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SEPPs - Want To Move Them/Broker Choice - Advice Needed
Old 09-24-2007, 07:16 AM   #1
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SEPPs - Want To Move Them/Broker Choice - Advice Needed

I have been withdrawing from 2 IRAs at TDAmeritrade via the SEPP method for about 4 years.

I've recently experienced some service issues at TD, including them forgetting to do one of the automatic withdraws last week, not telling me about it, and hackers accessing the system and stealing email addresses from 6.3 million accounts, not knowing about it until complaints started rolling in about spam - am now getting spam because of this. They assure me that SS#s and other critical info was not compromised, even though that info resides on the same database. They are now experiencing phishing attacks.

I'm really interested in moving my accounts to another broker.

However, I'm concerned about moving the 2 IRA's because of the active SEPP withdrawals and what that could trigger with the IRS.

I'm not real confident I will get good info from any brokers' customer service.

Any experience switching an active SEPP IRA ...

Know an online source - I've already checked Intercst's site and can't spot anything.

2nd part of question.

I'm looking at E-Trade and Fidelity for brokers to receive the transfers..

Feedback on them would be appreciated...

Other Broker you like?

Thank you!
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:46 AM   #2
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I like Vanguard in general, so I would suggest taking a look at Vanguard Brokerage Services. I think a lot of people use Fidelity as well and I've generally heard good things about them.

Logic would dictate that if you rolled the IRA's over to Vanguard and then continued the SEPPs from there that the IRS *shouldn't* have a problem with it. But as I bet you know, logic and tax laws often diverge from each other. You might visit your nearest IRS customer service center and ask them. If you're really risk averse and/or the penalties for a wrong answer seem high, you could get a PLR (Private Letter Ruling) from the IRS. But I think those take a while and you may not be willing to wait.

Good luck,

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Old 09-24-2007, 11:01 AM   #3
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I have had good experiences with Schwab. They and Fido seem to have done a good job of very closely apeing each other, so there probably isn't much difference.

If I were in your shoes, I would not shop on price, normal services, etc. Instead, I would call each firm you have in mind and try to talk with the people who would actually be tasked with doing your SEPP withdrawals. That is who could screw things up royal, all the rest is probably a wash between the big discount guys.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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I've been with Fidelity for 20 years. Only one mistake, and that was corrected immediately after a phone call. They've had to deal with a few tricky things, and they've done them perfectly.

Great customer service.

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Old 09-24-2007, 11:49 AM   #5
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I have my accounts at Schwab, and have been happy with the service. I am also
72t'ing my big IRA. The few times I have wanted to contact someone there I
was put thru with no wait and either had my questions answered there or
I was transferred to some specialist who was able to handle them.
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:18 PM   #6
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No experience with E-trade, but have used Fidelity since 1986 and never had a single problem.
I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one.
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:50 AM   #7
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Thanks for your feedback.
I've looked at Fidelity and Schwab and like what I see.

One thing that popped out was no ATM fees worldwide - from them and also reimbursement for charges by the owner of the ATM - that would be nice when we are living/traveling for extended times in Europe (usually $5 a pop) plus the foreign currency exchange rate would be 1% on their Visas instead of the 3% I'm paying now - maybe able to simplify and get rid of the local Wells Fargo checking we have also.

Still need to talk and get comfortable with either of them maintaining the same startup date of the SEPPs (2004) - don't want the IRS to see new firm & new start date - and have a new 5 year period..
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