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Retirement - Consolidation or Multiple Accounts

Aug 19, 2008
When working with those planning financial retirements one question keeps coming up. Should I consolidate all my accounts or keep them separate? Chances are that you have several different types of retirement accounts from different companies you've worked for along the way. This is not necessarily a bad thing but can be frustrating to try and keep track of.

Combining these funds can be a rather tricky endeavor as many of them are designed to only mate with like accounts. For this reason most 401 (k) plans can only be combined with another 401 (k) the same holds true for many other common retirement accounts including a 403 (b). The one type of account that can accept them all and consolidate them together is a rollover IRA.

Having only one account can simplify so many aspects of your retirement that most people wonder why on earth they didn't do this from the very beginning. There are many more benefits than mere ease that goes along with consolidating your accounts and eliminating those extraneous accounts. One of which is the fees that are often charged simply for having the account. These fees can add up over the course of several different accounts and consolidating them into one lone account will eliminate the fees of all the others.

One misconception that people have when it comes to rolling over their accounts is that they will lose their investment options. This is especially a misconception when it comes to a 401 (k) program as if you own a particular investment while it is a 401(k) you will still own the same investment when its within your IRA account.

In other words a rollover IRA account offers the ultimate flexibility when it comes to your financial retirement needs. You can consolidate all your accounts into one, have all the information in one location and still enjoy the freedom that all the different accounts allowed you to experience in your investing. Diversity is a key ingredient when it comes to successful financial investing procedures.

If you are looking for the best when it comes to financial freedom for your retirement investments you should take the first available opportunity to consolidate your investments into a rollover IRA. Of course you should discuss this with your financial advisor first in order to see if there is a better situation for your unique and personal needs however in many cases the convenience factor of this process is far too tempting to overlook unless there is a very big and specific reason for doing so.

In other words consolidation by and large is very much the way to go when it comes to your retirement funds. You do not however want to sacrifice the diversity of your plan in the process. You should keep your actual investments as diverse as possible in order to insure a well-balanced portfolio that is designed to maximize your profit potential while minimizing your risks.

The decision of whether or not to consolidate your many retirement accounts is as personal as your decision to wear brightly colored socks and ties. There is no absolute right or wrong answer and it quite literally comes down to a matter of preference.

If you thrive in chaos then by all means keep five or six accounts going at any given time. If you need neat lines and nice rows that balance out in a glance then consolidation might be the very best thing you can do for your retirement fund.
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