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Hi All.

It's been a while. My husband and I both have Roths at Vanguard. They are both in Target Funds. (I'm wondering if we should think about VTSMX instead, but that's the auxiliary question here.)

We have a brokerage account at Scottrade, which we are very happy with. Our main checking account is at what is now CapOne360, but I went there because it was ING which was bought.

I'm happy at all three places, and I know that I shouldn't try to fix what's not broken, but I'm going to through something out there for opinions, in an effort to simplify my life.

I'm considering transferring our Roth IRAs to our Joint Brokerage account at Scottrade, (they charge no fees) for the simple reason that they would be all in one place and I could access them all together. (I *think* I would also be able to access my husband's Roth which is a hassle now because they need to be two different sign ins, and I do all the finances.)

I'm also considering opening up a checking account there, at Scottrade, not to muddy the waters, but to see how I like it in case I'd ever like to move away from CapOne, (since we traditionally don't like using behemoths like that and not sure where they will go as they more and more engulf ING.)

What do you think of this kind of consolidation of Roth accounts? Am I simplifying, or just making things more complicated?

Thanks in advance,
Caat
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The Roth IRAs and IRAs are individual accounts. So no you cannot combine yours with your husbands while both of you are living. (One of you probably is the beneficiary for the other, so on the death of the first then combining may be possible.)

Some brokers will allow you to combine statements from multiple accounts in one statement. That might be possible. Check with your broker.
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<<The Roth IRAs and IRAs are individual accounts. So no you cannot combine yours with your husbands while both of you are living. (One of you probably is the beneficiary for the other, so on the death of the first then combining may be possible.) Some brokers will allow you to combine statements from multiple accounts in one statement. That might be possible. Check with your broker.>>

No, not talking about combining the IRAs, I'm just saying that if they were in the same brokerage account, which is a joint account, we could access both individual IRAs with one login.
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What do you think of this kind of consolidation of Roth accounts? Am I simplifying, or just making things more complicated?

Thanks in advance,
Caat


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FWIW, I have an analogous situation with a cash account and a Roth at both Vanguard and Ameritrade. My long range plan has always been to consolidate into Vanguard to simplify things as I move along the retirement highway. In fact just this week I decided it's time to move the Roth from AMT to VNG. I am just waiting to finish up some other transfers within VNG so I don't have too much change going on at the same time.

Bottom line, I see it as simplyfying.
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No, not talking about combining the IRAs, I'm just saying that if they were in the same brokerage account, which is a joint account, we could access both individual IRAs with one login. - caat

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I don't think so. "Joint" account just doesn't apply to an IRA. Think about what that "I" stands for.

There will be two Roth accounts, one for you, one for your husband. You may be beneficiaries on each others account, but you won't be joint owners of one account. Two standalone, separate accounts means two separate logins.
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I don't think so. "Joint" account just doesn't apply to an IRA. Think about what that "I" stands for. There will be two Roth accounts, one for you, one for your husband. You may be beneficiaries on each others account, but you won't be joint owners of one account. Two standalone, separate accounts means two separate logins.

I *get* that the IRAs are separate. That is not the issue. I just talked to Scottrade today, and he said I could transfer both over there. But I will call again and double check.

The IRAs stay individual, that is not up for discussion, I understand that point. As he explained it, they will just be housed in our brokerage account which will be tied to the checking account, as well. I'm NOT trying to merge the two IRAs and .. I am NOT trying to merge the two IRAs. And in case there's any confusion, I am NOT trying to merge the two IRAs. I am *just* considering moving them into our brokerage account as the person from Scottrade described I could do. I will call and check again, however, but we had a long talk about it and that's what he said I could do.

There was absolutely NO discussion about *merging* the two IRAs into one IRA. No merging, sorry I said it how I did in the subject line, it is not "Consolidating Roths" it is "Consolidating 2 separate Roth accounts into my Scottrade Brokerage account" but that didn't fit into the subject line.
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Bottom line, I see it as simplyfying.

Thanks. It's a little scary leaving Vanguard, just because I like them so much, but to have it all in one place seems to make more sense. It seems like we have so many thing in so many places, it's hard to keep track.
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As he explained it, they will just be housed in our brokerage account

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What does it mean to "house" an IRA in a joint brokerage account?
id (SS #) so it makes sense to me

No big deal here, I hope they can do it.

I have a cash account and a roth at AMT. The two accounts are linked and I can access both with a single logon just like you want to do. So I get what you are saying. But in my case, both accounts have the same taxpayer id which I thought was fundamental to linking the two accounts.

But maybe that is just an AMT thing or maybe the rules have changed since I set this up a long time ago. Good luck.
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I've read the thread, and I think I understand what you want to do, although you are really phrasing it in an odd way. You want to have all your accounts at one broker so that you can have one single sign-on and see everything. That is doable, and it is doable wherever you have your accounts including Vanguard and Scottrade.

It has nothing to do with where you have a joint account, and everything to do with just getting the proper paperwork set up. You need your husband to do a Power-of-Attorney form (all the brokers will have them online) that gives you the POA. Once you do that, his account will show under your sign-on.

Here's how it works for us. At Vanguard, we have a joint account, Roth IRAs for DH, me, and both kids, and UGMA accounts for both kids. I have POA on everything. When I sign into my account, all those accounts come up on my screen. The kids have now reached the age of majority, and so we are in the process of transferring their assets to each of them. DD's has already finished, and so I can no longer see her accounts because I do not have POA, but I will be able to see DS's accounts because he is doing the POA.

At E-Trade, we have a joint account, I have a roll-over IRA, and DH and I both have Roth IRAs. I have POA on all of DH's accounts, and so when I sign on, I can see all of those accounts right there on my screen.

At Wells Fargo, DH and I have Traditional IRAs, DH has his solo 401k, and we have a couple of joint accounts. In that case, we have what they call householding which allows all the accounts to show up under one sign-on, and one of the accounts is labelled as the main one so that it includes all the statements for all the accounts.

That's my long-winded way of saying you can either move the Vanguard accounts over to Scottrade where you can have everything, or you can have your DH fill out the POA at Vanguard, and you will see all the Vanguard accounts when you login.

Where you are confusing people is talking about moving things into your joint account. That has nothing to do with anything, and is just another account at the brokerage. It does not control your individual accounts, and is not required to have your individual accounts there. Nor is it required for you to have access.

Get the POA done, and it should all work fine.
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I'm just saying that if they were in the same brokerage account, which is a joint account, we could access both individual IRAs with one login. - caat

The terminology you keep using is incorrect and that's why everybody is getting confused and having a hard time figuring out exactly what you are saying.

I think. But maybe you *are* saying what everybody thinks you are saying. The way I read it, you are conflating "login to broker" with "joint account".

Here's the deal:
* You can have several accounts at one broker.
* You can have one login per account, OR you can have one login which gives you access to multiple accounts.
* But the accounts are still independent of one another.

Sure, no problem. We have several accounts with Etrade -- joint, IRA, Roth IRAs, individual. One login. Once I log in, it shows me all the accounts and I just select whichever one I want to look at, trade in, etc.

To restate correctly what I think you said: "if the accounts were all with the same broker (which we already have a joint account at) we could access all three accounts, the joint account and the individual IRAs with one login."
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There was absolutely NO discussion about *merging* the two IRAs into one IRA. No merging, sorry I said it how I did in the subject line, it is not "Consolidating Roths" it is "Consolidating 2 separate Roth accounts into my Scottrade Brokerage account" but that didn't fit into the subject line.


No, it's not even "Consolidating 2 separate Roth accounts into my Scottrade Brokerage account".

It's "Moving 2 separate Roth accounts to Scottrade and accessing all the accounts with one login."

Sure, this is quite common and no big deal. No different from have one login to your bank and having access to both checking and savings accounts. One login, two (or more) separate indepedent accounts.

The only reason you are unsure about this and "had a long talk about it with the person from Scottrade" is because you don't realize that this is quite common.

It's a little scary leaving Vanguard, just because I like them so much, but to have it all in one place seems to make more sense.

Do whatever makes your life easier or more convenient. FWIW, we have about 12 brokerage accounts at 4 different brokers. And about 6 logins -- because I was too lazy to link a couple of the accounts so they'd have the same login.

Different reasons for different brokers. Etrade: grandfathered in from BrownCo, which itself had multiple accounts from when Brown bought eDreyfus. Just2Trade: Cheap $2.50 commissions. OptionsHouse: got a free 23" computer monitor as bonus for opening an account. Merrill: got a $600 bonus for moving an IRA there, and get 30 free trades a month.

To me, a stock broker is like a grocery store. You are not required to use only one store, you don't have use the same store for all your groceries, you can get coupons/bonuses from several stores, you don't have to tell them why you decided to take your business elsewhere.
I literally can't comprehend the concept of it being scary to move an account from Vanguard. That's like being scared of going shopping at Safeway instead of Kroger.

You can do it at Vanguard, too. I beleive they offer checking & savings accounts, and you could link all the accounts to a single login. If you really like Vanguard, why not move your joint account to Vanguard instead of moving your IRAs to Scott?
Personally, I don't use either Scott or Vanguard because I think their commissions are too high.
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Thank you, everybody, for your insights. I'm sorry for using confusing language. Thank you 2gifts for the great explanation. I will call my broker and get all of that done.

Rayvt, the reason I would move to Scottrade is that they actually have a local presence here which is good for me since I'm so inexperienced. They were actually the cheapest when I signed up with them, but I make trades so infrequently, it's probably not worth trading brokerages for that reason. But I hear what you're saying and will take it all under advisement.

Thanks everybody for the input. Again, sorry for the confusion.

Caat
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bigcaat
I *get* that the IRAs are separate. That is not the issue. I just talked to Scottrade today, and he said I could transfer both over there. But I will call again and double check.

The IRAs stay individual, that is not up for discussion, I understand that point. As he explained it, they will just be housed in our brokerage account which will be tied to the checking account, as well. I'm NOT trying to merge the two IRAs and .. I am NOT trying to merge the two IRAs. And in case there's any confusion, I am NOT trying to merge the two IRAs. I am *just* considering moving them into our brokerage account as the person from Scottrade described I could do. I will call and check again, however, but we had a long talk about it and that's what he said I could do.

There was absolutely NO discussion about *merging* the two IRAs into one IRA. No merging, sorry I said it how I did in the subject line, it is not "Consolidating Roths" it is "Consolidating 2 separate Roth accounts into my Scottrade Brokerage account" but that didn't fit into the subject line.


Yepper. I use E-Trade and we have 5 accounts that I see when I log in to check, trade or rebalance. His TIRA, Her TIRA, His Roth IRA, Her Roth IRA and a taxable stock trading account.

Metal
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At Schab we have a joint account and spouse and I have Roth IRAs. Schwab gave us each a personal login. My login shows the joint account and only my Roth. Spouses's login shows the joint account and only their Roth. We can't see each other's Roth's.
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At Schab we have a joint account and spouse and I have Roth IRAs. Schwab gave us each a personal login. My login shows the joint account and only my Roth. Spouses's login shows the joint account and only their Roth. We can't see each other's Roth's.

Depending on the financial institution, you can probably give each other the ability to see the other accounts. I know I can do that on the Vanguard site. Allowing access to see (but not trade in) the account is one step, it's another to allow the other person to trade in the account.
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