This is the first part of my alien abduction packet. Obviously it’s been changed a bit to remove personal information (redacted). It covers simple banking information—where is our money? It also works as a template if you’d like to make your own version. Or see the end of the post to download a .doc version you can fill out.
Our bank accounts:
Wachovia Checking: acct # redacted This is in both our names, so it should legally transfer to you with ease.
Wilmington Trust Checking (we should close this now, I just feel paranoid about outstanding checks, even if there aren’t any): acct # redacted This is in my name and Dad’s name. The transfer might not be as smooth, but Dad will give up his “share” of the account. He got on the account as an emergency backup when I opened it.
ING Direct Orange Savings: acct # redacted Again, this is you and me. If you’ve lost or forgotten your customer login information, I’m including mine (redacted) so that you can have access to the account. But call ING’s customer service (make sure it’s ING Direct, not just plain ING) and get your own information straightened out.
ING Direct Orange Investment (Roth IRA): This is accessed through the same panel as the Orange Savings, just click the “Orange Investment” link. While the Roth IRA is in my name, I named you as the legal beneficiary which means that while you’ll have to contact ING about making sure it’s credited to you, it should go smoothly. To understand Roth IRAs better, I suggest you visit Chance Favors the Prepared Mind. Ciaran writes some excellent Roth-related material. I’ll include an investing section later on.
Other accounts where we may have funds:
These money transfer accounts may or may not have funds waiting to be transferred out. They’re all linked to our regular bank accounts, but I can’t always transfer the money right away because of monthly limits (shouldn’t be an issue with RME, but check anyway).
PayPal: I have a personal account and a business account (login redacted)
Revolution Money Exchange: May have some funds here as well, though you can transfer more to the bank each month, so it could be ok. (login redacted)
Why is our money in Wachovia and ING?
I think some philosophy will help so that you understand not only the decisions I made, but why. Because 15 years down the road these may no longer be the best decisions.
Why is our checking account with Wachovia? Because where we live it’s easy to access Wachovia ATMs and the like. Because they have decent customer service. I don’t think there’s anything special enough about Wachovia to keep a checking account there if/when you/we move into an area without lots of Wachovia branches and ATMs.
As it is, the checking account is free with no minimum balance and we aren’t charged a fee for using Wachovia ATMs. It was also easy enough to link that account to our ING savings.
Why are we using ING Orange Savings? ING offers a higher interest rate than most brick and mortar banks (compare to the .20% I was getting at Wilm Trust) and is easy to access/manage. As mentioned above, we can create subaccounts and the like.
There may be banks with higher interest rates, but I’m less into rate chasing (unless it was dramatically better) and more interested in a combination of good interest and easy use.
Why are we using ING Orange Investing? Well, I’ll talk more about this in the investing part, but it was a simple way to get our Roth IRAs started without having the minimum required by Vanguard.
If you’re interested in starting your own alien abduction packet, I’ll be putting a download up each time with a copy of all the packet’s pages up to this point. When this is published on April 22, 2008 it’ll only contain the simple banking page. But every time I add to the file, I’ll update the download (and I’m hoping to get more creative). If you’ve already got a copy, just copy and paste the relevant parts of one file into the other. Or wait until the end. Hope you find it useful!