Five things you need to do with retirement accounts

The average household is juggling no fewer than eight different retirement savings accounts, according to a recent survey.  Many investors are looking to simplify their lives by consolidating at least some of those accounts.  And nearly three-quarters of them consult with a financial advisor rather than seeking information from their employer, a fund provider or another source.

So what should you do if you have two, three or more retirement accounts?  First you have to keep in mind the rules about rolling or transferring retirement accounts to avoid paying taxes.

  • First, find a financial advisor you can trust, preferably an independent RIA, who can give you unbiased advice and guide you to your goal.  He should be able to create a retirement portfolio that’s designed just for your and will result in growth with the least amount if risk.
  • Second, make sure that assets from the various retirement accounts are transferred from custodian to custodian without passing through your hands to avoid taxes or penalties.
  • Third, make sure that fees are reasonable so that you, rather than the advisor, gets most of the gains.
  • Fourth, be sure that your advisor provides you with a performance review at least once a year so that you know how you are doing.
  • Fifth, remember that once you reach 70 1/2, you have to begin taking money our of your “regular” retirement account.  If you have a Roth retirement account you can delay until you need the income.

For more information, contact Korving & Company.

“An existing relationship, lower fees and good product selection are the three top factors driving IRA rollover decisions for retirees and pre-retirees,” says the website. So, for example, advisors helping a retired client decide what to do with a lifetime’s worth of 401(k) plan assets — scattered over three or four accounts — should probably pick a fund company with which the client has already had a positive experience. Millionaire investors care even more about prior relationships than the less affluent, according to the research. But they’re less swayed by a famous name. Among survey respondents with less than $1 million to invest, 28% said they’d choose a firm with a well-known “retirement brand” when rolling assets over. Among millionaires, only 19% said brand is a priority.

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