Whether your IRA is new or pre-existing, contact the bank or brokerage firm that will be responsible for protecting the assets in your IRA plan, and ask for important information like how the check should be made payable and what address to send it to.
This is when the process truly beings to vary on a case-by-case basis. When dealing with an employer-sponsored plan, each will have it’s own set of rules and procedures to adhere to, so it’s best to get in contact with the custodian of your 401(k) or 403(b). Often, plans will allow you to conduct your rollover transaction over the phone or custodians will simply send you the check with some sort of deposit form, instructing you to forward it to your brokerage firm handling your IRA.
Other times, your plan could require signed paperwork to be processed before going ahead with the rollover transaction. Things like whether your former employer is an educational institution or non-profit organization and spousal consent may require you to get outside, notarized signatures on the required paperwork.
Less frequently, plans require a letter of acceptance which is a document from the receiving brokerage firm managing your IRA before you can send your rollover check to be deposited. If this is the case, you must contact the custodian for your IRA and request that the letter be sent to the custodian of your employer-sponsored plan.
After you’ve had the money transferred or you’ve sent your check to your IRA custodian, it’s key to get that money invested as soon as possible. Since the money will be in cash, it’s paramount that you uphold a disciplined, well-diversified approach to investing, with a long-term strategy in mind. Otherwise, with the climate of today’s interest rates, that money will earn you next to nothing. While the investment market can always be volatile, the importance of keeping a diverse portfolio can help protect you from that. Utilizing the services offered by Financial Guard can assist you in managing and maintaining your investment portfolio in a holistic way, keeping you on the right track to retire exactly how and when you’d like to.