31+ Ways to Boost Your Retirement Savings

31 Ways to Boost Your Retirement Savings

Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial goals there is—but it isn’t always easy. Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to discipline yourself to put money away for a nebulous “someday,” especially when you’re busy trying to make ends meet now.

But there are plenty of ways to save for retirement more efficiently, making every dollar go a little bit further toward a well-deserved rest in your golden years.

Getting Started

A lot of the “getting started” part is becoming educated on how different retirement plans work and what your options might be depending on your financial situation.

1. Contributing to Your 401(k)

If your company offers a 401(k), it’s usually a good idea to contribute to it, at least a little bit. The contributions will be automatically deducted from your paycheck and may also be made from pre-tax money, which will lower your taxable income.

Recommended: What Is a 401k?

2. Taking Advantage of Your 401(k) Match

If your employer offers a 401(k) match, there is even more incentive to contribute. A match is about as close as it comes to free money and is considered part of an employee benefits package. Your company may have a vesting schedule, meaning you don’t obtain full ownership of its contributions until you’ve been working at the company for a certain amount of time. You’ll always maintain full ownership over the money your contributions, however.

3. Starting Early

Thanks to the power of compound interest, the earlier you start saving for retirement, the more you’ll likely make over time. It’s never too early to start—so get cracking!

Recommended: When to Start Saving for Retirement

4. Contributing Often

Making regular contributions is one of the best ways to grow your retirement funds. With a company-sponsored retirement fund like a 401(k), the money comes out of your paycheck each period. But if you’re DIYing your retirement with an IRA, for instance, you’re in charge of making sure money’s going in.

5. Considering an IRA

Even if you are actively investing in a 401(k), you may be able to boost your retirement savings even more by also opening an IRA. If you’re self-employed or working at a job that doesn’t offer retirement benefits, an IRA might be the very best choice available for you. IRAs are easy to open and available to almost anyone, so long as you earn an income.

6. Maxing Out Your IRA

The contribution maximum for IRAs is relatively low, compared to 401(k): For 2022, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year to your IRA, or $7,000 if you’re aged 50 or over and eligible for catch-up contributions. Maxing out your IRA each year can help set the foundation for a successful retirement and also help you save money on taxes during the year the funds are contributed if you’re eligible.

Recommended: How Much Can You Put in an IRA This Year?

7. Ruminating on a Roth

A Roth IRA works a little differently than traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. Rather than getting a tax break now, you’ll get it later when you take the funds out during your retirement years. If you’re eligible for a Roth account, you may be able to have some tax-free income in retirement.

8. Using a Roth Indirectly

If you earn more than $129,000 as a single person or $204,000 as a couple (for 2022), your eligibility to contribute to a Roth is reduced—and if you earn much more than that, you may be ineligible entirely. However, you can still transfer the funds in a traditional IRA into a Roth account, provided you pay income taxes when you do so. This can help you score those tax-free earnings, even if you earn too much to directly contribute.

9. Paying Attention to Your Allocation

Contributing to your 401(k)—or any retirement account—is just the start. In order to get that money growing, you need to make sure it’s allocated into investment categories like stocks, bonds, and cash. How your investments are allocated is likely to change over time, depending on your risk tolerance and the length of time before you plan to retire.

(If you have specific investment questions, we always recommend chatting with a qualified financial planner or other investing professional.)

10. Diversifying Your Investments

Allocation and diversification go together like peanut butter and jelly. Maintaining a diverse portfolio helps you avoid having all of your investment eggs in one basket. If one company—or even one segment of the market—starts to falter, you have other investments to fall back on.

Recommended: Why Portfolio Diversification Matters

11. Keeping an Eye on Account Fees

Even if you’re diligent in looking at how to maximize your retirement savings, maintenance and trading fees can quickly eat into your funds—and these fees do vary depending on what financial institution manages your account. It’s worth shopping around for an account that has reasonable 401(k) fees.

12. Taking Advantage of an HSA

An HSA, or Health Savings Account, isn’t a retirement vehicle in its own right, but it can help you boost your retirement savings if it is treated as a retirement account. To qualify for an HSA, you must have a High Deductible Health Plan, among other requirements. HSAs are portable, so you can take them with you if you change employers or retire. Distributions taken for qualified medical expenses are tax-free, but non-medical distributions are taxable and may be subject to an additional 20% penalty.

13. Taking It With You

These days, few people stay at the same job for their whole careers. If you’ve been accruing retirement savings in a 401(k), it could be tempting to cash it out and treat it as a windfall when you change employers. But early withdrawal comes with a 10% penalty tax from the IRS, not to mention the regular income taxes you’ll have to pay on the money. It’s probably a way better idea to roll it into a new 401(k) or IRA and keep it growing.

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Keeping Track of Everyday Finances

After you’ve taken the steps to start saving for retirement and have a solid plan in place, it’s a good idea to make sure you are contributing as much as you can during your prime working years.

15. Asking For a Raise

This one might cause a little stress, but it can pay off with an income increase just with a single conversation. Gather the specifics about why you’re an awesome employee and put on your negotiating hat. If you’re feeling bold, you might also ask for a retirement-specific benefit as part of the deliberations, like an increased 401(k) match!

15. Making Friends With Your Budget

Budgeting is the key to so many personal finance matters, and saving for retirement is no different. By seeing where the money is coming in and going out, you might find some places to cut back and find more money to stash away for the future. If you haven’t spent some time with your budget in a while, sit down and get to know it.

16. Setting and Adjusting a Monthly Savings Goal

The amount you’re able to set aside for retirement will depend on your current earnings, cost of living, and many other factors. While an oft-cited rule of thumb suggests saving 15% of your income, that may not be feasible for you. However, it’s still worthwhile to sit down and set a specific monthly retirement savings goal and commit to putting that much away. Focusing on how to increase your savings rate when your income or other life factors change will likely keep your retirement goals in sight.

Recommended: How to Make a Monthly Budget

17. Saving First

When you’re budgeting your income and expenses, it can be easy to leave savings as the last line item. By committing to saving first (setting money aside as soon as you get it), you’ll ensure you’re actually contributing to your retirement fund on a regular basis, helping it continue to grow as effectively as possible over time.

18. Automating Your Savings

One easy way to ensure you don’t fall behind: Automate your retirement savings. Most brokerages and platforms have an option to allow you to automatically invest a certain amount on a regular basis. Again, just be sure you’re actually allocating the funds once they hit your account.

19. Spending Wisely on Food

We’ve all got to eat—which means we all spend money on food. But how much money we spend is another matter entirely. According to the latest data from the USDA , a household of two might spend as little as $410.60 on a month’s worth of groceries or as much as $815.60—a wide range. There are plenty of suggestions online for saving money on a grocery budget, so paying attention to expenditures here and getting creative with meals will probably net some savings to add to a retirement account.

Finding a Little Extra to Contribute

20. Starting a Side Gig

You can only make so many budget cuts, but you can almost always find ways to make extra money. Whether it’s freelance writing or selling your crafts on Etsy, a side-hustle might be a great way to increase the amount of cash you have on hand to put toward retirement.

21. Looking For Interest-Bearing Accounts

Regular interest-bearing checking and savings accounts are still out there. Even though the interest earned might be minimal compared to investment accounts, it’s still better than not earning interest on those accounts at all.

22. Stashing Your Tax Return

If you’re getting a tax return, it may be tempting to spend the money on fun things, but when calculating how to maximize your retirement savings, it’s worth considering funneling some or all of it into your investment account. Saving instead of spending this money could add up to major nest egg increases.

23. Ditching Your Car

Aside from housing, car ownership can be one of the most expensive parts of day-to-day living for many people. It’s not just the cost of the vehicle itself, but also insurance, maintenance, and fuel. If you live in the kind of city where you could rely on public transit or take your bike to work, doing so might be a great way to make some substantial monthly savings.

24. Lowering Your Housing Cost

Assessing your true housing needs is likely a major decision within a household, but if you live in a house that’s bigger than you need or in a pricey part of town, for example, it could be worth it to look at alternatives. Paying less monthly rent, lower taxes, or even saving on transportation costs by moving closer to work could lead to substantial savings each month and help maximize your retirement savings.

25. Considering Home Ownership

Renting can be a good option for certain needs, lifestyles, or periods of your life. But homeowners do tend to accrue more wealth over time. Buying and selling often tends to cost money in closing and moving costs, so if owning a home is something you want to do, buying a home and staying there for a number of years is typically a better way to handle an investment like this.

26. Knocking Out Credit Card Debt

While any kind of debt can put an anchor on your retirement goals (and other financial goals, for that matter), credit card debt can be particularly egregious thanks to high-interest rates and compounding, which means you can end up paying interest on the interest you’ve already been charged. By tackling credit card debt, and other high-interest debts, you’ll have the opportunity to save more money to put toward retirement.

Planning for Your Golden Years

27. Starting a 529 Plan

This relates indirectly to boosting your retirement savings, but since paying for a child’s college costs can quickly derail a parent’s retirement plan, thinking about this major expense ahead of time can be a wise financial move. Many experts suggest making sure you’ve funded your own retirement accounts before you fund education accounts for your children. Each state operates its own 529 plan and the terms vary from state to state. The plans are not tax-deductible on a federal tax return, but a 529 plan can offer some tax advantages on the state level depending on the state.

28. Making a Detailed Retirement Spending Plan

Any amount you save for retirement will still be a finite amount—which means it’s important to plan ahead of time how you’ll budget for it. Consider the costs of everything, including food, medical care, housing, transportation, and entertainment. Try to envision ways to keep your cost of living low so each dollar goes further once you get there.

29. Planning To Retire Somewhere Affordable

No matter how much you’re able to save for retirement, the money will go a lot further if you retire somewhere with a lower cost of living. If you have decades before your retirement date, it may be difficult to predict what the cost of living will look like in different places, but start to think about which locations might offer all the lifestyle factors you want while also being affordable.

Recommended: Cost of Living per State (2022)

30. Taking Advantage of Catch-up Contributions

Once you reach age 50, the contribution caps on your IRA and 401(k) go up substantially—by $1,000 for IRAs and $6,500 for 401(k)s, in 2022. Maxing out these larger retirement caps can help you increase retirement savings you’ve fallen behind on or rebuild retirement savings you cashed out for something else.

Recommended: Important Retirement Contribution Limits

31. Delaying Social Security Retirement Benefits

For many of us, this step might not be coming up anytime soon—but once you’re eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, delaying it might give you a larger monthly benefit during retirement.

The Takeaway

Saving for retirement might be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Stretching every dollar as far as you can will make it a lot more doable.

Like so many other financial goals, it all starts with your budget—and budgeting is a lot easier to do when you have a bird’s-eye view of your finances.

SoFi Checking and Savings® is a bank account online that makes it easy to see where your money is going (and can help you figure out where you might like to send it instead). With no account fees and fee-free in-network ATM access, you can save, spend, and earn all in one account.

Learn more about SoFi Checking and Savings.

Photo credit: iStock/undrey


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Financial Planning Tips for Newlyweds

Financial Planning Tips for Newlyweds

Learning to say “I do” to financial planning may not be nearly as exciting as planning your big day. But doing so sooner rather than later can save you and your partner a lot of time, stress, and, of course, money. Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce , after all.

Finances for newlyweds can encompass an array of topics, ranging from basic budgeting to planning for a child (or a dog!). So to help you and your partner make the right money moves early on in your marriage, we’ve put together this list of tips to help you start your newlywed financial planning.

1. Discussing Money Motivations

To jumpstart your newlywed financial planning, you may want to start off by discussing your money motivations. This can mean both understanding how money motivates you and why you want money. For instance, do you enjoy treating yourself to a nice meal after you accomplish a goal? Or does your partner collect coins or make pottery (both of which can be expensive)? It can be important to understand how each of you want to spend the money you make, such as investing, funding a hobby, or buying takeout on payday. Being on the same page about your motivations can help you avoid fighting over money.

2. Setting a Budget

Once you understand each others’ money motivations, it may be a good time to start budgeting. To make a monthly budget, you and your partner will need to know what your income is versus what your expenses are. If you have more expenses than money coming in, you should talk to determine where you can make cuts to keep your budget balanced. After you agree on your budget, discussing how you can help each other keep to the budget so you can stay financially secure could be a great next step.

3. Laying Out Financial Goals

Setting financial goals may help you and your partner stay on budget. Are you hoping to pay off debts? Do you want to build up your savings? Or maybe you want to build your credit to increase your odds of getting a good rate on a home loan. No matter what your financial goals are, being on the same page can help increase your chances of succeeding. And if you need help keeping your finances in order, you may want to check out these tips for staying organized on your journey to reaching your newlywed financial goals.

4. Being Honest About Existing Debts & Student Loans

Most graduates are leaving college with student loan debt. If you or your partner (or perhaps both of you) are in this position, you may want to have an honest talk about just how much each of you owes and what your repayment obligations are, such as monthly payments and interest rates. You can’t combine your student loan balances; however, you may decide it may be worth trying to refinance your student loans to try and lower interest rates. While you’re being honest, you may also want to talk through other existing debts, such as credit cards, car loans and personal loans. These debts could impact your financial goals or budgets, especially if you have any loans that are in deferment or grace periods that will soon end.

5. Making a Master List of Assets & Liabilities

After discussing your debts and how much you each owe, you may want to start a master list to help you keep track of them. Be sure to also track assets like cash or cryptos. Having a master list of both your assets and liabilities can help you create a combined financial statement , which can in return help you keep better track of your finances and budget.

6. Deciding Whether or Not to Combine Accounts

Now that you know how much in assets and liabilities each of you have, you may want to carefully consider which financial accounts you combine, if any. For instance, if one partner has a low credit score or a lot of debt, it may be wise to keep separate accounts , especially if you’re concerned about how it may affect your combined ability to get a loan or apply for a mortgage. You may also opt to have some combined accounts and some separate. For instance, you may want to have a combined checking and savings account and separate checking accounts. No matter what you decide, you could avoid a lot of hurt (both financially and emotionally) by being honest with each other about whether combining accounts really makes sense for you and your financial goals.

7. Planning for Big Ticket Expenses

While you may opt to live a dual income, no kids lifestyle for now, you and your partner may decide to become parents down the road. You might also want to start a business, go back to school, buy a home, or even retire early – all goals that are going to require both of you to start saving now. Discussing whether either of you have big-ticket expenses planned for the future, or if you have one combined, can help you start planning and saving now. And if you need some help jumpstarting your ability to pay for those big ticket expenses, you may want to consider getting a personal loan, such as SoFi’s personal loans for family planning.

8. Creating an Emergency Fund

Once you have a firm grasp of your financial obligations and goals, you could start digging into other financial needs, such as an emergency fund. Home repairs, car troubles, or a trip to the ER could end up costing you big. Yet 51% of Americans have less than three months’ worth of emergency savings. You and your partner may want to talk about how much in savings you already have, how much of that can go toward starting an emergency fund (if you don’t already have one), and how much both of you would need combined to cover a month’s worth of expenses in case of an emergency. Whatever that number is, multiply it by three, and that may be a good starting goal. Once achieved, you can continue saving toward a more complete emergency fund that can contain as many as 12 months worth of spending.

9. Discussing Insurance Options

While newlyweds may not want to talk about what could happen if a spouse is seriously injured, becomes disabled, or even dies, this conversation is important to have early in your marriage. Your spouse and family could be left with a huge financial burden if neither of you has life insurance. You’ll also want to consider discussing health insurance coverage in case of a medical emergency. This process would likely involve reviewing if your insurance needs have changed now that you’re married, such as needing to add your spouse to your work-sponsored insurance plan.

10. Determining if Investing Makes Sense

Investing could be a great way to help you and your partner create some wiggle room in your newlywed financial budget (assuming you invest wisely!). If you or your partner have investments or have invested in the past, you may want to discuss what you invested in, your risk tolerances, and your investment goals. If your risk tolerances are similar and investing makes sense for your financial situation and goals, you could consider investing as a couple.

11. Understanding Each Others’ Money Habits

Do you think buying organic is worth the few extra dollars? Are hair appointments a must for your partner? You may want to have a conversation with your partner about your spending habits to avoid any surprises that could ruin your budget. This could be especially important to do if you both have different spending habits, such as one being more frugal than the other. Understanding and planning for each others’ money habits early on could help you avoid money fights down the road.

12. Setting Spending Limits

While it’s likely you’ll both have discretionary expenses, it could be smart to have a dollar amount at which you will check in with the other before spending more than an agreed-upon amount of money. Setting a spending limit could help you and your partner stay on budget and ensure that financial talks are a natural part of your relationship. Spending limits could also help you both fight against lifestyle creep, especially if combining your finances has drastically changed how much money is at your disposal.

13. Being on the Same Page About Loaning Money

Your sister needs you to pick up the bill at lunch because she forgot her wallet but promises to pay you back later. A cousin asks for a loan to help pay for car repairs. Everyone has different levels of comfort with loaning money to family and friends. You may want to check with your partner about their comfort level with loaning money as they might have a zero-tolerance stance due to a bad experience. And if you both decide that you are willing to loan money to friends and family, it may be wise to set a loan limit and outline clear expectations such as a date when you expect to be paid back, if you’ll be charging interest, and any other contingencies you may have for the loan.

14. Making Time for Regular Money Talks

After you’ve hashed out the nitty-gritty of your newlywed financial plans and goals, it’s equally important to check in regularly about the state of your finances. Your budget or goals may need to change with time, especially if your work status changes (for better or for worse!) or you experience an emergency. It may not always be pleasant or fun, but making money talks a priority can save you both a lot of time, money, and heartache later on.

15. Talking with the Experts

As you establish your financial goals and budget, it may be wise to consult a financial or wealth management advisor. An expert can share valuable insight into how you can best reach your financial goals by taking an honest, unbiased look at your finances. You may even be able to find a financial advisor who offers services specific to newlywed financial planning and budgeting. While paying for an expert may be an added upfront expense, their advice could end up paying for itself.

The Takeaway

Now that the honeymoon’s over, it may be time to talk money. Being on the same page about financial goals could help you and your partner avoid making costly mistakes, both in terms of your finances and your relationship. And being honest with each other about your debts and financial goals could bring you even closer together.

If your newlywed financial planning could use some help, a high interest bank account could be right for you! Saying “I do” to SoFi Checking and Savings won’t cost you a penny, and could help you earn interest of 1.80% APY.

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SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.80% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.80% APY is current as of 07/26/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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Your Financial Checklist: Financial Moves to Make During a Job Transition

Your Financial Checklist: Financial Moves to Make During a Job Transition

So your dream job didn’t work out.

Maybe you had a change of heart. Maybe your life circumstances changed. Or maybe you never even got the job. Indeed.com estimates that between the ages of 18 to 24, the average American changes jobs about 5.7 times, and they change jobs an average of 2.4 times between 25 to 34 years old. So if you’re in the middle of a job transition, you’re in good company.

Still, transitioning from one job to another can be a stressful time no matter the reason, especially for those who may be transitioning from the public to private sector, or vice versa. No matter if you’re about to start the transition from one job to another or if you’re still looking for your next career move, there are a few things you can check off your financial to-do list in the meantime to make sure your job transition doesn’t wreak havoc on your financial life.

How to Financially Manage a Job Transition

1. Build an Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund is a great first step when you’re transitioning from one job to another. Doing so can give you a better idea of your financial situation and if you have enough savings to cover an emergency (such as your job transition taking longer than expected). Most experts advise you have at least six months’ worth of expenses saved up.

2. Use Vacation and Sick Days

According to Expedia’s 2021 Vacation Deprivation Survey , Americans took the fewest vacation days (eight, on average) out of 16 countries surveyed. So if you’ve accumulated any vacation or sick days, check with your HR department to see if you can cash them in. Many companies pay exiting employees a preset rate for unused vacation and sick days, as outlined in their contracts.

3. Take an Honest Look at Your Finances

Is buying locally important to you? Does your gym membership help you feel healthier, both mentally and physically? You’ve heard the adage that nothing is free, so take a deep dive into what you’re spending your money on and ensure that discretionary spending matches up with your values, life goals, and your budget.

4. Look for Easy Spending Cuts

When was the last time you actually read that knitting magazine? Are you ordering food delivery for every other meal? Take a look at your credit and debit card charges and pick off the easy things that you don’t need to be spending money on. This could be a quick way to build a cushion in your budget during your job transition.

5. Fend off Lifestyle Creep

If you’re still getting a coffee every morning even if you’re not going to work, you may have fallen victim to lifestyle creep. You can look for easy fixes, such as buying a coffee maker, to hedge against it and build better financial habits even after your transition from one job to another is complete.

6. Don’t “Orphan” Your Retirement Fund

Many people abandon their 401(k) after they leave a job. That is, they assume the account is owned by their ex-employer, and by quitting they’ve forfeited their funds. However, the money that you contribute to a 401(k) stays with you even after changing jobs. So you may want to check into your current or former employer’s 401(k) policy for insight on how you might claim these funds or roll them over into a new retirement account.

7. Combine Your Retirement Accounts

Do you have multiple retirement accounts? Now may be a good time to review your account details and decide whether it makes sense for you to consolidate your retirement accounts.

8. Create a ‘Career Change’ Budget

Once you have a better idea of what your expenses will look like as you transition from one job to another, it may be time to create a career change budget. This can be a temporary budget that’s adjusted for the period of time between now and when you start your next job. If you don’t currently have your new job lined up, you can still use a temporary career change budget as a starting point to test out potential permanent budget changes, such as cutting streaming services.

9. Do Your Homework

No matter if you’re just started a new career or if you’re still looking for one, now may be an ideal time to delve into your new industry’s average salary expectations. Being armed with this information could help you know your worth and provide data points to help you negotiate your starting salary, bonuses and reach your financial and career goals.

10. Make Money off Your Passions

Do you love gaming? Or maybe you have a passion for making candles or pottery. You may be able to make some side cash streaming on Twitch or selling goods on Etsy. Doing so may help you relieve stress since you’re doing something you love while also bringing in a few extra bucks.

11. Check Your Health Insurance Options

In the U.S., most health insurance options are tied to your jobs. As such, a job transition may be a good time to see what your insurance covers or even if you need less or additional insurance. Researching what type of insurance options are generally offered in your new career may also be beneficial.

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12. Keep Extra Cash in Your Bank Account

Do you usually only keep a couple hundred bucks in your checking or savings account? Having extra money in your bank account during a job transition may be wise. If you have a new job lined up, you may have to go longer than usual to get your next check, such as getting paid monthly instead of bi-weekly. And if you don’t have a job quite yet, keeping more cash in your account than usual can save you from hefty overdraft fees.

13. Cash in on Networking

Most people don’t have a Rolodex anymore, but they do have a network of professionals they’ve accumulated throughout their career. Now may be a good time to log into LinkedIn and send some messages to people who may be able to help you get a job. You could also invest in online courses on sites like LinkedIn and Coursera that are related to your new career, especially if you don’t have much experience in the career you’re transitioning into.

14. Invest in Networking Events

Even during COVID-19, you can find a plethora of networking opportunities both in person and online. While some of these won’t be free, they still may be a wise investment to not only help you learn about your new industry, but also to meet new people who could open doors for your career. As such, networking can be a great financial move while you transition from one job to another.

15. Keep Track of Work-Related Expenses

If you do attend networking events or pay for industry-specific training or webinars, you may want to keep track of these expenses. You may be able to write off work-related training and other expenses during your job transition, especially if you’re a freelancer or contract employee.

16. Use Extra Time To Learn about Investing

Do you not know what a blue chip stock is? Or maybe you’re confused about the differences between stocks and bonds. Leveraging your time during a career transition to decode investing could help you learn how to make smart investment moves that your future self may thank you for.

17. Re-evaluate Your Savings Accounts

You may be surprised at the number of savings accounts you actually have, be them health savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs and yes, even your 401(k). Before transitioning from one job to another, you may want to ensure you have a handle on your current savings accounts and how they may be affected by a career change, especially if your income level is likely to change.

18. Purchase or Update Your Life Insurance Policy

Because different industries have different levels of risk and danger, your life insurance offerings may change during a job transition. Knowing what your life insurance needs are and how they may change in a new career could help you save money if you start researching and comparing insurance options now.

19. Set Up Automatic Payments & Transfers

Got a late fee because you forgot that credit card bill was due last Thursday? You can avoid these fees by setting up automatic payments. You can also set up your bank account to automatically transfer funds to another account, such as a savings account, on pay day. Of course, you only avoid a fee, though, if you don’t overdraw your account, so you may want to make sure you’ll have the funds available before setting up automatic payments or transfers.

20. Deal with Debt

Student loans, credit card balances, medical bills, car loans, mortgages: It’s easy to build up debt, but it’s not-so-easy to tear it down. If your student loan interest rates are soaring higher than your income, it may be worth checking into student loan refinancing options. Debt consolidation may also be worthwhile if a budget overhaul isn’t enough to put a dent into your debt. Having less debt going into your new career could relieve some of your financial stress as you wait for that first check to come in.

21. Consider Getting a New Credit Card

While it may not seem like an obvious option, applying for a new credit card during a job transition could make sense for you. Having more lines of credit could help you build your credit score (as long as you pay your bill, of course!) It could also help you make ends meet in the short-term, especially if you take advantage of cashback bonuses or other credit card rewards.

22. Re-Evaluate Your Financial Goals

Don’t like the idea of having a furry friend anymore after hearing about that big vet bill your friend just paid? Maybe you want to move that pet fund into a travel budget or prioritize paying off your student loans instead. You may want to use your time now to reevaluate your financial goals so you know what you’re saving for once you start your new career.

23. Evaluate Your Housing Situation

Many early career professionals are eager to stake down their roots and buy into that American dream of a white picket fence and a big backyard. But a big backyard doesn’t come cheap (and neither do white picket fences). If you’re living in a big city studio apartment but your job transition could mean you work remotely or in another market, it may be worth the savings to break out your moving checklist and head for cheaper horizons. And if you’re not ready to give up your expensive apartment just yet, you may want to consider roommates or even renting out your cool pad on Airbnb when you’re away.

24. Check in with Financial Mentors

Nothing in this world is free … or is it? Maybe you have an investment-savvy uncle or a friend who works in accounting. Asking a trusted financial mentor or friend for advice may be the closest thing to free financial guidance you can get; however, you may want to be sure you really trust this individual with details about your financial life and take their advice with a grain of salt.

25. Consult an Expert or Two

While your friends and family could be a good place to start, a financial advisor could help you make the most out of your finances during a career transition. An advisor could help you learn more about how to adjust your financial situations if your new career path changes your income, be it lowering or raising your expected income. Being prepared for a change in income before it happens could help you create a budget ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to adjust after that first paycheck clears.

The Takeaway

Transitioning from one job to another can be stressful, especially if you’re unsure of when your net paycheck will be. However, there are several money moves you can make during a job transition to help yourself both now and in the future. A major life event like transitioning to another job is a good time to take stock of your financial situation and reevaluate your budgets and money goals.

If you need a tighter grip on your funds during a career transition, signing up for a new bank account with SoFi Checking and Savings could be part of your financial checklist. Its mobile interface literally puts cash management at your fingertips and there are zero account fees. Plus, SoFi Checking and Savings holders get access to free one-on-one career services to help with career transitions.

Photo credit: iStock/Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.80% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.80% APY is current as of 07/26/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Ladder policies are issued in New York by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (Policy form # MN-26) and in all other states and DC by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, MN (Policy form # ICC20P-AZ100 and # P-AZ100). Only Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York is authorized to offer life insurance in the state of New York. Coverage and pricing is subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria. SoFi Agency and its affiliates do not guarantee the services of any insurance company. The California license number for SoFi Agency is 0L13077 and for Ladder is OK22568. Ladder, SoFi and SoFi Agency are separate, independent entities and are not responsible for the financial condition, business, or legal obligations of the other. Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi) and Social Finance Life Insurance Agency, LLC (SoFi Agency) do not issue, underwrite insurance or pay claims under LadderLifeTM policies. SoFi is compensated by Ladder for each issued term life policy. SoFi offers customers the opportunity to reach Ladder Insurance Services, LLC to obtain information about estate planning documents such as wills. Social Finance, Inc. (“SoFi”) will be paid a marketing fee by Ladder when customers make a purchase through this link. All services from Ladder Insurance Services, LLC are their own. Once you reach Ladder, SoFi is not involved and has no control over the products or services involved. The Ladder service is limited to documents and does not provide legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique and using documents provided is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice.
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The Biggest Money Scams in the US

The Biggest Money Scams in the US

Scammers have been around forever, and the only thing that changes from year to year, it seems, is the technology they use to pull off their scams. While many of these con artists still use the phone, the mail or even in-person tactics to try to part you from your hard-earned money, most scams these days are pulled off digitally — reaching you through your email, text messages and fake websites.

According to the Better Business Bureau , nearly 75 percent of consumers lost money to a purchase scam in the first eight months of 2021. And the amount consumers lose every year continues to rise — from an average of $76 in 2019 to $102 in 2021.

To help folks battle these scammers, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest, most common scams hitting American consumers this year with tips to help you avoid them and a guide on how to report scams if you do become a victim.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, some of the most common bank scams include:

Overpayment Scams

Many con artists try to get between you and your dollars by tricking you into sending them funds directly. Scammers typically start off by sending you a fake check in the mail, but because they’ve sent you “too much” money, they reach out instructing you to deposit the full check into your bank account and send the overpaid portion back to them via check or wire transfer. As a rule of thumb, you should contact your bank before depositing checks from anyone you don’t recognize.

Ready for a Better Banking Experience?

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account and start earning 1% APY on your cash!


Automatic Bank Withdrawals

In this scam, a company sets up automatic withdrawals from your bank account in order for you to “qualify” for a free trial or to collect a prize. Some companies will also legitimately charge you for a purchase, but will continue charging you each month because your purchase signed you up for some obscure product or service that requires monthly billing. Consider protecting your banking information by using a credit card instead. Unauthorized charges are easier to dispute, and you don’t provide anyone with direct access to your money.

Charity Scams

It’s hard to imagine a worse scam than stealing money in the name of people in need, but it’s a tried-and-true grift we should all be on the lookout for, especially around the holidays or after emergencies/natural disasters. Scammers pose as a real charity (or one that sounds real) and call, mail or email asking that you help with some recent tragedy. Instead of making a donation pledge right then and there, it’s smart to tell them you’ll contact them through the organization’s official website or phone number noted there.

Grandparent Scams

Also popular around the holidays are “grandparent scams” where scammers call older adults pretending to be a grandchild or other relative. They claim they are in trouble and need help, often asking that you wire them money or send them a gift card so they’ll have the cash they need. If this happens to you, it’s smart to tell the caller you need to call them back. That will allow you to contact your relative directly to confirm if the request was real or fake.

Read more about other ways to protect older adults from fraud and financial exploitation .

Imposter Scams

A cross between charity and grandparent scams, imposter scams typically work something like this: A caller tries to persuade you to give money to their organization or government agency (think police and firefighter funds). As they’re often able to fake their caller ID, the grift may seem legitimate. Instead of contributing over the phone, it’s a good idea to directly contact the organization the person claims to be associated with and make a donation that way if you’re so inclined. You can read more about imposter scams .

Debt Collection Scams

Dealing with legitimate debt collectors can already be stressful, but there are guidelines they must adhere to which can make identifying a scammer easier. An overly aggressive “debt collector” may be a scammer in disguise. These warning signs can help you further recognize if you’re being targeted, and these sample letters can be used to request more information if you’re still questioning the legitimacy of someone contacting you about a debt.

Unclaimed Money Scams

It’s estimated that more than $40 billion in unclaimed money is out there waiting to be claimed by its rightful owners, mostly languishing with state governments. Some companies may offer to help you find and recover unclaimed money for a percentage of the found funds. Paying these fees is pointless, since you can search for unclaimed property and reclaim it for free (or perhaps for a small processing fee) on official databases.

Foreclosure Relief or Mortgage Modification Scams

For people who are behind on their mortgage payments, this can be a truly frightening scam. These con artists often offer to save you from foreclosure, but they require upfront fees for their “services,” such as loan modification. Sometimes they’ll even ask for you to sign over the title or rights to your property on paperwork you don’t understand. If you’re contacted with mortgage promises that sound too good to be true, it’s a good idea to contact a HUD-approved housing counselor who can help you avoid scams and review your actual payment options.

Mortgage Closing Scams

These scams target homebuyers whose mortgage closing date is approaching. They attempt to separate the homebuyer from their down payment and/or closing costs by pretending to be a realtor, title company, escrow company or other mortgage-related company or entity.

Like with so many other scams, it’s important to communicate directly with people and companies you already know who can verify if these information requests are legitimate. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put together some helpful information to help you protect your closing funds .

Mail Fraud

If you ever receive a letter asking you for money or personal information in order to receive a prize from a lottery or sweepstakes, or in order to claim an offer of a high value item like a car or a vacation, it could be a scam. The U.S. Postal Service has identified common postal or mail fraud schemes to help you avoid some of the most common ones.

Romance Scams

Targeting the heartbroken is another tried-and-true con that scam artists just love. Typically, the scammer tries to trick you into being romantically interested in them so they can ask you for money or get you to share personal information like credit card numbers, bank account details and even your Social Security number. These romances can lead to financial ruin so stay alert and don’t send money or gifts to a love interest that you haven’t met in person.

How to Report a Scam

If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, you can report it by:

•   Submitting an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

•   Contacting your local police department or sheriff’s office

•   Reporting it to your state’s attorney general

How to Protect Yourself From Scams

Though scams abound, you’re not completely vulnerable. There are plenty of things you can do to help protect yourself against scams and scammers. Here are some of our favorites:

Using Credit Cards & Payment Apps

In general, credit cards can offer significantly better fraud protections than debit cards, which are directly connected to your bank account. Plus, a lot of credit cards also offer additional services like purchase protection, price protection and extended warranties.

Mobile apps (think Apple Pay and Google Pay, but also SoFi Checking and Savings) offer advanced technologies, like fingerprint authentication and “tokenization” (credit card account numbers are replaced by randomly generated numbers) to provide added layers of security. Similarly, virtual credit cards similarly allow online shoppers to mask their financial accounts.

Checking Bank & Credit Card Statements

No matter how you prefer to pay for purchases, checking your bank and credit card statements regularly for suspicious or erroneous charges can help you spot fraudulent activity right away. You may want to do this daily during periods of high usage, like around the holidays when it’s easier for fraudulent charges to slip through.

Activating Transaction Alerts

Many banks and other financial institutions offer free transaction alerts each time a new change hits your account. Like reviewing your statements, these alerts can help you spot suspicious activity right away.

Being Proactive

If you do spot something unusual when reviewing statements or alerts, it’s a good idea to contact your financial institution right away. You’ll be able to immediately cancel your compromised card(s) and get replacements so you can get on with your life and hopefully avoid further issues.

Staying on Alert

If you get a call asking for your payment information or other personal information, it’s smart to just hang up and call the company directly so you can avoid potential fraud.This goes for your address, phone number and especially your Social Security number.

Securing your Devices

Is your smartphone, tablet or laptop password-protected? If not, it can be an important first line of protection against fraud, so it’s definitely something to consider. If you’re unsure how to do it, enlist the help of a trusted friend or relative (but it’s still smart to set your own password that they are not privy to). Also, you may want to keep in mind that browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari issue updates to protect against scams, so it’s wise to ensure you have the latest version of whatever browser you use. You may also want to consider purchasing antivirus software to keep your computer clean and safe.

Reconsidering Public Wi-Fi

If you like to use your phone for shopping or banking while sitting at your local coffee house and using their Wi-Fi, you may want to reconsider that. Public Wi-Fi networks are well known spots where hackers and scammers steal personal information. That’s why a virtual private network (VPN) can be a smart choice for connecting to the internet when you’re away from home. It’s much harder to pick up information you may transmit than it is over a public network.

Shopping Where You’re Comfortable

Shopping only at reputable and recognized retailers — especially online — can help you avoid some of the fraud headaches abounding out there. If you are concerned about an unfamiliar retailer you want to transact with, consider researching them on the Better Business Bureau website. You can also check out their site state using Google’s Transparency Report tool.

Watching Out for Skimmers

Does that ATM or gas pump look a little weird? It’s not uncommon for scammers to install skimmers in places where consumers swipe their credit and debit cards. These devices snatch your payment information, including PIN codes whenever used. Take a close look at whatever reader you’re using to swipe your card. If it looks suspicious, report it to the establishment.

Avoiding ‘Phishers’

Did you get a weird notice from your bank or pharmacy? How about a text message from AT&T that your phone bill has been paid as a “gift”? It’s possible the unsolicited offer you receive is a “phishing” scheme. Scammers often pose as a legitimate company or website in order to get you to click on a link that either asks for personal info or downloads malware on your device. They can use emails or even texts to try to get you to bite. If it looks fishy, avoid clicking on any links or downloading any attachments.

A Few More Tips

Putting this advice into practice can definitely help keep you safe and your money in your pockets, but it can’t guarantee you won’t become a victim. Here are some additional things to keep in mind that can help boost your overall awareness.

The Basics

Keeping things simple is almost always a good idea, and that’s true of avoiding scams as well. If you’re shopping online, it’s super smart to check that the website url starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP when you’re checking out. That means it has a Secure Sockets Layer certificate, meaning all your data will be encrypted. On secure sites, you’ll see a little padlock icon in your browser’s address bar.

Bad Reviews

Scam artists really aren’t known for their stellar online reviews, so if a company you’re considering buying from has a bunch of bad reviews (or no reviews at all), you may want to strongly consider taking your business elsewhere.

Words Matter

Is the website you’re considering making a purchase from riddled with misspelled words and grammatical errors? Typos can be a sign of scammers, so if what you’re reading looks a little off, you might want to reconsider purchasing from that site. It’s also good practice to check website urls for little differences (think Bestbyy.com instead of BestBuy.com).

Strength Also Matters

The strength of your password can be very important, but what’s considered “strong?” Passwords that are hard to crack generally have a random mix of letters, numbers and symbols, but long phrases like song lyrics that are easily remembered can also be used. Also, keep in mind that a password used on more than one site actually makes you more vulnerable, so take the time to customize your logins.

Safety in Person

If you’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s smart to keep your purse and/or wallet close and secure at all times. This may mean moving your wallet to your inside pocket and wearing your purse strap over your head, especially during the holidays when stores are busier. In fact, traveling light can be the smartest way to ensure you don’t have your purse or wallet stolen. What’s traveling light? Consider carrying just one card with you into the store and leaving your cash and checkbook at home.

The Takeaway

While there will likely always be someone willing to cheat others out of their money, there are obvious ways you can help protect yourself. Staying alert and following your instincts can help, but implementing security measures and keeping some key tips in mind can make it harder for thieves to get at your dollars.

It’s equally important to use financial services that also have implemented top-of-the-line security measures. If you’re looking for one, you may want to consider setting up a SoFi Checking and Savings account. SoFi Checking and Savings is a mobile-first checking and savings account that alerts you immediately after finding any suspicious account activity, and allows you to instantly freeze your card at the first site of fraud.

Photo credit: iStock/filadendron


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.80% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.80% APY is current as of 07/26/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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Different Types of Banking Accounts, Explained

Understanding the Different Types of Bank Accounts

When it comes to bank accounts, there’s no “one size fits all” approach. Everyone has different needs and financial goals, which means we’re all bound to have different combinations of checking, savings, and other types of accounts.

Different accounts serve different purposes. Retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA offer tax benefits to encourage people to invest toward their retirement. Traditional banking accounts like checking and savings offer easy access to cash and are generally for spending or short-term goals, respectively.

7 Types of Bank Accounts Explained

Here’s a rundown of the different types of banking accounts, how they’re different, and how they could make achieving financial goals simpler.

1. Checking Account

Checking accounts are available through traditional banks, credit unions, and online financial institutions. These accounts allow deposits and withdrawals. Some accounts may charge fees, while others checking accounts can be opened at no cost, but may have some restrictions. It may be possible to have fees waived on a checking account by meeting certain minimum account balances or setting up direct deposits from your employer.

Checking accounts got their name from one of their prominent features — writing checks. While writing checks may be less common these days, traditional checking accounts still offer the ability to make deposits and withdrawals, write checks, and in some cases, the account balance may earn interest. For the most part, they’re meant for daily expenses, not intended for savings.

The checking account interest rate offered on many checking accounts is lower than the rate of inflation. If a person chooses to park all their money in this account, their money wouldn’t keep pace with inflation and would end up losing value year over year. That’s why, while most Americans have a checking account, it’s not their only bank account.

Recommended: How To Open a Free Checking Account

2. Savings Account

Unlike a checking account, the cash stored in savings accounts is typically less accessible — that’s why they call it a saving not spending account. A savings account may not have an ATM or debit card and it is most likely not possible to write a check from it either. Some savings accounts may require a minimum balance. If an account holder goes below the minimum required balance, some banks will charge a fee. Savings accounts may also have limits on how many withdrawals can be made from the account each month.

Additionally, some banks may charge maintenance fees for keeping a savings account open. Fees and policies will vary bank to bank, so it can be beneficial to account holders to shop around to different banks instead of settling with the first one they find.

To access their account, an account holder could go to the bank’s location or may be able to make deposits through an app or online platform.

Regulation D may also limit the number of withdrawals on your savings account that can be made each month. In the past, Regulation D limited the number of withdrawals from savings accounts to six per month. This limitation was removed in April 2020, though financial institutions are not required to implement any changes to their policies. In general, it’s not recommended to use a savings account for day-to-day spending. Instead, it’s better suited for short-term savings goals.

Savings accounts may offer more competitive interest rates than checking accounts.

Recommended: Comparing the Different Types of Deposit Accounts 

Ready for a Better Banking Experience?

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account and start earning 1% APY on your cash!


3. Checking and Savings Account

A checking and savings account allows account holders to save and spend from one account. Financial institutions that offer checking and savings accounts may also partner with a bank to store funds. Checking accounts allow the account holders to make withdrawals and deposits, but may also offer competitive interest rates.

While there’s no one “perfect” bank account, people can mix and match, opening a few to meet both their daily needs and may be suitable for some short to mid-term goals, depending on the APY or investments available from the account.

Recommended: How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have?

4. Certificate of Deposit

A CD, or certificate of deposit, is sort of like a savings account, but more hands-off. Both types of accounts are meant for saving, but while an account holder can withdraw money from a savings account within the limits set by Regulation D, outlined above, money deposited in a CD is untouchable for a predetermined amount of time.

Length of CDs can range from a few months, to a few decades. The benefit of a longer CD term is generally a higher interest rate. According to the FDIC , the adjusted rate cap for a one month CD is 0.77% and for a 24-month CD is 0.92%.

For example, a year-long CD might earn 1% to 2% interest, whereas a CD that’s five years long earns 2% to 3%.

But, with that boost in interest rates comes a few caveats. In addition to its “no touch” policy (no early withdrawal) some CDs also have a minimum deposit, typically starting at $500 and up.

There is the option of no-penalty/early withdrawal CDs. However, be wary when signing up for these, as they often include specifics on how and when an account holder can withdraw early without fees and penalties.

Another alternative is CD-laddering. That means buying CDs at specific intervals, meaning access to savings will be staggered as CDs expire.

Recommended: Different Ways to Earn More Interest on Your Money

5. Money Market Account

A money market account is another type of FDIC-insured account . Money market accounts generally have a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account, but may have more restrictions. Money in these accounts may be invested in low-risk investments such as government securities, certificates of deposits, and commercial paper.

Additionally, taking funds out of a money market account can be relatively easy — many come with checks, or online electronic transfers. Money market accounts are also restricted under Regulation D and have monthly limits on transactions. That means withdrawals and transfers are limited, not making it a good fit for day-to-day transactions.

Like savings accounts, money market accounts typically have balance minimums. In some cases, these minimums are higher than a savings account. If an account holder doesn’t maintain the balance minimum, it’s likely they’ll be charged a monthly fee.

Money market accounts might be the right choice for people who want high yield savings, but don’t need to access the capital too often and can meet the deposit minimums.

6. Brokerage Accounts

A brokerage account is a type of investment account that allows account holders to trade securities.

Depending on the service level of the brokerage, a brokerage account can come with fees. Typically, the more “full-service” firm, the more the firm does the work for the customer, the more fees. On the other hand, automated investing and DIY brokerages may have fewer fees associated with them.

To open a brokerage account, a person needs cash and an idea of what they’d like to purchase. Some accounts do not have a minimum deposit amount but others require a minimum deposit which may range depending on the account type.

In order to withdraw funds from a brokerage account, securities need to be sold first. After settlement, the money can be withdrawn from the account. Withdrawn investments may be taxable if they are capital gains, and investing is often thought of as a long-term savings strategy. A brokerage account is less liquid than a savings, checking, or money market account.

7. Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts, like IRAs, 401(k)s, and SEPs, are designed to help individuals save for retirement. Deciding what kind of retirement account to open will depend on a number of factors:

•   Employer benefits. Some employers offer a 401(k) and may have a 401k matching program or other perks with their retirement plans. Taking advantage of those benefits can be worthwhile, especially up to the employer match.

•   Target retirement date. Working backwards using a retirement calculator, people can determine just how much they need to save each month to retire on time. From there, certain retirement plans might make more sense than others.

Selecting a retirement plan is a personal decision that depends on factors like their personal goals, the target date for retirement, and more. For questions, it can be helpful to consult with a qualified financial professional. With retirement accounts, the money contributed is locked-in until retirement. Withdrawing early can result in fees and penalties that can cut into savings.

Recommended: 3 Easy Steps to Starting a Retirement Fund

Finding Accounts That Work for You

Since different types of accounts have different purposes, benefits, and uses, it is likely that individuals will have a few different accounts to meet their needs. Some financial institutions may offer a variety of account options, while some individuals may choose to have a savings and checking account with one institution, and investment and retirement accounts with a separate financial institution.

Each financial institution is likely to have its own policies in place so it can be helpful to review the options available with a few different institutions as you build your financial portfolio. If you have questions, consider consulting with a financial professional who can provide personalized financial advice.

If you are looking for an account that allows you to save, spend, and earn interest, all in one place — consider SoFi Checking and Savings®. With this checking and savings account, all ATM fees are reimbursed and there are no account fees.

Looking for Something Different

Different financial accounts serve different purposes. Checking accounts make it possible to easily withdraw and deposit money while accounts like 401(k) or IRAs are designed for longer-term goals like investing toward retirement. People will generally have a mix of these accounts. A checking and savings account offers account holders the ability to easily deposit and withdraw money into the account, while also earning a competitive interest rate. A SoFi Checking and Savings® account makes it easy to see how you are saving and spending money, all in one place.

Find out more about SoFi Checking and Savings.

Photo credit: iStock/hemul75


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
SoFi Money® is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member
FINRA / SIPC .
SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A. SoFi Money Debit Card issued by The Bancorp Bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.80% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.80% APY is current as of 07/26/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.
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