Detailed Financial Picture – December 2014

November’s Numbers

As of December 4, 2014, we are $14,000 in debt without a mortgage to speak of (yet).  We currently have $536,285.88 in assets.  Our investment accounts are at $423,630.36. Our Net Worth is $522,285.88, up from $504,813.87 last month (3.46% increase).

November was a relatively quiet month.  We spent more than usual because we bought all our Christmas gifts (but it was only about $600 more than usual), but still quite low spending for us (yay no house!).  We’re paying storage fees at the moment, and our mortgage plus “escrow” will be almost twice the storage fees.

Dad had his annual review a few days ago and will be getting a nice  bonus and 2.something% raise.  We might open a Roth for 2014 for him if our AGI allows us to.  Or we might use it to fully fund our HSA at the beginning of the year.  Dad doesn’t get to contribute to his HSA via payroll deductions, so we have to manually contribute after-tax dollars and then claim the deduction on our taxes.  I’m debating on whether to contribute to the HSA his company uses (Optum bank) or open our own separate one for our contributions.  We can’t get access to the investment options or documents until we open the account, and we can’t open the account until 2015 when we’re covered by the new plan – not that I’ve been able to find anyway. Anyone have an HSA “bank” they’re particularly happy with?

Debt (in the order we’re paying it down):

  • Line of credit (8.75%): $0.00
  • Chase (4.99% for life): $ 0.00 
  • Student loans (aggregated 4.21%):  $0.00 
  • Car loan (0%): $14,000 (-500.00)
  • Mortgage (4.125%): $0.00 

Total paid off in November:  $500

11 thoughts on “Detailed Financial Picture – December 2014

  1. Samir

    I’ve used First American Bank (, and Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union (; soon to be Elements Financial, First American Bank was good as a place to deposit pre-tax/ tax-deductible funds, and then use them through out the year via debit card to pay for qualified expenses. It’s not very useful as a savings account (returns are not competitive compared to best general purpose savings, but that’s not an apples to apples comparison), and the investment options aren’t good.

    Once I started covering medical expenses out of pocket, and wanted to use HSA for long-term triple tax advantage (pre-tax/ tax-deductible contributions, tax-free growth, and deferred reimbursement of qualified expenses), I wanted access to good (diversified, low-cost, passive index funds or etf’s) investment vehicles. For that, I switched to ELFCU, which allows transfer of funds to a TD Ameritrade brokerage account. TDA gives access to many no-load, no-commission ETFs (iShares, Vanguard). The downsides of this are the following:
    1. $3/month fee if you don’t maintain a minimum balance (was $2500 when i last checked) in the savings account. The balance in the brokerage account does not count.
    2. $24 wire transfer fee for transferring funds from savings account to brokerage account. No one knows why ELFCU uses a high cost method such as wire transfer for this, instead of ACH, which everyone else uses as a default (with wire as an option for a premium for those that need the expediency). My way around this is to let funds accumulate in the savings account and transfer them once a year.
    3. Fees from 1 and 2 combined, I end up paying $60 for having this account. It’s not as good as $0, but it’s better than not having money invested at all, or invested in poor investment vehicles.

    So, depending on what your intentions are, I’d recommend First American Bank if you want a plain-jane savings account wrapped in HSA blanket. I’d recommend ELFCU if you want to invest your contributions for the longer term.

    I hope that helps.

    1. Mom Post author

      Our goal is to pay for health expenses primarily out of pocket, but dip into the HSA if we really need to. I found some general information about the Optumbank HSA and it looks like we’ll have access to Vanguard at a 0.17% fee but there are some confusing rules about minimum account balance and such. (Like you alluded to – does the investment balance count towards the minimum?) I believe dad’s company can choose different options, so we’ll have to wait on details until the beginning of the year. His company contributes to the Optum bank HSA, so we may just start with it until I figure out if it’s a good option for us.

  2. Samir

    On a separate note, please consider including the full content of your posts in your RSS feeds, instead of just a snippet. This will increase your readership, particularly those who exclusively peruse blogs through feed readers. Thanks for considering!

  3. Leigh

    On employer HSA plans: mine is through an institution that normally charges a bunch of fees, but they’re all waived in my account while I’m with this employer. So you may turn out to have an awesome one!

    Congrats to your husband on the nice bonus!

    1. Mom Post author

      That’s what I’m hoping – his company tends towards being “nice” like that, so they may cover fees. I guess I get to wait until Jan 1 to see what’s up. The fees aren’t too bad without the employer covering anything, so we’ll see. This is our first foray into HSAs, we’ve never had one.

    1. Mom Post author

      We’re supposed to be able to sign up for the account next week or the week after Christmas once the communication happens between Dad’s company and the health insurance company, so we’ll see what we end up with.

  4. Pingback: Detailed Financial Picture - January 2015 - Three is Plenty

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