The Importance of Simplifying Your Financial Accounts

Streamline finances, mitigate risks. Simplify accounts for growth, ease. Learn how to manage effectively.

By: Varun Verma, MD

Published: Mar 22, 2024

📂 Physician Perspectives

Written for:

✅ Medical Students

✅ Residents and Fellows

✅ Early Career Physicians

✅ Mid Career Physicians

✅ Established Professionals

In today's financial landscape, the average individual juggles a plethora of accounts, from savings, checking, high yield savings, crypto and investments/retirement funds. While having multiple accounts can seem like a prudent approach to managing your finances, it often complicates matters more than necessary. Simplifying your financial accounts not only streamlines your financial management but also mitigates several risks. Let's delve into why less can indeed be more when it comes to your financial accounts.

The Risk of Forgetting About Accounts

One of the most immediate risks of having too many financial accounts is the likelihood of forgetting about one or more of them. This is not just about losing track of a few dollars here and there. Significant amounts can become 'out of sight, out of mind,' especially in accounts that are not regularly monitored. Whether it's a forgotten retirement account from a previous employer or a savings account opened years ago, each unmonitored account is a missed opportunity for growth and management.

I see a lot of physician online discussions about ‘what is the best high yield savings account’ to park their emergency fund in. In my experience - there is no point chasing the new shiny 0.25%-higher rate in a high yield savings account and playing the game of juggling your  money across multiple accounts. Pick a reputable company like Wealthfront, Sofi or Marcus and park your money there. Forget the noise from the Reddit crowd. The slightly higher rate may just be a promotional 3-month only period, or may simple vanish. 


The Risk of Forgetting to Invest Cash Sitting Around

Cash management becomes exponentially more challenging with an increase in the number of accounts. It's easy to leave cash sitting idle in various accounts, where it earns minimal to no interest, instead of investing it in opportunities with higher growth potential. This oversight can lead to significant opportunity costs over time. By consolidating your finances into fewer accounts, you're more likely to have a clear view of your cash positions and can make more informed decisions about investing excess cash.


Tax Time Becomes a Herculean Task

Tax season is daunting for many, but having multiple financial accounts can transform it into a Herculean task. Collecting 1099s, account statements, and other tax documents from numerous sources is time-consuming and increases the likelihood of errors. Simplifying your financial accounts can significantly reduce the paperwork and complexity involved in filing your taxes. A streamlined set of accounts ensures that you have all your financial information in fewer places, making it easier to report income and investments accurately.


How to Simplify Your Financial Accounts

1. Consolidate Retirement Accounts: If you have multiple 401(k)s or IRAs from different employers, consider consolidating them into a single IRA. This can help you better manage your investments and keep track of your retirement savings.

2. Use a Primary Checking and Savings Account: Identify a primary checking and savings account for everyday use and emergencies, respectively. Look for accounts with low fees and good interest rates. Having a central hub for your cash flow simplifies management and monitoring.

3. Review and Close Unnecessary Accounts: Periodically review your financial portfolio and close accounts that no longer serve your financial goals or are redundant. This not only simplifies your finances but also reduces the risk of fraud on dormant accounts.

4. Leverage Financial Management Tools: Use financial apps and tools to get a consolidated view of your finances. Many apps allow you to link multiple accounts, providing a comprehensive overview of your financial situation in one place.


Conclusion

While it might seem counterintuitive, simplifying your financial accounts can lead to more effective money management and financial growth. By reducing the number of accounts you have, you minimize the risk of oversight, make tax time less stressful, and are better positioned to make strategic investment decisions. Start taking steps towards simplification today, and pave the way for a more manageable and prosperous financial future.



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Physicians face unique financial challenges, from managing student loans to planning for retirement. At Andwise, we understand these challenges and are committed to guiding you through every financial milestone with the help of Tanya Frias, CFP®, ChSNC®, our Director of Financial Education and Empowerment.

Tanya Frias brings over twenty years of financial services experience to Andwise. With her extensive background as a Certified Financial Planner and her dedication to making financial planning accessible, especially in underserved communities, Tanya is a key asset to our team. Her qualifications include a B.S. from the City University of New York, CFP certification from NYU, ChSNC certification from the American College, and she is currently advancing her knowledge with an Executive MBA from Kellogg-Northwestern.

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