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All of my tax-deferred funds will be in one "self-directed" IRA at Waterhouse

How does one do this?

Hi, he2.

Just got back from looking at a potential site to build a retirement cottage. Still can't decide if its the right one. Don't want to make a mistake on something like that.

My answering your "how to" question may be a bit like a virgin who's read all about it trying to tell someone else how to have great sex.

I will contact the discount broker of choice, Waterhouse in my case, and explain what I want to do. There are forms to complete and, surely, the current custodian of the IRA or 403(b) will have forms to complete.

I have transferred funds from one custodian to another before, but these were from one 403(b) account to another when I got fed up with annuities. In this case, the receiving custodian (Vanguard) had forms with which to initiate the transfer. They also wanted a copy of the most recent monthly or quarterly statement for the account being transferred. Except in one case (Lincoln National), each of the custodians from which the funds were being transferred (Travelers and VALIC) had their own forms as well. One usually has to cash in all funds prior to the transfer. I think that in the case of an IRA in which publically traded investments (stocks, bonds, and some funds) are held, the actual investments themselves can be transferred to another IRA. But, this will not be the case in a 403(b).

I found out one thing very quickly, most custodians do not want to give up the job. I had especial problems with Merrill Lynch when I transferred my SEP IRA and my brokerage account to Waterhouse. Travelers and VALIC both were reluctant participants also. All kinds of excuses such as i's not dotted and t's not crossed!

I'm glad I got you thinking along these lines. You must decide if it is right for you, but it sure makes lots of sense to me. I want to be in control of my investments and the self-directed IRA helps.


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