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Author: Looksha One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 74759  
Subject: Re: retirement services ? Date: 6/22/2009 9:30 PM
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Dear shill001,

May I assume that this retirement account is in the form of a 401k? Is it being administered by Fidelity? My Wife's 403b is administered by Fidelity, and she retired several years ago. I am a great Fidelity fan. The selections are numerous, and are all free within the plan, but some of them, like some of the Fidelity Select Sector funds, do charge a small load when purchased outside of our retirement plan. I believe that if you keep the plan intact they will continue to offer some rudimentary advice for free. The Fidelity web site for the retirement plan also has some good research tools to select good stock or bond Mutual funds.

We do make our own retirement investment decisions. However, I have also done our own taxes for 30 years, and if you are not comfortable doing taxes you might have problems if you try to make your own investing decisions. When you are retired you absolutely must have 2 or three years of money needed for living expenses that are not tied up in Stocks or stock Mutual Funds. You must ask yourself if you have enough mental discipline and emotional stability to stay with a plan, even if you see you entire retirement portfolio drop by 25 to 35%. Selling out when the market is low is one of the most damaging things you can do to a retirement fund.

I will not attempt to guide you as to the percentage of your savings should go into various kinds of investments.

I would recommend that:

1. Don't be in a hurry to roll the 401k into a self-directed IRA.

2. talk to your representative that administers your 401k about the level of advice that is available to you.

3. At Fidelity you have good quality, numerous investment choices, and low costs.

4. You will have to ask the Plan administrator at Fidelity if you can buy and sell stocks within your retirement plan. That is a question that we have not asked. To me and my wife it is not important. We have other accounts in which we can buy a few stocks, ant the stocks are only a small part of our retirement investments.

5. I am sure you know this, but do not take the whole retirement plan as a lump sum distribution! Do not let anyone talk you into rolling the plan into a variable annuity product.

Best Wishes, Looksha
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