(MORE: The Key to Making Smart Money Decisions) None of this coverage protects you against the normal gyrations of the financial markets, of course. By bringing your assets under one financial roof, you’ll be able to quickly tell how much you’ve got and how hard your money is working for you.
Chances are, you have had more than one employer during your career.
If you have retirement plans from several jobs floating around, it's important to keep track of them.
“If you have half a dozen accounts, it becomes a calculation nightmare,” John says. Your executor will also remember you more fondly if your assets are in one convenient location when the time comes to divvy up your estate.
Making Consolidation Happen John suggests choosing as your custodian one brokerage firm or mutual fund company that has provided you with good service.
Investors in the under-$50,000 group pay $7 for each of their first 25 stock and non-Vanguard ETF trades, while those in the $1 million-plus group, for instance, get 25 trades for free. You’ll have less paperwork (or fewer Web pages) to deal with.
If you’re inundated with statements and literature from financial services companies and feel guilty about throwing them away unread, you’ll love consolidation.
If several candidates meet that test, go with whichever one has the lowest fees.
Next, call and ask the institution what steps are involved in moving accounts there and which types of assets it will or won’t accept.
Determining just how much money you must withdraw each year means toting up all those IRA assets and following an IRS formula based on your age.