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I need help. My employment is terminating in a month & I am just about 60 yrs  with a spouse who is already retired.  What is the advanges of taking my 401K to a self-directed IRA or leaving it with my present employer.  Since I cannot predict what future earnings there will be does it really make any difference? Thanks so much.
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In a self-directed IRA you would have complete control over which funds to invest in. Additionally, you would have the ability to purchase stocks.

There is very little advantage to leaving it with your present employer, unless you are in mutual funds which have a load of some kind. But, since you weren't specific, I cannot address that issue.

Be advised that there are tax issues if you transfer the money incorrectly. It is not difficult to do it the correct way, but do your own research.
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The only reason I can think of for leaving the money with your soon-to-be-former employer would be if that plan has done exceptionally well. If you have
the money rolled to a self-directed IRA, you are in complete control, and to do better than a plan (the manager of the plan gets paid, for goodness sakes) is not difficult. You can put the money with the brokerage firm of your choice, full service or discount, and either select investments your self or allow your broker to help you select them. Before you set up a self-directed IRA, inquire about account fees. There are many brokerages that won't charge you an annual fee at all. Give some thought to the type of investment you would like--bonds, or stocks (mutual
funds invest in bonds and stocks--again an extra layer of fees you don't have to have in a self-directed IRA. If this means you have to go to the library and do some reading, fine. Nobody cares more about your money than you do, so learn!
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Okay, Okay, I think that I missed something here. When you refer to "self directed" IRA, what are you talking about? I have an IRA. Actually, two, One for me, and a spousal for my wife.

Mine is with Vanguard, strictly indexed mutual funds. My wifes is with Suretrade. She has stocks which she buys and sells, etc.. within her IRA. I did not register it in any special way. Would you consider this a "self directed" IRA? For that matter, since I choose my investments in my IRA (albeit all mutuals at Vanguard), would you consider that "self directed"?

Thanks for the clear-up please....
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Greetings, Ringfinger, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Okay, Okay, I think that I missed something here. When you refer to "self directed" IRA, what are you talking about? I have an IRA. Actually, two, One for me, and a spousal for my wife.

Mine is with Vanguard, strictly indexed mutual funds. My wifes is with Suretrade. She has stocks which she buys and sells, etc.. within her IRA. I did not register it in any special way. Would you consider this a "self directed" IRA? For that matter, since I choose my investments in my IRA (albeit all mutuals at Vanguard), would you consider that "self directed"?>>


A self-directed IRA is just the name for an IRA established with a broker within which one may buy and sell individual securities. Your wife has a self-directed IRA in that she may actually choose her own stocks. Yours is not a self-directed IRA because you have yours with a fund family. You may choose the fund, sure, but you cannot choose what that fund buys or sells.

Regards..Pixy
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