Ask Terry Questions Combine my 401K with my employer (A Fidelity account) with my spouses IRA and 401K at Benjamin Edwards

Combine my 401K with my employer (A Fidelity account) with my spouses IRA and 401K at Benjamin Edwards

By Terry Savage on November 20, 2017 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hello, Terry! I am a fan and just bought your book, "The Savage Truth on Money". My husband and I are recently retired and have about two million in retirement investments. Our financial planner with Benjamin Edwards has looked at all our accounts and is recommending that I move my 401K from my former employer (JPM Chase) over to him so that he can balance and manage our finances. Question: Is it best to have it all with under one planner or keep our finances in two different places. I kind of like the idea of having it all managed in one place. Thank you for your help! Watch you on WGN and would really appreciate your insight.

Terry Says

Well, an argument can be made about having more than one investment resource, as long as your "financial planner" knows the total of all your assets.  typically, I suggest that people roll over their 40l(k) accounts when they retire because they will find more suitable funds, more conservative choices.  After all, 40l(k) plan investments are designed primarily for people who are still working and contributing, and presumably can take more risk over the long run.  You're in a different position now. BUT -- and I have no idea who your "financial planner" is -- this is the time to do a complete analysis of what services you need and what you are paying for them.  Is your brokerage firm advisor a Certified Financial Planner?  That's your first question.  Also ask whether he or she looks at your entire financial picture -- including tax planning, estate planning, retirement withdrawal scenarios, and more? Or is he or she just a salesperson who provides investment advice? The second big question is:  How much am I paying for these services?  I always believe it is worth paying for good advice, and you have experience with this person.  So ask how your current investments have performed compared to benchmarks.  And definitely ask how much you are paying -- both when you purchase securities or mutual fund, and on an ongoing fee basis.   If you transfer your 40l(k) money to this account will you start paying commissions to invest in the recommended products?  Ask point blank.  He or she must answer honestly.   Then ask if he or she is acting as a fiduciary -- who puts your interests first, and fully discloses all fees and commissions.   Remember, many fees are "buried" in the product price. This is YOUR money --and your retirement life that is at stake.  It may be time to look beyond the two alternatives you have presented.  If that's your situation, go to to learn how to search out a Fiduciary financial planner.        

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