Originally I signed up for WiseBanyan as a part of my 1 year WiseBanyan + Digit Experiment. The idea behind the experiment was to see how much I could automatically save and then invest over the year, without too much thought or intervention from me.
I used my Digit Savings Account to automatically save small amounts throughout the month that I wouldn't even miss, and then when the amount was over $75 or so, I would transfer it over to WiseBanyan to invest.
The idea was to see how much I could invest with almost no pain to me since the transfers to Digit came out in small dollar amounts without my intervention.
At the end of the year I saved over $4538 via Digit. If you extrapolate that $4538 contribution for the year over 30 years at an average 8% interest, it ends up as just over $567,300 over 30 years. The idea of saving those small amounts and how it turns into larger amounts over time was pretty powerful for me.
Last year WiseBanyan introduced a new product to their offerings called Milestones. Milestones is their free financial planning service that helps you to save for future events – taking out a lot of the guesswork. Let's take a look.
Milestones – WiseBanyan's Free Financial Planning Service
We’re excited to announce the launch of Milestones: WiseBanyan’s free financial planning service. Simply tell us what financial achievements you want (and by when), and we’ll be there to guide you every step of the way. Once your new milestones are up and running, we’ll continue to monitor, rebalance, and automate your deposits, so you can live confidently in the present knowing you’re going to love your future.
Essentially you setup an account to save or invest for a specific future goal, and then WiseBanyan will help you to save for it over time.
WiseBanyan will calculate your milestone savings goal based on things including but not limited to income level, net worth, time horizon, initial deposits and more. When setting up your milestone goal it will ask dollar amount to save, how much time you have to do the saving, and then gives you an asset allocation that should allow you to reach your goal.
What Milestones Are Available
When you go into setup your Milestones in WiseBanyan, there are currently 4 types you can choose.
- Rainy Day Milestone: The first milestone that WiseBanyan suggests that you setup is the Rainy Day milestone – the milestone to cover you for the present. You can think of this as your large emergency fund. Dave Ramsey refers to it as your 3-6 month of expenses emergency fund, to cover you in case of unexpected large costs like a AC unit going out, car needing a large repair, job loss or unexpected tax bill. A Rainy Day Milestone helps you build up enough emergency funds to have peace of mind.
- Retirement Milestone: The retirement milestone is the milestone you use to start saving for the future. It will help you to build toward your desired future financial lifestyle. I already have one of these milestone accounts, which uses a Roth IRA to save for a tax advantaged retirement.
- Custom Milestone: These milestones can be whatever you want them to be, from saving for a short term savings goal like a vacation, or saving for the medium term for a house or a car. Whether it's a 1, 5 or 10 year savings goal, you customize it to your liking and needs – and go from there.
- Build Wealth Milestone: This milestone is kind of a miscellaneous fund, it allows you to grow your money without a specific timeline or end dollar goal in mind.
One thing that should be noted is that you can only have one each of the Retirement, Rainy Day, and Build Wealth milestones. Custom milestones, on the other hand, allow you to create as many milestones as you want.
Setting Up Your First Milestone Account
Setting up and using WiseBanyan milestones is a pretty easy process. It's as simple as signing up for an account, and then choosing “create milestone” from the menu.
- Sign up for a FREE WiseBanyan account (and get a $20 bonus with this link)
- Click on “Create Milestone” in the menu to create your milestone savings goal.
Creating A Milestone
Let's walk through the process as I create a milestone account for my Rainy Day fund.
First, I click on the button to create a milestone. That brings you to this page where you need to choose what type of milestone you want to create. Since I already have a Retirement milestone associated with my Roth IRA at WiseBanyan, that type of milestone is grayed out and not clickable. Since I'm creating a Rainy Day fund, I click on that one.
On the next page it begins the process of setting up your Rainy Day milestone by asking for a savings goal and time horizon. For this one I'm setting it up for a $10,000 savings goal, to be achieved in 18 months.
Next, I tell the system how much I want to deposit to open the account. It can be as little as $1 or as much as you want, but it will affect the amount you need to save every month.
Next, you setup the amount you want to deposit on a monthly basis in order to reach your goal. Based on your savings goal, time horizon and first deposit WiseBanyan will give you a recommended amount to save every month to reach your goal.
After setting up your auto-deposit it will show you a recommended asset allocation, based on your goals. Since this is a short term Rainy Day milestone, the account is heavily weighted to less risky bonds.
Your milestone saving and investing goal is now set, and will start being funded within a day or two for your initial deposit, and on the first business day of the month for your monthly deposit.
Planning Ahead For Your Future With WiseBanyan
The new milestones financial planning service built into WiseBanyan is another useful tool brought to us by the upstart free automated financial advisory service. It allows you to create flexible savings and investment goals that will help you to reach your short term, medium term and long term savings plans.
I'd definitely recommend checking it out and giving it a try like I have.
Right now, if you sign up for WiseBanyan you'll also get a $20 bonus just for signing up through our link! Since the service is free to begin with, you've got nothing to lose, and at least $20 to gain!