Magazine

How to Get the Most Out of Ellevest Plus

By Ellevest Team

When we launched membership at Ellevest last June, we knew we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to earn more, save more, and grow your money, learning as you go. But we also knew that the moves people need to make for their money and career are pretty personal. That’s why we created three different plans — so you can pick what’s right for you.

We also packed those plans with benefits and features designed to help you hit the money goals that are most important to you. This guide is all about the “middle” plan — the $5-a-month (or $54-a-year) Ellevest Plus membership — and how you might use it.

An illustration of a woman climbing steps toward a circular doorway leading out to a star-filled sky, exploring floating charts, calendars, and interactive technology.

What’s in Ellevest Plus?

  • Investing: Two ways you can invest, when you’re ready: Build Wealth and Retirement

  • Banking: Included with membership: Ellevest banking accounts, your Ellevest Mastercard World Debit Card, cash back rewards where you already shop, and the Ellevest roundup option to start saving while you spend

  • Learning: Also included: A Learn dashboard to explore ways to get your money and career questions answered at your own pace

  • Coaching: An unlimited 30% discount on every session with financial planners and career coaches

What can you do with Ellevest Plus?

Get the 10,000-foot view of your retirement

You may have a 401(k) in your current job, plus an old 401(k) from your old job, plus an IRA you started a while ago, or maybe you’re thinking of starting an IRA now. That’s a lot of retirement savings in a lot of different places. With Ellevest Plus, you can use the Retirement goal to get a holistic picture.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Add a Retirement on My Terms goal to your account.

  2. List out what you have saved in your “outside accounts” — including retirement accounts you have elsewhere, like a 401(k), plus banking accounts.

  3. We’ll use the info you gave us about yourself when you joined Ellevest (things like your salary, gender, and age), plus the info about what you have saved in your outside accounts, to tell you the target amount to have when you retire — the full amount you should target to retire the way you want to, not just the amount for an IRA with Ellevest. We’ll also recommend what type of accounts you might use to get there.

We target getting you to 90% of your pre-retirement income at retirement, after taxes, by the way. We estimate you’ll spend a little less than you do before you retire, but not too much less. (You’re still you, and you’ll still want to do things.)

We also check in with you quarterly to remind you to update your outside retirement accounts and anything else that’s changed in your life, so this full picture stays the full picture. And if you have more personal questions about your target, you can always book a retirement check-up session with a coach.

Start investing for retirement whenever you need to

Your Retirement goal will also tell you whether you’re on track to that target number. You definitely might be doing fine with just your 401(k) you have at work — with nothing else needed. We’ll let you know that, and then you’re all set.

But you might be off track — after all, due to a lot of reasons, women retire with two-thirds as much money as men do, even though we live six to eight years longer. You also might decide that an IRA is a smart money move to make. (Here’s some more info on that decision.) If so, you might want to open an IRA using your Ellevest Plus account. Here’s how that works:

  1. You can open a traditional, Roth or SEP IRA using Ellevest Plus. You can also open a taxable investment account inside your Retirement goal, if you need to (we’ll recommend it if we think you do).

  2. We’ll suggest an amount to deposit each month so you can catch up. (But it’s your life and your money — you can use the Goal Advice tool to tweak our suggestions whenever you want.)

  3. You can choose to set up an automatic paycheck deposit or bank transfer for your contributions so that you’re automagically paying Future You.

  4. Then we do the investing for you, using our gender-aware algorithm.

You also might have an old 401(k) from a previous job you want to roll over, or an IRA you’d like to transfer to Ellevest, and your Concierge Team is here to help you do that anytime.

Get started with Building Wealth

If you’re on track for retirement, you can also start investing with a Build Wealth goal. This is different from investing for retirement in a couple of ways.

So what’s the difference? Your Build Wealth investing goal is always a taxable investment account. That means it doesn’t come with the tax advantages of a retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA. There’s also a few differences in the way we set this goal up: First, we recommend an amount you might start with that’s based on the amounts that other people like you (similar in age, income, kids, etc.) decided to start with. But — just like with the Retirement goal — you can adjust our recommendations to fit your life and your budget. (And just like with the Retirement goal, you can set up recurring deposits for Build Wealth.)

Second, they’re different “goals” for a reason — and they’re designed to be used in different ways. The Build Wealth goal helps you invest over the next five to 20 years, with a target amount and end date in mind. The Retirement goal, on the other hand, doesn’t assume you’ll need your target amount all at once — you’ll withdraw from it slowly over time once you retire. That changes the recommendations we make.

If you decide later on that you have specific money goals, like starting a business or buying a home and want to invest for them, you can always move up to Ellevest Executive and transfer your balance to a different goal.

Start spending and saving smarter

At Ellevest, we’re big on intentional spending. We define it as connecting your money decisions to your values. Doing that helps you make tough choices more meaningful, and it can make every little spending decision you make each day so much easier.

We designed banking at Ellevest to help you spend smart and save flexibly.1 You can absolutely use the Ellevest Save and Spend accounts that are included with your Plus membership as your main banking accounts. But if you don’t want to transfer all your other banking accounts to Ellevest, that’s OK too. It’s your choice to use any part of your membership in whatever way works for you. (We’re here to make your money life easier, after all.)

Here are a couple of ways you might do that:

  1. Use your Ellevest Spend account to separate out a specific part of your budget, so that you don’t overspend on any one thing. For example, you could use it to hold your spending money, or to autopay just your monthly bills.

  2. Use your Ellevest Save account to jump-start a shorter-term savings goal, like your emergency fund or a holiday gifting fund. You can turn on Ellevest’s roundup option to add a little more to your savings every time you pay a bill or make a purchase.2

We have a few more recommendations for smart spending and saving here. But however you choose to use your banking accounts, we’ve got you. Your Ellevest banking accounts are FDIC-insured up to a combined total of $250,000, and they come with no hidden fees.3 Your (teal) Ellevest Plus debit card comes with contactless tap to spend, extended warranty, and lots of other World Debit Mastercard perks. We also offer unlimited ATM fee refunds when you set up direct deposit.4

When you use your debit card, you can also earn cash back rewards from places you already shop — both national brands and small businesses near you. Your cash back rewards move from your Ellevest Spend account to your Ellevest Save account each month to help you grow your savings.5

Get your questions answered

We worked hard to give you what you need to know … but also to make it actually interesting. Each learning opportunity is created with you in mind by real (and pretty great) humans who are definitely not here to waste your time. You can navigate to your Learn dashboard to explore money and career topics at your own pace — and every bit of learning at Ellevest is included with your Plus membership. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A constantly updating schedule of members-only virtual workshops led by our amazing team of money and career coaches.

  • Email courses to help you dive into a money or career topic — you’ll get in-depth, directed ways to explore and develop your skills.

  • If you have the iOS app, you’ll also see The Edit each Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday — bite-sized knowledge drops that make you smarter about your money and career in just a few minutes.

Get started with coaching

Maybe the biggest perk of Ellevest Plus is the unlimited 30% discount on coaching sessions. This can be the secret sauce to level up your money and career — because you now have a team. Ellevest coaches have a ton of professional experience (take a look at the creds on their bios). And they passionately want you to succeed.

Also important: Their guidance is all about real-life goals, not impossible ideals, and they’re focused on problem solving and using what’s really important to you to help you make decisions. With your career coach, that means helping you move past obstacles that hold you back and exploring ways to find more meaning in what you do every day. With your financial planner, that means looking past the money to what you want to do with it, and working together on strategies to help get you there.

Each coaching session is designed with your needs in mind. Some are one-and-done: 30-minute directed sessions where you solve a specific problem and come out with a quick action plan — like a call with a financial planner to help you ditch the debt. Some are more intensive, like helping you navigate a career transition.

Bonus: With the retail price of sessions starting at $199, at the Ellevest Plus plan your $54-a-year membership pays for itself in just one coaching session discount. (And if you’re in a situation where you see yourself using coaching a lot, you can bump up to Ellevest Executive and get 50% off to save even more.)

Here’s how it might all work together

Say you’re considering making a career move. Hypothetically, you might use your Ellevest Plus membership to:

  • Set up your Ellevest banking accounts and start building up an emergency fund in case your career situation changes.

  • Register for a webinar about Imposter Syndrome to explore what might be holding you back.

  • Use your 30% discount to buy a coaching session on career clarity to make a plan for your next steps.

  • Use your Retirement goal to check whether you’re on track for retirement right now, to help put your decision into perspective.

  • Sign up for a free email course to learn what types of networking might work best for your professional development.

  • Attend an AMA with an Ellevest team member in your field (or the field you’re interested in!) to ask some questions about what it’s like.

  • Book a session with your career coach to negotiate your new salary. Your 30% discount would apply to every session you book.

But that’s just one way to use your Ellevest Plus membership. We designed it so you can learn more about the money and career moves that might be right for you — then make a plan to get there.


Disclosures

Banking products and services are provided by Coastal Community Bank (“Coastal”), member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International. Your Ellevest Save and Spend account deposits will be insured to the regulatory limits by the FDIC.

If you activate the Ellevest Roundup feature for debit card purchases, each settled (i.e. fully completed) purchase transaction made with your Ellevest Debit Card will be rounded up to the nearest whole U.S. dollar. The amount rounded up will be transferred from your Ellevest Spend account to your Ellevest Save account (a "Transfer"). Foreign purchases are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar after the purchase is converted to U.S. dollars. ATM withdrawals and transactions in whole US dollars, e.g. $20.00 are excluded from the Ellevest Roundup program. If, at the time of settlement of a purchase, your Ellevest Spend Account has insufficient available funds to cover the full amount of the Transfer, the Transfer will not be made. If a purchase is canceled or reversed for any reason (including disputes), the corresponding Transfer will not be reversed. You can opt out of the Ellevest Roundup feature at any time.

Together, the Ellevest Save and Spend accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.

Domestic ATM Transaction Fees will be reimbursed if a payroll direct deposit has been received within the prior 30 days of the ATM transaction settlement. International ATM withdrawal fee of $5 will apply.

The Ellevest Rewards program is powered by Dosh®, an unaffiliated third-party provider, which offers Ellevest banking members cash back on Ellevest debit card purchases from select merchants. Each Ellevest Rewards, Powered by Dosh program offer is available for a limited time only for qualifying purchases at participating merchants (subject to the particular offer and full program terms). Cash back amounts will vary and offers may become unavailable without notice. Additional terms, conditions and exclusions apply and can be found in the Ellevest Membership Terms and Conditions Agreement.

© 2020 Ellevest, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

1 Banking products and services are provided by Coastal Community Bank (“Coastal”), member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International. Your Ellevest Save and Ellevest Spend account deposits will be insured to the regulatory limits by the FDIC. The Ellevest debit card is issued by Coastal Community Bank, pursuant to license by Mastercard International.

2 If you activate the Ellevest Roundup feature for debit card purchases, each settled (i.e. fully completed) purchase transaction made with your Ellevest Debit Card will be rounded up to the nearest whole U.S. dollar. The amount rounded up will be transferred from your Ellevest Spend account to your Ellevest Save account (a "Transfer"). Foreign purchases are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar after the purchase is converted to U.S. dollars. ATM withdrawals and transactions in whole US dollars, e.g. $20.00 are excluded from the Ellevest Roundup program. If, at the time of settlement of a purchase, your Ellevest Spend Account has insufficient available funds to cover the full amount of the Transfer, the Transfer will not be made. If a purchase is canceled or reversed for any reason (including disputes), the corresponding Transfer will not be reversed. You can opt out of the Ellevest Roundup feature at any time.

3 Together, the Ellevest Save and Ellevest Spend accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.

4 Domestic ATM Transaction Fees will be reimbursed if a payroll direct deposit has been received within the prior 30 days of the ATM transaction settlement. International ATM withdrawal fee of $5 will apply.

5The Ellevest Rewards program is powered by Dosh®, an unaffiliated third-party provider, which offers Ellevest banking members cash back on Ellevest debit card purchases from select merchants. Each Ellevest Rewards, Powered by Dosh program offer is available for a limited time only for qualifying purchases at participating merchants (subject to the particular offer and full program terms). Cash back amounts will vary and offers may become unavailable without notice. Additional terms, conditions and exclusions apply and can be found in the Ellevest Membership Terms and Conditions Agreement.

Funds held in your Ellevest investment accounts are not FDIC insured, not guaranteed by Coastal, and may lose value. Ellevest does not guarantee investment performance. Investing entails risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person.

The information provided should not be relied upon as investment advice or recommendations, does not constitute a solicitation to buy or sell securities, and should not be considered specific legal, investment, or tax advice.

The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person.

Investing entails risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no assurance that the investment will provide positive performance over any period of time.

Ellevest Membership fees are as follows: Ellevest Essential is $1 per month, Ellevest Plus is $5 per month, and Ellevest Executive is $9. Other fees as described in Ellevest’s Wrap Fee Program Brochure and the Ellevest Membership Terms and Conditions Agreement will continue to apply.

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Ellevest Team

The Ellevest team is working to help women reach their financial and professional goals.