Banking Through Your Ages: Do you (and your children) have the right bank accounts?

Multigenerational Family

It’s no secret that smart money management is important: whether for a home, you child’s future, retirement, or the trip of a lifetime. Maybe you’re even trying to save for all of those! Are you confident that you have the right bank accounts to help you reach your financial goals?

Whatever your financial goals, at whatever age, it’s helpful to regularly evaluate your financial situation, considering your income, current expenses, short and long-term savings goals. With so many account options, it’s hard to know if your accounts are truly working for you and your goals, and it never hurts to consider potentially more profitable or flexible options. Consider having these accounts for yourself and your children:

For Children

  • Savings Account – You want your children to be prepared for their future. Make sure your child is set up with an account that will give them access to financial savings when they need it. Some features to look for are:
    • A higher interest rate
    • Automatic deposits – a “set it and forget it” approach makes saving super easy. You can rest easy knowing you’re saving for your child’s future in your sleep! 

For Teens

  • Savings Account – Hopefully you’re still helping your teenager save, but maybe they’re beginning to for themselves as well – if they have a job, encouraging them to save a good portion of their paycheck can help teach them crucial financial management skills.

Having a savings account at this age is important not only for practicing money management, but also because their money will stay safer in an account not linked to a debit card or online retailers. It’s also likely they’ll need to tap into their savings account in the future, for larger purchases like their first car or a security deposit for their first apartment.

From A Banker: “When my son started his first job in high school, we had him put half of every paycheck into his savings account. He wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but we reminded him that there was something he wanted to be saving for, he could eventually transfer some money back into his checking account.” – Dana Christensen, Customer Service Representative in Winona

  • Checking Account – After they save, then they can play! A checking account makes sense to accommodate a teenager’s social life, as well as continuing to teach them about healthy spending habits. They’ll also have access to a debit card, and online and mobile banking. This will help them learn about essential banking practices such as checking balances, reviewing your transactions and transfer funds between accounts.

In Your 20s

  • Savings Account – Maybe seeing if you can upgrade a basic account to one with a higher interest rate or other benefits.
    • It’s a good idea to have a savings account specifically for emergencies, for unexpected expenses like car maintenance or house maintenance.

From A Banker: “I wish we would have started saving for surprise expenses earlier. When you’re young and your transmission goes out on your car, you might not have a lot of options. Ideally, we would have had an emergency fund.” – Gary Johnson, Consumer Lending Officer in Red Wing

  • Checking Account – Maybe seeing if you can upgrade a basic account to one with a higher interest rate or other benefits. For example, our Relationship Checking account earns interest and features discounts on some of our other products and services.
  • 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) – Something to think about is whether your job offers any retirement plan or matches retirement contributions. If your employer has any sort of retirement plan, start with that as soon as possible. If they don’t, open your own IRA and make consistent contributions.

From A Banker: “The best thing you can do is start saving for retirement early. Event if it’s just a little bit at first, the earlier you start the better off you’ll be later.” – Holly Gronholz, Customer Service Representative in Rochester

  • Bonus: A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is another way of structuring a savings strategy. They generally offer higher interest rates on your money for a designated period of time. You are guaranteed to make that fixed rate on your money during the CD term. A CD is great for saving for a large upcoming expense, such as a down payment on a house. You may benefit from a CD if you:
  • Have a chunk of money that you can leave untouched to grow for a longer period of time, without withdrawing, which would most likely result in a large fee.
    • Are looking for a higher interest rate (compared to some other accounts) to increase earnings.

From A Banker: “I wish I would have opened a CD earlier so I could still be earning interest on those funds today. Having a portion of your money earning interest for a longer period of time can lead to bigger gains later.” – Kally Whalen, Customer Service Representative in St. Charles

  • Bonus: Short-Term Goal Savings Account: If you’re thinking about starting to save for a larger expense, maybe for a wedding or a dream travel experience, a short-term goal savings account like our Summer or Winter FUNd might be the right option.

From a Banker: “I wish I would have started a Summer FUNd even though I didn’t know what it specifically was for. I would have had nice sum of money saved up instead of scrambling to finance a spur of the moment adventure! But this year I know what my Summer FUNd is for: My daughter’s wedding for next summer!” – Laryssa Hanson, Personal Banker in Lanesboro

In Your 30s

By this time, hopefully you have established all of the above. But remember, if not, it’s never too late! There are still a couple other things to consider doing to up your financial management game:

  • Upgrading a basic savings account to a Diamond Money Market.
    • If you’re keeping a higher balance in a basic, low-benefit account, you could upgrade that account to one that will earn a higher interest rate and waive maintenance fees.
  • Maybe having separate accounts for specific purposes:
    • Perhaps a checking account just for paying bills
    • A checking account for spending money
    • Maybe a joint checking account for you and your spouse for shared expenses
  • A Health Savings Account (HSA) – An HSA can have tax benefits and is ideal for preparing for medical expenses, including prescriptions and procedures. Refer to IRS Publication 502, which outlines what services HSA contributions can be used to pay for. This publication can be found on irs.gov. You should consult your tax advisor regarding HSA details.
    • Among other qualifications, you need a high deductible health plan in order to have an HSA.
    • For more information about HSAs, read about how an HSA can benefit you.

In Your 40s

By this point, you probably have some combination of all of the above. Now it may be a good idea to consider some financial planning efforts with wealth management experts.

In Your 50s

Along with your own variety of deposit accounts, ideally you’ll also have a financial plan unique to your goals with a wealth management expert.

And remember at 59 1/2, you can start reaping the benefits of your IRA and have some added flexibility in your HSA.

As you transition into retirement, it’s a good idea to keep the basic accounts:

  • A Checking Account to manage retirement distributions and spending.
  • A Savings Account because surprises can happen at any point in life.

 

Not sure where you stand? We can help!

As you evolve, so do your banking needs, hence the wide variety of options. It’s a good idea to review your financial situation at least on an annual basis. If it all seems a little overwhelming, we can help.

If you’re interested in learning more or opening a one of these accounts, contact your local Customer Service Representative. If you’re looking for help creating a complete financial plan, visit with one of our Wealth Management experts.