Author Topic: Combining multiple retirement accounts  (Read 1416 times)

yoga mama

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Combining multiple retirement accounts
« on: November 04, 2014, 10:50:23 AM »
Hi all- looking for a little advice on how to combine several retirement accounts, or whether I should do this at all.  I have worked at several places with mandatory contributions, and chose TIAA-CREF for all of them because that's where the first account was and I stuck with the same company for the sake of simplicity.  I plan to roll everything into Vanguard funds if possible.  I want a low-maintenance portfolio.  The amounts here are small relative to the amount I need to accumulate for ER but of course I'd like to maximize every dollar. 

Here are the numbers:
403b $4300
     Guaranteed 100%
403b $4500
     Guaranteed 14%
     Equities 64%
     Real Estate 12%
     Fixed Income 10%
Tax deferred annuity plan $6200
     Guaranteed 100%
Traditional IRA $1500
     Guaranteed 6%
     Equities 87%
     Real Estate 7%

Here are my questions:
1. Is there a limit to rollovers?  I contribute the max amounts to a 403b and a 457 at my current employer (into accounts which are not listed above).  I also contribute annually to an IRA which I immediately roll over into a Roth IRA. 
2. How can I find the management fees?  I am having some difficulty finding this information on the TIAA-CREF website.
3. Each of these separate accounts is designated on the website by the institution I was employed by at the time of contribution.  Are the accounts managed separately? 
4. If I roll these to Vanguard, how should it be allocated?  Can they all be rolled into a single account, or do I need to have several accounts since they are starting out as multiple account types?

Thanks so much for giving this a look.  I am a very new mustachian hoping to optimize!


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
Re: Combining multiple retirement accounts
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 11:34:13 AM »
1. You can rollover once per year per account currently, but they (the government) are thinking of changing the rules so you can only do one rollover per year PERIOD even if you have multiple accounts.  So it'd be to your advantage to do your rollovers as soon as possible.

2. The management fees depends on what your accounts are invested in (the funds themselves), not just what the accounts/account types are.  So if TIAA-CREF is managing your accounts and they're listed there, you should be able to click into each account and see what funds/allocation you have, and click into each of those funds to see the expense ratios or management fees.  Index funds should be extremely low (less than 0.2%), other funds will probably be around 1% and you should try to reallocate to index funds if possible.

3. If the accounts are listed separately, they are managed separately, even if the same institution is managing them.  You can "rollover" them into one account, which you should.

4. Depends on the account types, but most accounts like 403bs, 401k, etc can be rolled into a traditional IRA.  Your annuity plan is special and can't just be rolled over into another account type, it is a financial product you have purchases and you'd have to look at the cash value etc if you are thinking about getting out of it.

This is all my best understanding as I know it, but I am neither a tax specialist, nor a financial planner, nor an attorney, so the advice is worth exactly what you paid for it (hint: zero).  But this just how I understand things to operate.