Friday, August 17, 2012
Throughout life, we tend to accumulate things, and this holds true when it comes to accumulating money. But having too many financial accounts, whether it's investment accounts, annuities, IRAs, or some other combination of accounts, can actually make it more difficult to achieve your financial goals and plan for retirement, says Mark Singer CFP®.
There are four main problems that come with having too many accounts:
- Too much paperwork. With so much paperwork coming in—in the form of annual statements, tax forms, and more, it can be difficult to keep track of what you own. Also, if you don't review correspondence in a timely fashion, you may miss portfolio changes, money manager updates and new product enhancements that could potentially help you accomplish your goals
- Difficulty diversifying. If you don't really know what you own, you can't put together a coordinated and well-diversified investment portfolio
- Tax inefficiency. If you're in retirement, you need to generate income, but you also need to generate it in a tax-efficient way. If you are unaware of all of the accounts you own, then you are probably paying more taxes than you should
- IRA penalties. If you aren't sure where all of your IRAs are, then you may be subjecting yourself to one of the heftiest IRS penalties. If you are past the age of 70½ and fail to take your required minimum distributions (RMDs), you'll have to pay a fine of 50% of the amount that should have been withdrawn. If you have seven or eight different IRAs, it can be hard to keep track of RMDs
By consolidating accounts when possible, people can gain more control over their investments, which should help them gain more control over retirement planning.
Mark Singer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and the author of The Changing Landscape of Retirement—What You Don't Know Could Hurt You
. He has been The Retirement Guide to thousands of investors for close to 25 years and is the creator of the Retirement Roadmap and the Financial Organizer System, both of which contribute to a solution to investors' greatest concerns—properly coordinating their financial affairs