Secure Your Retirement With A Rollover Ira
By Sam Subramanian
Secure Your retirement with a Rollover IRA
Switching your job? Retiring? Congratulations! A window of opportunity opens for you with the Rollover Individual retirement Account or Rollover IRA.
In an era of corporate restructuring and outsourcing, Rollover IRA is among the most powerful means available for securing one’s retirement. Yet, its potential to enlarge one’s assets for the sunset years commonly remains under-appreciated.The Rollover IRA dramatically increases the range of choices available to you for investing your retirement savings. By offering investment choices hitherto unavailable in employer-sponsored plans such as 401k, 403b, or Section 457 plans, Rollover IRA provides you the means to have direct control of and more aggressively grow your nest egg.
This article discusses the advantages of Rollover IRA over employer-sponsored retirement plans.
So, if you are leaving your job and have accumulated assets in the employer-sponsored retirement plan, continue reading this article to learn about your options and more.
You have four options on what you can do with your savings in your employer-sponsored plan when you are switching jobs or retiring.
1) Cash your savings.
2) Continue with the retirement plan of your previous employer.
3) Transfer your savings into the retirement plan sponsored by your new employer.
4) Set up a Rollover IRA account with a mutual fund company and move your retirement savings into that account.
Unless you have a pressing need, it is best not to cash your retirement savings. First, cash withdrawals from the retirement plan will be subject to federal and state taxes. Second, your retirement savings diminish and you will have fewer assets to grow tax-deferred.
While the three other options will not erode your retirement savings and will allow it to grow tax-deferred, they are not equal in their ability to help you boost its growth rate.
Increased Investment Choices
Most employees earn meager returns on their employer-sponsored retirement plan savings. A Dalbar study reports that the average 401k plan investor achieved an annual return of just 3.5% during a 20-year period when the S&P 500 returned 13.0% per year.
Part of the problem stems from the fact that most retirement plans offer only a limited number of investment choices. A Columbia University study finds the median number of mutual fund choices in 401k plans to be just 13. The actual number of equity mutual fund investment choices however is less, since the median number includes money market funds, fixed income funds, and balanced funds.
With fewer investment choices, employer-sponsored plans limit your ability to take advantage of different market trends and to continually position your retirement savings in mutual funds with superior risk-reward profiles.
If you set up a Rollover IRA with a large mutual fund company such as Fidelity Investments, T. Rowe Price or Vanguard Group, you will break the shackles imposed by your employer-sponsored plan and dramatically increase the number of mutual funds available for investing your retirement savings. Fidelity, for example, provides access to several thousand mutual funds besides the more than 180 mutual funds it manages.
Setting-up the Rollover IRA
Let’s say you decide to move your retirement savings to a Rollover account with a mutual fund company. How do you make it happen?
Contact the mutual fund company in which you wish to open an account and ask them to send you their Rollover IRA kit. Complete the form for opening the Rollover IRA account and mail it to the mutual fund company. Next, complete any forms required by the retirement plan administrator of your previous employer and request transfer of your assets into the Rollover IRA account.
You have two choices for moving your retirement savings to your Rollover IRA account. One is to elect to have the money transferred directly from the employer-sponsored plan to the Rollover IRA account. This is called direct rollover. With the indirect rollover alternative, you take the distribution from the retirement plan and then deposit it in the Rollover IRA account.
Unless exceptions apply, you have 60 days to deposit the distribution and qualify for tax-free rollover.
Boosting Your Rollover IRA Performance
You need a strategy to benefit from the wide range of investment choices available in the Rollover IRA. You can develop the strategy yourself or leverage ideas from investment newsletters such as AlphaProfit Sector Investors’ Newsletter to enhance the growth rate of your nest egg.
AlphaProfit’s Focus and Core model portfolios have grown at an average annual rate of 33% and 21% respectively, compared to an average annual return of 13% for the S&P 500 Index from September 30, 2003 to March 31, 2006.
Let’s say you transfer $50,000 from your employer-sponsored retirement plan to the Rollover IRA and the wider range of investment choices helps you increase your annual return from 8% in the former to 12% in the Rollover IRA. At the end of 20 years, your Rollover IRA will be worth $482,315, more than double the $233,048 it would be worth had you stayed on with the employer-sponsored plan -- that too without any cash additions to your Rollover IRA.
Adding to Your Rollover IRA
You can leverage the potential of your Rollover IRA further by adding to it each time you change jobs. With the Rollover IRA already setup, all you have to do is to instruct the retirement plan administrator of your last employer to transfer assets to the Rollover IRA. There is no limit on the amount of money you can transfer.
You may also add money to your Rollover IRA through regular annual contributions. They are however subject to the annual limit for IRA contributions.
When you are switching jobs or retiring, the Rollover IRA opens a window of opportunity for you, widening the range of investment choices for your retirement assets hitherto not available in the employer-sponsored plan. The self-directed Rollover IRA empowers you to construct and manage a mutual fund portfolio to boost the growth rate of your retirement savings.
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