial advisor to let them know that you’re moving. Be sure to get copies of your tax returns and any other files that they may have from previous years and keep them in a safe place. These files will be quite helpful as you begin assembling your new circle of financial and legal consultants.
The further ahead you plan — the less chance that you’ll have of running into last-minute trouble. Notify all sources of income of your plans at least three months in advance of your effective move in date (especially government income, such as social security). This will help ensure that your money is sent to the right place.
If you have any payments that are automatically deducted from your bank account, for instance, your car or other loan payments, be sure to make arrangements well in advance for the funds to be deducted from your new bank account.
Give special attention to tax-deferred funds such as 401(k) plans and IRAs. When moving these types of funds, be aware that there are strict rules governing the transfer of these funds. Ask your financial advisor for more details.
Looking Toward the Future
Choosing new financial partners is the final step in moving your financial family. There’s much to consider before making a firm decision. So, it pays to shop around! Are the hours and locations convenient for you? Do the types of accounts and services meet your needs? Are you pleased with the way you’re treated?
As you select a new financial institution, think of it as establishing a long lasting relationship — not merely opening new accounts. With any new relationship, the more you put into it — the more you will get out of it. In this case, the more business you bring to a bank, then the more special features you may receive. For example, some banks offer advantages according to the balance on your savings, checking or loan accounts. Others give you discounts on loans when your monthly payments are automatically deducted from one of their checking accounts. Your goal is to get the most out of your relationship with your new bank. Therefore, you will want to make sure that your new accounts are a part of your total financial package and they reflect your everyday needs.
Most people find it inconvenient to switch financial institutions. So, you’ll probably want to take time now to make the right decision and feel comfortable later with your selections.
As you shop for a new financial institution, check into automated services that can make your life easier. These types of services can be invaluable while you’re moving and can continue to be a useful financial tool long after your move is complete.
Online and Mobile AppBanking Options
Writing checks and paying bills are the last things that you want to be concerned with when planning a move. So why not do your banking by phone or from your computer? Most banks offer electronic banking options such as telephone, online, mobile, smartphone and text message banking services that allow you to conveniently access and view your personal account information or activity 24/7.
These services are designed to let you check your account balance, review account activity, transfer funds between accounts, and pay monthly bills anywhere. By using online and mobile app banking options, you can easily pre-authorize your regular monthly bills, such as a car or mortgage payment, so that they are always paid without worry. This way, your monthly bills are taken care of in a safe and timely manner while you are in transit or still trying to get settled in with the move. Of course, you still will need to verify your bank statements and bills each month and make sure that your finances are in good order.
Don’t worry about paychecks getting lost or not being forwarded to you in the mail. In addition, you won’t have to find time between unpacking boxes to run to the bank just to make a deposit. If your employer offers direct deposit, take advantage of this valuable service and have your paycheck deposited directly into your bank account. Check with any other income sources (e.g., social security benefits or investment dividends) to see if they offer direct deposit. You’ll save yourself quite a bit of time and have peace of mind knowing your funds are secure.
Keep in mind that this information is only a general guideline to help you with your moving experience. Your personal financial family may require more (or less) planning than what is discussed here. Seeking the advice of your financial advisor and planning ahead can help to ensure that your move goes smoothly and according to schedule.