BOSTON (CBS) – So often I hear from listeners who are about to retire and they realize they fall into the category of having too many retirement plans. Not too much money, just too many plans.

Take inventory. What have you got and what is it invested in? List everything. Let’s deal with the IRAs first.

Try to consolidate the IRAs. Every time you heard about a new hot mutual fund you put some money in. Well now you have 7 IRA accounts.

Find a couple of all-weather mutual funds such as an S&P index fund and transfer everything into them. Easy to do and you may be able to download all of the paper work from the fund’s website.

If you really love your different mutual funds you may be able to move them to one company. Fidelity and Schwab are examples of companies that have arrangements with other mutual fund companies and will allow you to transfer the fund to a new IRA you set up with them.

And when it comes time to begin mandatory withdrawals you will be dealing with one company and one account.

I would recommend moving most employer retirement plans into an IRA. You will have many more investment choices and ease of withdrawing money in retirement.

Be careful with your 403(b) plans. Some are set up as annuities and you may not be able to transfer all of the money into an IRA without paying a penalty. By law though they have to allow you access to at least 10% of your money each year. If that’s the case plan on doing this over a 10 year period.

457 plans require a bit more planning in that you can access the money before you are age 59½ if you leave your current job. But if you roll the 457 into an IRA it then takes on the rules of the IRA and you cannot access the money until 59½.


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