Whether you two are new to investing or you’re looking to optimize your current investment plans, I hope this week’s articles help both of you build your family’s net worth. Like I mentioned Monday, we’re getting our retirement system optimized and that included opening a retirement account in 20 minutes with Betterment. It was easy to set it up for my husband and now he has a Roth IRA that is simple to maintain.
Now it’s my turn with getting my retirement accounts squared away. I’m moving all of my accounts to Vanguard. The best part? It took less than 30 minutes to get it done.
Why Rolling Over Can Help You Build Your Portfolio
There are two basic reasons that make rolling over your retirement money a financially smart move.
- More Choices: One complaint some people have with 401(k) is that they can only choose what is available in the employer plan. On top of that the few options you have aren’t doing so well. Opening an IRA gives you more freedom in what you can invest in.
- Lower Costs: Reviewing my husband’s 401(k) plans, I’ve noticed that the mutual funds selected aren’t the cheapest. They are actively managed and have fees associated with purchasing them. Having an IRA can allow you to find lower cost funds.
I’ve seem people move their money to also consolidate their account, but usually it’s simply cutting down accounts and using the best one they currently have.
With all the companies out there why did I go with Vanguard? I like Vanguard for a few reasons:
- Save Money: Being with Vanguard means I can buy their ETFs free. Since I already buy these it would save me some money. If you register for e-delivery of account documents, Vanguard won’t charge you an annual account service fee.
- Solid Reputation: Vanguard is known for having great customer service and being a valuable resource when it comes to investing. They offer investing advice in an understandable language.
Vanguard is the name you associate with low cost index investing. Why should you care what your mutual fund fees are? According to MorningStar, the low cost funds have on average beat higher cost managed funds.
Vanguard gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to picking out your individual funds (provided you meet the minimum investment) and ETFs. With Betterment you can set your account allocation up and let them follow your plan automatically. Vanguard is a bit more maintenance but they have some tremendous low cost options. Since I like to be a bit more involved with my investments, I went with Vanguard and he’s enjoying Betterment.
Moving My Retirement Account to Vanguard
Rolling over my retirement accounts was simple. Basically if you want to speed the process up, just have this information ready.
- Personal information (full name, address, SSI#,work status, etc)
- Current retirement/brokerage information (name, account number, and account balance)
- Beneficiaries (Just have the full name and date of birth of the people you want to name)
Afterwards I had to verify my identification with a couple of questions. Like Betterment the the process was fairly straightforward I had the additional step of printing, signing, and mailing over transfer papers. The whole process took about 20 or so minutes as I had to find some contact and account numbers. According to Vanguard’s site, the process takes about 2 weeks to complete. When all the accounts move over, I’ll update this post so you can get an idea of what to expect.
But that’s it – moving your old retirement accounts, whether it’s a 401(k) or an IRA is a cinch.
Thoughts on Rolling Over Your Retirement Accounts
I definitely like Vanguard and Betterment as places to invest your IRA contributions. They are both some great no hassle, low cost options that make it simple to invest in your future.