Snowbirds, stay in control while you're away

Leave your worries behind while spending winter in warmer climates

29 Feb 2020

Key takeaways

  • If the idea of getting away from snow, ice and other winter weather is appealing, it is important to consider the financial implications of the move.
  • Make a list of your accounts and turn on paperless statements.
  • Start a savings account and be prepared for unexpected expenses.
  • Set your bills to automatic and paperless billing wherever possible.
  • Set up mobile banking.

If the idea of getting away from snow, ice and other winter weather is appealing, it is important to consider the financial implications of the move. There are two critical elements you'll need to consider: being able to manage your money wherever you are, and having access to cash and financial services while you're away.

Preparing your banking and bills for a long-term absence

Michael Medici, Executive Director, Client Accounts and Cash Management at UBS, says, "It's all about putting your bill payments on autopilot and staying in control."

You can access online banking services such as electronic funds transfer, bill payment and e-delivery of your monthly statements. These tools can help you manage your money wherever you are.

"If your monthly cable, gas or power bills are set up for automatic payments, you won't need to remember to pay them each month," Medici shares. Although you can ask the post office to forward your mail, it may be more efficient to receive your statements electronically. You'll be able to access and review statements anytime while on vacation or traveling. 

Accessing money and other financial needs away from home

Set up mobile banking prior to leaving so you can view your finances and even complete banking transactions, including depositing checks and more, all on your phone on your own time. "Mobile banking also allows you to send electronic funds to and from bank accounts you own.* You can transfer funds and pay bills regardless of location," he continues. "You can go cashless with electronic transactions. And, if you need cash, you can get cash through your debit or credit card."

Many financially savvy households have gone completely cashless. You can use a credit card to pay for purchases at most vendors around the world. "And when you need cash for those less common uses, you can get cash at ATMs or banks worldwide," notes Medici.

Whether you're at home or traveling, make sure you have a liquidity strategy in place that takes into account your short-term cash flow needs. To make the most of this strategy, be sure you're keeping enough money for your various needs to help ensure you are able to take care of your immediate and near-term expenses.

You can plan ahead for a long-term absence and start saving for any unexpected expenses. 

Having a healthy amount of cash in a savings account can also give the feeling of having a little extra security—what Shinjit Ghosh, Managing Director, Head of Deposits and Cash Management at UBS, calls "comfort cash." He explains, "We all know there are needs for you to keep an excess amount of cash, but for some it's more about psychological comfort, a feeling of safety and control." Keeping a portion of your assets in cash is also part of a liquidity strategy, which is designed to provide a stable source of income to help meet near-term spending needs. If you proactively set this up in good times, you'll have access to cash when you need it.

Create a financial checklist for your warm-weather getaway

You don't want to miss anything while you're away for a month or longer. Make a list of your accounts and turn on paperless statements.  Set up mobile banking. Then set your bills to automatic and paperless billing wherever possible. This will help you stay organized wherever you go to enjoy the warm weather this winter.  Also, let your Financial Advisor know. They can add an extra level of security against fraudulent charges.

"Think of it as one less thing to worry about when you're planning to vacation or take an extended absence," says Medici. "As long as you have access to a secure cellular network or Wi-Fi, you can complete most of your transactional banking with a mobile device."

It doesn't matter if you are escaping the cold for a few weeks or a few months. Having extra comfort cash, as well as online and mobile banking, makes it easier than ever before. As long as you automate your bills where possible and take advantage of online and mobile options, your money is never more than a few clicks away.


Connect with your UBS Financial Advisor

Plan your escape now.


Disclosures