As you think about the ways you and your family can live more sustainably — at home, on the road or at work — you’ll also want to consider ways to fund the upgrades or purchases needed to make those lifestyle shifts.
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly critical topic, as we search for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and move toward a more environmentally friendly world. We are also seeing a shift in the lifestyle choices people are making — at home, on the road and at work. With a wide range of ways to go green, it’s a matter of choosing which ones benefit you, and your finances, the most.
There are a wide variety of green home improvements designed to lower your carbon footprint and save you money — thereby benefitting your finances and the environment. In fact, sustainability is a top priority for young homeowners in 2022.1 Wherever you are in your search for a greener lifestyle, the journey to incorporate green living can begin with these sustainable home improvements.
You can also make sustainable improvements if you’re a businessowner. In fact, consumers across multiple generations are willing to support eco-friendly businesses.4
While property improvement is one significant way to make the shift towards sustainable living, how you get around also matters. Vehicles are one of the biggest detriments to the environment, being responsible for about 29%5 of total emissions.
Your return on investment could surprise you. When considering lifestyle changes and building upgrades, your return on investment (ROI) is a big factor. For instance, homes with solar power can increase in value by up to $20 for every dollar saved on energy.10 And when you go solar, the power generated by the panels replaces the electricity you buy from the utility company, reducing or eliminating that bill entirely. If you opt for an electric or hybrid vehicle, fuel savings alone can be $6,000 or more over the lifespan of the vehicle.11 If you’re a business owner, LEED buildings have almost 20% lower maintenance costs than typical commercial buildings and if you’re a homeowner, energy efficient appliances can be 10% to 40% more efficient than standard appliances.12 If you’re looking to renovate with salvaged materials, you can expect to buy them for sometimes 50% to 75% less than new materials.13 Calculating your ROI is unique to your circumstances but using an online calculator or speaking to a specialist can help you decide what upgrades make the most sense to your budget and financial strategy.
If you are contemplating pursuing a greener lifestyle, whether through investing in sustainable home improvements or purchasing a more efficient vehicle, there are various ways to fund these expenses. Below are a few options you may be able to consider, depending on your circumstances and overall financial objectives.
Pay with cash. If you’re planning to sell investments to get that cash, but it’s a volatile market, having an investment strategy that you’re confident in is vital. However, if you prefer to stay invested for the long term, this may not be the best option for you.
Bank of America® Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Bank of America® Loan Management Account® (LMA® account)
Your Merrill advisor can help you understand the range of possible funding options that may be available to you, the associated risks and which could fit into your financial plan. Please carefully consider the Risks of Borrowing below and in the loan documents.
Securities-based financing involves special risks. You should review the LMA Loan Agreement and related documents and disclosures carefully and consult with your own independent tax and legal advisors.
Whether you’re defining goals, addressing change or figuring out how to move forward, Merrill and Bank of America offer a wide range of solutions to help you take the next step and stay on track.
All our advisors are committed to putting your needs and priorities first.
1 “Earth Tones and Eco-friendly Features Top Zillow's 2022 Home Trends,” November 30, 2021, https://zillow.mediaroom.com/2021-11-30-Earth-Tones-and-Eco-friendly-Features-Top-Zillows-2022-Home-Trends.
2 “Solar Industry Research Data,” https://www.seia.org/solar-industry-research-data as of October 2022.
3 “Update or replace windows,” https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/update-or-replace-windows. as of October 2022.
4 “Consumers Demand Sustainable Products And Shopping Formats,” https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2022/03/11/consumers-demand-sustainable-products-and-shopping-formats/?sh=40ece3bd6a06 as of March 2022.
5 “Carbon Pollution from Transportation,” https://www.epa.gov/transportation-air-pollution-and-climate-change/carbon-pollution-transportation as of October 2022.
6 “Electric Vehicle Owners to the World – Going Green is Not as Scary as You Think,” https://www.aaa.com/autorepair/articles/true-cost-of-ev as of October 2022
7 How much does it cost to replace a car battery, Jeffrey Ross, April 29, 2022, https://www.fixdapp.com/blog/cost-to-replace-car-battery/.
8 How Much Do EV Batteries Cost, Chris Teague, July 1, 2022, https://www.autoweek.com/news/a38658350/how-much-do-ev-batteries-cost/.
9 “Federal Tax Credits for New All-Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles,” https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml as of October 2022.
10 The Value and Cost of Solar Electricity, US Department of Energy, https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/42733.pdf as of October 2022.
11 Electric Vehicle Ownership Costs, October 2020, https://advocacy.consumerreports.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/EV-Ownership-Cost-Final-Report-1.pdf as of October 2022.
12 ENERGY STAR Appliances Brochure, https://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/tools/ENERGY%20STAR%20Appliances%20Brochure_508.pdf as of October 2022.
13 How to Find Reclaimed Home Building Materials, https://elemental.green/how-to-find-reclaimed-home-building-materials/ as of October 2022.
14 The Loan Management Account (LMA account) is a demand line of credit provided by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Equal Opportunity Lender. The LMA account requires a brokerage account at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and sufficient eligible collateral to support a minimum credit facility size of $100,000. All securities are subject to credit approval and Bank of America, N.A. may change its collateral maintenance requirements at any time. Securities-based financing involves special risks and is not for everyone. When considering a securities-based loan, consideration should be given to individual requirements, portfolio composition and risk tolerance, as well as capital gains, portfolio performance expectations and investment time horizon. The securities or other assets in any collateral account may be sold to meet a collateral call without notice to the client, the client is not entitled to an extension of time on the collateral call and the client is not entitled to choose which securities or other assets will be sold. The client can lose more funds than deposited in such collateral account. The LMA account is uncommitted and Bank of America, N.A. may demand full repayment at any time. A complete description of the loan terms can be found within the LMA account agreement. Clients should consult their own independent tax and legal advisors. Some restrictions may apply to purpose loans and not all managed accounts are eligible as collateral. All applications for LMA accounts are subject to approval by Bank of America, N.A.
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