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Just Retired - Need Help - Where do I start?
Old 05-22-2012, 07:27 AM   #1
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Just Retired - Need Help - Where do I start?

I have recently retired and have no idea how to start the process to rollover my 401K, etc. I spoke with a CFP and he wanted 1.25% to manage my money. I've decided to do the homework so that I can maintain control, and save the expense. Is there a basic primer I can read? Should I go to my credit union for help? I have assets in two different 401Ks, two retirement accounts, a Roth IRA and cash totallying around $400,000. What do I do first?
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:38 AM   #2
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The first thing to do is ... nothing. Congratulations, and you are correct in electing to do this yourself, IMO. You'll be at this for a long time, and getting a basic understanding of asset allocation and the use of low cost mutual funds (mostly index) will give you the ability to save considerably on your returns.

I'm not sure where to tell you to start, but others will I'm sure. Investment of your retirement funds is less about learning rocket science than developing good discipline to weather financial storms and have confidence in how you've prepared for them. Paying someone else to do this and closing your eyes to what happens isn't a good solution. Moving it all around right away is not essential (unless you have some really inappropriate allocation for your current situation).

Good luck, and welcome to the board.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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It would be nice if you gave us more information on yourself like living expenses, age, size of pension, COLA or non-COLA, amounts in the various accounts.

Rolling over a 401k's are very easy. When you figure out what you want to do, whatever firm you choose can do almost all of the work. Most of my accounts are at Vanguard. They have low cost, index funds which are popular with most of the people here.

There is a reading list here. I would actually recommend you start with William Bernstein's Investor's Manifesto. It's a good read and reasonably understandable by a person new to personal investing.

Please avoid the FA and the 1.25% fee. That is over 1/4 of your available retirement spending that can be safely generated from your retirement accounts.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
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The first thing to do is ... nothing.
Exactly.

I'll let others give you suggestions on details, but I certainly agree that you should do nothing until you have a plan that you understand and agree to before executing any decision that will be of negative impact in the long run.

BTW, welcome...
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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Thanks...I'm "getting it". I ordered the book mentioned in previous threads....I have homework to do!
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confused about posting a new thread
Old 05-22-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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confused about posting a new thread

Hi, I retired early and am now a full time student. I thought this would be a fun and informative site to join, but am confused about starting a new thread and introducing myself.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sgt0613 View Post
Hi, I retired early and am now a full time student. I thought this would be a fun and informative site to join, but am confused about starting a new thread and introducing myself.
Hi sgt0613, welcome to the forum. Is there anything we can do to help reduce your confusion?
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Welcome nixo!

There are lots of helpful threads in the Fire and Money section, including a few within the past month or so that would be relevant. Suggest you start browsing and feel free to ask more questions. Best way to make informed decisions!
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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Welcome aboard, it's a good group here overall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nixo5720 View Post
I have recently retired and have no idea how to start the process to rollover my 401K, etc. I spoke with a CFP and he wanted 1.25% to manage my money. Yikes!!!

I've decided to do the homework so that I can maintain control, and save the expense. Good call

Is there a basic primer I can read? Vanguard is probably the most popular here followed by Fidelity or Schwab. Ameriprise is probably the least favorite choice. But you should take some time to decide what mutual funds you want to own first, that may have some bearing on which is best for you. Here's some basic rollover info for Vanguard https://personal.vanguard.com/us/whatweoffer/rollover, but others will have helpful websites too. As mentioned above, the brokerage you choose will do almost everything for you once you decide.

Should I go to my credit union for help? There may be better resources, depends on their typical clientele. I have assets in two different 401Ks, two retirement accounts, a Roth IRA and cash totallying around $400,000. What do I do first?
Here's a good site to answer all sorts of investing & retirement questions. It's consistent with the predominant investing philosophy here. Bogleheads

And finally, don't do anything you're unsure of. Read, ask questions and act only when you understand what's at stake. Anyone who tries to rush or pressure you is probably a big red flag. You can do this...
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Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sgt0613 View Post
Hi, I retired early and am now a full time student. I thought this would be a fun and informative site to join, but am confused about starting a new thread and introducing myself.
Don't worry, it's easy. Does this help?
Quote:
When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of threads it contains. A thread is a conversation between members or guests. Each thread starts out as a single post and grows as more individual posts are added by different users. Threads can be rated (?) to show how useful or popular they are and may contain polls (?).

To start a new thread simply click on the 'new thread' button (you may need the right permissions to do this).
Here first http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/
Then "Hi I am..." http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f26/
Then "New Thread" http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...newthread&f=26
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No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by nixo5720 View Post
I have recently retired and have no idea how to start the process to rollover my 401K, etc. I spoke with a CFP and he wanted 1.25% to manage my money. I've decided to do the homework so that I can maintain control, and save the expense. Is there a basic primer I can read? Should I go to my credit union for help? I have assets in two different 401Ks, two retirement accounts, a Roth IRA and cash totallying around $400,000. What do I do first?
Hi Suzanne,

Congratulations! I'm relatively new here and still working on getting to the last day of work!! You are making a great choice to manage your own money--that 1.25% adds up over decades.

When I first decided to take charge of my money, I was mostly in funds due to various retirement accounts, and read a few general personal finance books. The one I felt helped me most with understanding the basics involving funds was The Wealthy Barber. It covers all aspects of personal finance, but is an easy read to understanding diversification and rebalancing. There are many other books and many websites, but this is a good primer in my opinion.

I also starting reading periodicals- Money, Kiplingers and Smart Money, which gave me insight to stocks in addition to funds, and lots of helpful advice for personal finance. I don't even pay for Money--it's always available for frequent flier points and I use up the points in inactive accounts for the subscription. These magazines also have many articles for free on line.

Over the past dozen years I have shifted more of my money into dividend stocks and a smaller portion is in funds, but I feel fund investing was a good place to start, since you need to spend alot of time researching and managing a stock portfolio. For many people, they only invest in funds, so you will get some good advice on this site from people who are doing well with funds.

Consolidating your accounts with one or two brokerage houses would definitely a good idea, it is much easier to have one or two accounts than several. My recommendations are Fidelity and TrowePrice, but there are many others that work well -just keep reading this site... And when you have a couple hundred thousand in their accounts, they discount or forgive trading fees, give you access to many services and have their own advisors, who will give you advice for free--just make sure you vet their advice on your own.

Finally, I don't recommend asking the credit union for help, my experience with 2 credit unions is that they are not the best financial advisors!!

Good Luck to you!
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:50 PM   #12
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Thanks...I'm "getting it". I ordered the book mentioned in previous threads....I have homework to do!
Welcome aboard. This thread has a bunch of other recommended reading.


An updated FIRE recommended reading list (with a military twist)
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by H2ODude View Post
The first thing to do is ... nothing. Congratulations, and you are correct in electing to do this yourself, IMO. You'll be at this for a long time, and getting a basic understanding of asset allocation and the use of low cost mutual funds (mostly index) will give you the ability to save considerably on your returns...

... Paying someone else to do this and closing your eyes to what happens isn't a good solution. Moving it all around right away is not essential (unless you have some really inappropriate allocation for your current situation).
+1
Glad to see you made it here. There is a lot of great information in past posts to help guide you as a Personal Portfolio Manager. Pay is good at a tax free 1.25% of your portfolio Keep reading and ask questions as you study for your new career path. Also a few major mutual funds companies with highly respected reputations that are good information resources and worth checking out are Vanguard, Fidelity, and T Rowe Price.

Good luck with fishing today!

Cheers!
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:09 PM   #14
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You may have enough to get a free "financial evaluation" from Vanguard, if you're willing to have a total of 500k invested with them I found it very helpful. And, I'd suggest a subscription to Money Magazine. My company pays for a subscrption to Money Mag for every employee in the 401k. Good Luck.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:33 AM   #15
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Hello Nixo5720. To answer your question, I would start by using the Google function above to find the information you are looking for. Welcome.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:24 AM   #16
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Thank you for taking time to reply. I am digging away.
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