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hold my purse, honey

I deposited a check from my old bank account to an ATM of my new Bank of America acct on the 24th, and they have put two separate holds on it, so that some is unavailable until the 1st, and the bulk of it is unavailable until the 5th. Is this kind of bullshit normal? My inquiry got a response that it was Federal hold guidelines. I never had that kind of hold time on any other bank account before. Seems pretty ridiculous to me. BofA has been really slow with moving money around, at least for me. 4-day transfers bank-to-bank, 1-to-2-day transfers WITHIN the bank, account to account, 3-to-4-day transfers from savings to brokerage accts WITHIN the bank? WTF is that nonsense?

I'm finally, finally going to set up a retirement account now that I work at a university that has them available instead of those tax-sheltered annuity jokes that UTMB had. Here they have employer-contributing accounts.... for everyone except post-docs. Post-docs here don't even accrue leave/holiday days, which might be par for the course for all I know. However there are 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) available here, as well as both types of IRA available to whoever wants them I guess (since they're not through the employer). I'm waiting to get the email address of my investment guy so I can ask his opinion. I guess it's no real rush since it's only January but I'd like to get the ball rolling.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
That's absurd. Normal hold time for a check to clear is 5 business days. Period. And the holds when you move money around in their own system are simply to hold onto your money longer and gain more interest off it.

Two tactics. One is to go to a different branch and say that if you were opening a new account (don't let on that you bank there already) what sort of delays (in writing) would there be on transfers and checks and such. Another tactic is to do the same thing at a different bank chain entirely and move your money someplace where YOU can actually use it - call me a radical, but what good is a bank that won't let you have access to your funds?
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Those holds are automatic through ATM deposits. They're also put on checks with out of state banks/branches or over a certain amount. Even though your "old" bank may be the same bank, any out of state check is put on hold. Usualy amount and out of state are the red flags they'll hold. Federally mandated? Not that I'm aware of, its usually bank policy. These were put into place to ward off check kiters in the 70's. Its a bit antiquitated today and often tellers will override any hold after you've established yourself with a "good" customer status. My CU doesn't hold checks anymore

They have matching?!? At a academic institution?!? Amazing... I had that Columbia way back in the early 90s, but I've not seen it since. UC's post-docs are in this gray area of employment too. We get a lump sum vacation days up front, they don't "accrue"

Take advantage of those educational retirement plans. I don't think the 401(k) is really one of those? Usually see that in the private sector, most likely its a 401(a) "pension" thing. The 403b is nice because you can take loans off the amount if you ever get desparate later on.

Being a scientist means you'll be earning your highest tax bracket later in life. Go with a Roth IRA *and* a 403b. Mix of both tax-deferred and Roth IRAs usually make the best sense.

Also keep an eye out for what your investment choices are, usually something managed by a large firm (UC's is Fidelity) Often there are mutual funds availble only to you that have extremely low costs.
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
My old bank is a different large company, which can explain a hold, but I don't think 10 days is reasonable anymore, not with electronic communication as it is. But it's not as if there's much I can do about it. The money is still accruing (marginal) interest even under a hold.

There is matching (not 100% or anywhere near it) for faculty and staff for one of their two possible 'mandatory' retirement schemes, neither of which post-docs are allowed to have (though considering I won't retire here anyway it's not the biggest loss).

There is a 401k plan here for some reason, but I was leaning towards either 403 or 457 anyway, mostly towards the 403 and an IRA and since I reinvest gains and am basically indentured, yeah I'll be making way more when I'm 60, so a Roth IRA is fine. I won't do anything until I can pass it by my money guy though.

Here there is Fidelity and TIAA-CREF, I have to look at their papers about who's better.
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
I was with TIAA-CREF at Columbia. I am now with Fidelity. I think Fidelity has much better investment products. YMMV
Jan. 29th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
Bank of America, thats all you had to say.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )