When you think about your bank, what comes to mind? For most people a bank exists solely for them to deposit money and withdrawal money at their leisure. And that’s a fine opinion, but a very narrow-minded one. There is much more to banking than just depositing your paycheck and taking $20 or $30 out at the beginning of each week. Let’s say you’re looking for a house or a car, or planning for retirement. Banks have products to help you with all of these needs, and more. And that’s why you should take the time to develop a personal relationship with your bank. Get to know the tellers by name and create a rapport with your own personal banker. This step will help you not only with future endeavors, but it will keep you abreast of future promotions or changes in the market, and so on.
Let’s look at one scenario where having a personal banker would be a very helpful asset. Picture this, you’re fresh out of college and you’ve landed your first real job. Up to this point all you’ve really had is a savings account your parents opened when you were a baby. Now is the time to look into that checking account and maybe discuss retirement plans with someone at your local bank. Based on your employment status and the company you work for, a personal banker will be able to put you in the right checking account for your needs and begin consulting you on a retirement plan. And the best part is, once you take this first step, you now have a contact for life. Five or ten years down the road when you want to buy a house or get married and have kids, your personal banker will be right there to help you with a mortgage or a college savings plan.
Now let’s look at a second scenario, the one where you’re all grown up and you have kids of your own. Your personal relationship with that bank will allow you to open free savings accounts for all your children and start a college savings plan for each of them. As your children grow older, it may be time to go car shopping or open a checking account just for them. At many banks, the minimum age to open a checking account is 15, allowing the parent to be a signer as well in order to monitor the activity. This could be a great learning experience for your teenager and give them a push in the right direction.
There are many reasons why developing a personal relationship with your bank is a good idea, these were just a few. You don’t have to be an expert on all the aspects of banking to walk into a branch and open up a few accounts, that’s your personal banker’s job. They are there to answer any questions you may have and to help you with all the financial milestones in your life. While you may just have a checking or savings account at the moment, consider where you’ll be in a few years and think about your personal banker. They will always be there to guide you through any economic struggles or windfalls you may have.