What’s the best place to start?
The fastest way to take care of day-to-day activities that don’t require expert finance advice (like checking your account balance) is to start online. You can find many resources online from Bank of America to provide guidance about financial topics. You can also secure financing online for things like mortgages, but you should be certain you work with vendors you can trust.
Of course, in some circumstances a banking expert or advisor may be better suited to provide specific advice based on your personal goals.
How do I find out about getting a mortgage?
For complex financial decisions like buying a home for the first time or setting up a savings plan, it’s wise to visit your bank in person. If you want to apply for a mortgage, for example, a mortgage specialist can walk you through the information and describe the documents you will need. A meeting also provides an opportunity for you to ask questions about the mortgage process. Drop-in appointments are available, but you may end up waiting. Bank of America customers can avoid waiting by making an appointment online ahead of time. Same-day appointments are also available at many locations. Making an appointment means you can choose the topics you want to discuss so a specialist can be ready for your appointment when you arrive.
How do I start planning for my financial future?
A licensed financial advisor from an investment firm, such as Merrill Edge, can help you with a range of topics, from a straightforward discussion of mutual funds to putting together a retirement plan. Discussions with a financial advisor can help you outline your priorities and goals as well as ways to save and invest to pursue those goals. For example, if your goal is to be able to spend a certain amount each month when you retire, a financial advisor can give you retirement advice about investment vehicles that could help you pursue your goal.
A financial advisor can also guide you on how to make sure that your investments are properly diversified to help you pursue your goals. Financial advisors can help you establish your risk tolerance and what that means for you and your investments.
Bank of America customers can set up an in-person or phone meeting with a Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisor™. In advance of the meeting, it’s useful to gather information about your current financial picture—including savings, current investment holdings and debts like credit card balances and student loans—to help the financial solutions advisor better understand your financial needs.
How do I open a new savings account?
Calling your bank’s customer service center is the fastest and easiest way to meet your needs in a few circumstances, including reporting a lost or stolen credit or debit card, opening new accounts and servicing existing accounts. Many general account inquiries can also be made over the phone when you don’t have easy access to the Internet.
Will I be taxed if I withdraw funds from my retirement account?
If you have a question about taxes, such as how much income tax you owe or what tax breaks you may qualify for, speak with an accountant or other tax professional or visit the www.IRS.gov. For personal financial matters that involve legal issues, such as setting up certain trusts, consult an attorney. U.S. Trust can administer trusts and put customers in touch with lawyers who can get paperwork together.
Take advantage of the people and resources available to you at your bank and investment firm to help set and pursue your financial goals.