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I "retired" about 3 years ago and left my 401k with the company's plan (Fidelity).

Recently I've been thinking that I would like to take a more active role in where the money gets invested. Would it be allowed or advisable to roll this money into an ira to have better investment control?

Can it be in an IRA and still be in several accounts that you can move money around in? If so, what is the most economical way to do this?

Thanks
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Recently I've been thinking that I would like to take a more active role in where the money gets invested. Would it be allowed or advisable to roll this money into an ira to have better investment control?

Yes it can be done and is often recommended for the reason you suggested. The IRA could be at Fidelity which might make the rollover easier.

Can it be in an IRA and still be in several accounts that you can move money around in? If so, what is the most economical way to do this?

Probably, but, I'm not sure what you mean by several "accounts." You may have several IRAs, but, moving money from one to another might be a hassle. Within an IRA you can have investments in several mutual funds or individual securities and it is generally easy to move money from one investment to another.
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IMO, a resounding YES, I would move it. In fact I did, even before I fully retired I moved the vested amount to Scottrade and have had control of the investments in it since. This was on the advice of a Garrett Financial Planner (although not specifically ST, I already had a taxable and ROTH there so I think he thought it would be easier to mange that way.

After I retired a year later I moved the rest of the funds I had contributed that final year.

Since then I moved a large portion of it to Vanguard (the portion that was in VG ETF's to take advantage of the no commission fee on those ETF's). It hasn't made it any more difficult to manage either. I like Vanguard a lot for the ETF's. Most have a corresponding Mutual Fund that mimic each other if you're more comfortable with MF's.

I have no experience w/Fidelity but heard nothing bad and lots of good about them.

Also Charles Schwab has a number of no commission ETF's that have fees even lower than Vanguard, albeit by a small amount, e.g. - 0.01% lower. I think Schwab also has a intro deal that gives you up to $600 for moving your IRA to them. I've seen other offers similar but can't remember who now. I have a taxable account @ Schwab and am very happy with them too.

Scottrade does not reinvest divey's while Schwab does reinvest (even partial shares) at no charge, if that's important to you.

Shop around. Undoubtedly, the fees should be lower than a company 401k, particularly the ETF's at VG and Schwab.

OH, Scottrade also has some free ETF's as well, almost forgot. The no dividend reinvest was the deal breaker for me.

Most important, no matter who you go with, just do a Transfer In Kind so you do not take physical delivery of the funds. Most make it very easy with online forms to do this. Vanguard requires a Medallion Signature Guarantee where as Schwab does this for you.
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Also, to directly answer your question:

Can it be in an IRA and still be in several accounts that you can move money around in? If so, what is the most economical way to do this?

That is also a yes (as implied in my 1st reply) and I haven't found it that difficult to do. For instance I set up a "Gift" IRA to a charity instead of setting them up as a beneficiary percentage (on advice from an Estate Planning lawyer).
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Scottrade does not reinvest divey's while Schwab does reinvest (even partial shares) at no charge, if that's important to you.

Etrade reinvests for free too.
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How old are you?
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Most important, no matter who you go with, just do a Transfer In Kind so you do not take physical delivery of the funds. Most make it very easy with online forms to do this. Vanguard requires a Medallion Signature Guarantee where as Schwab does this for you.



worth repeating .......imo


(i've also heard horror stories of people who didn't roll over into IRA ..forgot about the 401(k) and got burned
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Most important, no matter who you go with, just do a Transfer In Kind so you do not take physical delivery of the funds.

I think you are mixing up the terms.

A Transfer in Kind has to do with transfer the funds (mutual funds or stock) from one B/D to another in the form that keeps the mutual fund(s) intact. For example, if you could transfer the Fidelity Freedom 2020 Fund (FFFDX) from the 401k to an IRA in kind. You could also transfer the Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FDAFX) in kind. You could NOT transfer the Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FDIFX) in kind as it is generally only available inside a 401k. Additionally, it is uncommon for 401ks to allow for transfer in kind for anything other than individual stock. Fidelity is no exception.

A Tranfer refers to sending the funds (in the form of cash) directly to the new IRA (you never receive the check) or to you but the check is titled "New IRA Custodian, FBO you." For example, "Scottrade, FBO James Smith." A Transfer results in no tax reporting to the IRS and has no 60-day window requiring that the funds be reinvested into an IRA to avoid taxes.
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I stand corrected, thx.
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Thanks for the info. I'll research the choices more.
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Since you declined to state your age, be sure to review the rules on withdrawals without penalty from the 401k vs an IRA.
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I think the term is "Trustee to trustee transfer" as opposed to taking possession of the investment in the middle of the transfer.
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Scottrade does not reinvest divey's while Schwab does reinvest (even partial shares) at no charge, if that's important to you.

TD Ameritrade does not reinvest dividends in retirement accounts for free either. They do have some free ETFs, although I do not know if they are available for IRA accounts (I would guess they are, but I don't have any of their free ETFs in my IRA, just my regular account.

wrj
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