Where is the Best Place to Save Money for a Long-Term Goal?

March 21, 2023

Saving money for a long-term goal and are unsure what the best way to save is? In this highlight, Brian and Bo discuss the best accounts to use when saving money for a long-term goal.

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All right, a question from John. Where is the best place to keep money you’re saving for a long-term goal that is more than five years out? He’s thinking about future weddings for his child or a family road trip, etc.

So weddings for the child, Brian, I’m going to leave that one for you to talk about one of the ways to do that. The way that I personally have approached building well for goals that my wife and I might have that are uncertain in nature, but still long term is we really love the after-tax account. One of the beautiful things about it is it doesn’t have the limitations like retirement accounts, like 59 and a half or an 401k, even 55. I can put money in my after-tax account today and I can go pull that money out tomorrow and only tax have to pay, there are any capital gains that are associated with the sell of the holdings in there. So if I know that I have something coming up and I want to save for that, while I could park it in cash and right now cash yields are pretty attractive, you know, and they seem as rates continue to increase, they’ll continue to get more attractive, I would imagine, but they’re probably not going to be quite as good as long-term equity return. So one of the things that we like to do is consistently dollar cost average into that after-tax account and then make sure there were tax managing that account through advanced, charitable giving strategies as well as tax loss harvesting so that at some point in the future, if we do want to make an investment or we want to buy another commercial property, we want to go in a big vacation or whatever that thing might be, those dollars are really, really easy to get to. So my answer for like long-term goals, building wealth, I think it’s okay to overfund your cash sum, but I love doing it inside of an after-tax account across low-cost index funds at your dollar cost averaging into.

I wrote three quick things down, is number one, glide path based on need. I mean, it really ties into what Bo was talking about. If you need something in the next 12 to 18 months, cash is your friend, but if you need something five years, seven years in the future, it’s okay if you have some diversification built into it where some of it, a good portion of it’s going to be very safe and conservative, or even maybe cash equivalent, but there’s also going to be a growth component because you know, you don’t need this for five to seven years. So just like your retirement or your education goals will have a glide path where they’re very aggressive when you’re a long ways off, but then you get closer and closer and closer and closer, it will change. That’s what we do in financial planning. You should do that also for yourself. So it’s not uncommon with glide path based upon need five years away. It’s a 5050 or a 4060 on risk versus non-risk type assets based on your personal situation and what your goals and also what you’re comfortable with, but as you get closer and closer to the goal, I’m counting on more and more of that going to the risk off side of the structure.

Number two, current interest rate environment helps tremendously. It is so much easier to think about if I can make 4% of my money. Now look, all of you haters that are watching this six months. You know, it’s hard to say percentages on a historical video because people will go, what’s he talking about? They only pay this much. I know when you watch this, things are going to be different, but right now where interest rates, you can get somewhere between three and a half to four and a half percent on your cash and equivalents. You are in a situation where you can lean heavier into the risk off side of the planning. So that’s number two is current interest rate environment actually helps you in this planning goal.

Number three is don’t get too cute or greedy. I think a lot of people, you know, markets are down right now. So the opportunist in me is like, yeah, let’s run in while everybody’s running out. But if you know you need this money in five years, be very balanced in your analysis on, you know, how much should be at risk versus how much should be conservative. Don’t get too cute with yourself or too greedy with a situation where you actually get left holding the bag because you didn’t think about it more from a sober reality of what could come your way. Because look, we’re not out of the woods. I mean, we, 2022 was not a great investment year. It doesn’t mean that just because we had a strong, you know, a bad year, that means going forward because I’ve shown you the stats and I believe it that it probably does mean that the spring is being loaded. But we’ll ask to get to capitulation, to get to the point that things are as bad as they can be, that we get to the very dead bottom of the markets. There’s probably going to be a very bad period where we get squeezed even more. And maybe that’s in the first quarter. Maybe it’s in the second quarter of 2023. Nobody really knows. I’m just saying, don’t get so cute that you lose what the why and the purpose of this money and to be very balanced like I shared in point number one.

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