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What Other Financial Products Do I Use?

A reader writes in, asking:

“I would be very interested in reading about the various financial products that you use if you would be open to sharing that information.”

I’m happy to discuss it, but it’s not very exciting. As with our retirement savings — the entirety of which is invested in a single mutual fund — the goal isn’t to squeeze out every last dollar of performance. Rather, the goal is simplicity.

As regular readers surely know, we use Vanguard for our solo 401(k) plans, Roth IRAs, and traditional IRAs.

For our checking accounts (business and personal), we use Bank of America. The accounts earn no interest, but they also do not charge any fees for any of the things that we do. (Also, back when we were using S-corp taxation for our businesses, it was nice that BoA had an integrated payroll service — which was actually done by Intuit — that was easy to use and inexpensive.)

We use two credit cards:

  • The Amazon Prime Visa that gives 5% back at Amazon; 2% at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% on everything else; and
  • The REI MasterCard that gives 5% back at REI, 2% on groceries, and 1% on everything else.

For tax preparation, I use TurboTax — not because I think it’s necessarily any better than the alternatives, but because it’s what I’m used to using at this point, and I don’t particularly want to invest the time to learn a new piece of software.

As far as other personal finance software, it’s rare for me to use anything other than Excel. Our finances are not complicated, so we don’t really need anything fancy here. (Also, given my background in accounting, I’m very comfortable using Excel — and actually enjoy using it.)

With regard to most types of insurance (life, auto, liability), my overall approach is simply to buy the cheapest policy that provides the coverage I want, as long as the company’s credit ratings are satisfactory.

As far as health insurance, we buy ours on the Affordable Care Act exchange. We’ve moved a lot (from one state to another) over the last several years, and our healthcare needs change from year to year, so our health insurance provider and plan change from one year to another as well. For instance, this year we opted for a plan with a low deductible, as it was pretty likely that I was going to need a few medical tests/procedures that I don’t need in other years.

As far as disability insurance, I have a policy through Prudential via the AICPA.

And that’s about it.

(Also, because it’s good policy for you to check regarding conflicts of interest: I am not compensated by any of the above companies in any way. I do not receive any commissions, for example, if you sign up for the credit cards mentioned above.)

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