Help making my financial setup more mustachian

Hello everyone!
With the new year, I am trying to optimize my banking + investing situation and wanted to get inputs from the forum on what else I could.

Before I start, both my wife and I are 27 years old and work in the tech field in Zurich. We currently live in Adliswil. We are both non-Shengen citizens with a B permit.

Here goes,

  1. Banking: Raiffeisen Thalwil: 500 CHF buy-in + 50 CHF / year for Member Plus benefits. We are planning to get two of these accounts. We are both big fans of Culture and Museums in general, and the museum entries would itself be sufficient to get back the 50 CHF / year / person we would be spending.

  2. Credit Card: We are going for the crytpo.com prepaid card at the EUR 350 staking level. We chose this over the cashback credit card because it gives us 2% cash-back over the 1% the former gives. Additionally, this also allows us to wet our feet in crypto without too much risk.

  3. Insurance: I am generally healthly ( * touch wood *) and am going for the cheapest insurance, Sanitas with 2500 CHF deductible. My wife gets health insurance from her employer so we think we have optimized as much as we can here.

  4. Telephony: I have digital republic 10 CHF + unlimited sunrise contract from my employer.

  5. Investing: I have an IB Pro account with 30k in VT so far and planning to DCA as much as I am comfortable every month.

  6. 3a: Both of use VIAC. In particular, we use the 60% Equity global strategy and max out our contributions at the beginning of every year to maximize time in market.

Would love to hear the forum’s thoughts on where I can further optimize this.
I also have the following further questions

  1. Any reviews on Raiffeisen Thalwil or Raiffeisen banks in general? Did forum members find the MemberPlus benefits useful enough to justify the cost?
  2. What has been the experience with using Crypto com cards in stores and on online in Switzerland?
  3. I saw a post by Mr. MP (posted a while back) about Estate tax issues with VT and that he’s sticking with VWRL for now. But his tax guide seems to suggest otherwise. Could the forum members chip on what the best world-wide ETF fund for Swiss investors is?
  4. Is VIAC still the champion when it comes to 3a products? Do folks go with the default strategy or alter it manually?
  5. Is there a way to use the crypto com or the AmEx cashback card to pay rent and other bills?
  6. Finally, are 3b products worth looking into? Or is ETF and Chill still the better strategy?

Thanks!

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Everything is already well thought.

Is it a yearly fee for the debit card? Mine is 40 CHF.

You might need a “real” credit card in addition.

And if you are using often public transport and/or buying GA, Reka card might be a nice addition. It cost something (30 CHF per year?) and you kind of get an account which you charge with 3% discount and use the balance for public transport, cable cars, Reka accomodations, etc, sometimes restaurants.

First off, thanks a lot for taking a look and providing feedback :slight_smile:

Is it a yearly fee for the debit card? Mine is 40 CHF.

It’s likely I misread it, but it is 40-50 CHF / year with the first year free.

You might need a “real” credit card in addition.

My current UBS Prepaid MasterCard seems to work in most cases as a credit card. Are there places that still insist on a “real” credit card? Wouldn’t the crypto.com card fill in this slot?

And if you are using often public transport and/or buying GA, Reka card might be a nice addition. It cost something (30 CHF per year?) and you kind of get an account which you charge with 3% discount and use the balance for public transport, cable cars, Reka accomodations, etc, sometimes restaurants.

Not sure I fully follow here, I have a ZVV abo for my usual travel + halbtax. Could you please share what benefits reka card provides?

Thanks!

I don’t use crypto.com card, but the original poster in the linked thread implied that. Just read it.

Let’s say you pay 1k CHF per year for them. You open Reka account which costs 12 CHF per year. With their card you go to a large Coop shop and they charge it with a 3% discount. So you pay 970 CHF and get a balance of 1k CHF. You pay then your abonnement with Reka card balance. So you have paid 982 instead of 1k. Then you charge it again and use whenever possible. If you turn over more than 1.2k per year, it is more profitable than 2% Cashback.

I get extra like 50 CHF more discount in comparison to Cashback AMEX just by buying GA with the Reka card once in a year.

Welcome!

At your age, going “all in” could make more sense.
But depends what you are comfortable with.

Re. Structure: default plans are overweighting Switzerland, so make sure to account for that in your overall allocation (incl. IB).

Re. Providers: finpension allows for 99% (vs 97% with VIAC) max invested.
(And IIRC might have something different re. CHF-denominated 40% necessity)

Re. VT and US estate tax - likely no worry until you get to several millions.

But for all of these there is more detailed info already discussed.on the forum - use the search to dive deeper.

Treat all your assets including 2nd pillars as one portfolio. With 3rd pillar money being blocked for long time, it makes sense to allocate them to stocks. And yes, finpension is better.

Which costs?
I do.

Search.

No.

Thanks for your inputs!
Are you saying finpension is better simply because they let you invest a higher percent of your assets or are there other pros as well?

Which costs (re: Raiffeisen bank account)?
I was referring to the 40 CHF / yr for the debit card which you need for accessing the MemberPlus benefits

Also, thanks for pointing out reka to me. It looks interesting but looking at my neighborhood, major spending areas like coop / migros don’t come up on the map of acceptors on the reka website so not sure how much it makes sense outside sbb

They work with Credit Suisse as custody bank which I like definitely more than WIR Bank (VIAC) and the foundation domicile is Schwyz.

They work with Credit Suisse as custody bank which I like definitely more than WIR Bank (VIAC) and the foundation domicile is Schwyz.

Apologies for my ignorance but how does that concretely affect the end user?

It may be only me but I always found WIR Bank with their weird complementary currency a bit strange and I just feel much more comfortable with my money being held in custody at CS, rather than WIR Bank. It’s not that they are bad or unreliable, otherwise they wouldn’t have a FINMA license, I just always felt the concept a bit weird, but that’s more a personal gut feeling I guess.

The foundation domicile can be relevant if you plan to leave Switzerland before retirement (depending on where you’re going) and taxation at source applies as Schwyz is usually cheaper than other cantons.

The small difference of max. equity allocation may seem small but as 3a is usually a long-term investment, the difference can be quite significant, but as your allocation is only 60% it probably doesn’t matter.

Also, the support at Finpension is really great, I approached them 2 times and got competent answers within a few hours by competent people (not the usual 1st level copy/paste robot answers you usually get). But I can’t compare it with the VIAC support as I haven’t used it before.

I also like the Finpension app design more and that they also provide a great 2nd pillar vested benefits solution, so overall their reputation and product seems to be superior, at least from my perspective. But that doesn’t mean VIAC is bad or something, for sure, it’s a great product too.

VIAC also uses Credit Suisse as custody bank for securities. Only cash is held in a WIR Bank account. finpension doesn’t allow any significant cash allocation in the portfolio, which means that with finpension you either need to be fully invested in equities/real estate/alternatives or you need bonds in your strategy (with negative expected return).

I consider finpension the best option right now if you want to be fully invested in equities/real estate/alternatives. However, VIAC may be a better choice if you want a cash allocation in your portfolio (until CHF bonds are again better than cash). I have all of my 3a accounts at VIAC.

Source: Where’s my money? – VIAC

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RE banking:

I find this premium banking package (and similiar packages) fishy. The bank gets a guaranteed fee. And your benefit is a discount, which materializes only if you spend additional money. If they offer 25% discounts as part of the package, you have to spend 200 CHF each year on items from their catalog to just break even. (Are the items things you would purchase yourself, without having the package in the first place?). They are trying to create additional demand. And once people commit to the package, they are likely to stick to it, even when they are not making use of the benefits.

My approach would be:

  • To get a free (or the cheapest possible) banking account possible. → Cut the guaranteed fees.
  • Pay for culture and museums full price out of pocket, and forget about the discounts. You might (but proably will not) make a loss on not having had the discounts. → The benefits are uncertain, so why not taking the bet here?
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