Hi, Terry. I am in the process of transferring several IRA accounts, as each one reaches maturity, from a bank in another state to a bank in Illinois. The Banker we use continually pushes annuities, even after I have told her—several times—that I am looking for no risk and prefer to roll over the funds into a (lower interest) bank CD. I'm at the point where her "hard sell" is making me uncomfortable. I'm guessing she is making a larger commission on annuities, which she hasn't disclosed. Do I ask to speak to her supervisor, or assume this hard sell is required by the bank and move on to another bank?

Terry Says:

Yes, your banker is “pushing” annuities because first of all, she is not a “banker.”  She is working in the BROKERAGE division of the bank holding company (or for a brokerage firm that has been hired to work with bank customers)!  That’s a HUGE difference.

Now, I’m assuming that she is pushing annuities that are somehow linked to the stockmarket or have variable rates, and will attempt to grow your money tax-deferred.  That is a tax-deferred annuity.    (An immediate annuity would start paying you a monthly check immediately, and typically over your lifetime.  That might be something to do if need extra cash every month (see my recent column in the archives at TerrySavage.com).  But that doesn’t sound like what you’re being pushed to buy.

So, I have a BETTER IDEA!   Don’t roll your IRAs to a bank/brokerage firm.  Instead, contact Fidelity or Vanguard or T. Rowe Price and let them handle the direct rollover.  There you will have a wide choice of investments – including Treasury money market funds.  Depending on your age, stage in life, and withdrawal needs , they will help you craft a low-cost investment program.

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