Should I put all my retirement accounts with one
brokerage/financial firm? I have two accounts at one
firm out of town, and a recently inherited account with
another firm here in my hometown. The same applies to my
husband’s accounts. My daughter will inherit it all,
but she lives 10 hours away in another state with a
family and responsibilities of her own. It seems that it
would be easier for her if something would happen to us.
Consolidating far-flung accounts can be a great relief,
and not just for your daughter. The move can reduce your
own headaches at tax time, possibly allow you to qualify
for lower investment costs and simplify the process of
rebalancing your asset allocation.
are a few things to be aware of, however.
not all retirement accounts can be merged. You can’t
combine your IRA or 401k with ones in the name of your
living spouse, for example. Rolling a 401k into an IRA
can be done, and you can consolidate traditional IRAs
held at different financial institutions. If you have
Roth IRAs at different companies, those can be merged.
some employers allow workers to roll old 401k plans into
a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA — and then undoing
that move later — can also be done, but converting
triggers taxes owed on the traditional IRA.
inherited IRAs generally can’t be combined with other
types of IRAs.
you have assets in a trust, be sure to consult an
experienced estate attorney to make sure the beneficiary
designation on the retirement accounts is in the correct
sorting all that out, you’ll need to decide if you
also want to consolidate the number of entities holding
your retirement accounts.
invested in bank certificates of deposit are insured by
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $250,000,
though revocable trusts can effectively boost that limit
if you have multiple beneficiaries.
firms cannot make these insurance guarantees on the
performance of stocks and bonds, but they do offer some
protection in case of firm failure.
Securities Investor Protection Corp. oversees the
liquidation of failed brokerage companies and tries to
return missing customer deposits up to a $500,000 limit,
but it doesn’t back up fictitious profits that result
from fraud, notes Stephen Harbeck, SIPC’s president.
despite Bernard Madoff’s historic 2009 fraud
conviction, investors are still eager to consolidate
their nest eggs, said Beth Gamel, a financial adviser
with Argent Wealth Management.
people want to bring order to their lives and put their
money in one place," Gamel said. Even investors
with more than $500,000 often opt for a single
institution to hold the money, she said.
(the Madoff case) made them recognize the importance of
a (well-known) third party to custody the assets,"
Gamel said. In other words, if you engage an adviser to
oversee your consolidated accounts, make sure you
understand the paper trail between the adviser and the
firm that actually holds the securities.
When I file for health insurance online to get a quote,
because of my gross income and living situation, I
receive a government subsidy of $400 because my adjusted
gross income is $20,000. But I have assets from a
pension plan and 457(b) that approaches $900,000. The
reality is that I have kept my previous employer’s
health insurance because I am afraid to switch to
another plan. What is the income limit for a 64-year-old
single male or is it based on net worth?
Subsidies are based on modified adjusted gross income,
which includes Social Security benefits, wage income and
income that is generated from financial assets, but not
the principal. For 2015, the income range for
individuals to qualify for subsidies is $11,670 to
$46,680, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family