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FAMILY FINANCES
August 1, 2019

Will consolidating my retirement accounts make things easier for my family when I'm gone?

Answered by
Debra Greenberg
Director, Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions at Bank of America
Here's one way to make things easier for loved ones after you die: consider consolidating all those 401(k)s you've accumulated over your working life. Learn all your choices, when it might make sense to bring your accounts into one place—and when it might not.
Will consolidating my retirement accounts make things easier for my family when I'm gone?
Consolidating your retirement savings accounts certainly could simplify things for your family.
Think about it this way: If you've had several jobs in your career, you probably also have several employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts, including 401(k)s.
Rather than leaving the assets sitting in various accounts for your heirs to sort through after you're gone, you've got some choices.
One is to bring them together into your existing employer's plan, if that's allowed. To get started, just contact the plan administrator for each account.
You might also consider rolling the assets over into a traditional or a Roth IRA. Another choice is to simply take a distribution and invest the money.
Now, there are some situations where you might want to keep your accounts separate. Say your family members aren't on good terms—or they live far away from each other. Keeping separate retirement accounts for different beneficiaries could help to prevent potential conflicts or confusion.
Whatever you decide, talk to a financial professional or tax advisor before making a decision. And be sure to communicate your wishes and leave clear instructions for your family.
Ready to get started?
Investing involves risk including possible loss of principal. Asset allocation, rebalancing and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

You have choices about what to do with your employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts. Depending on your financial circumstances, needs and goals, you may choose to roll over to an IRA or convert to a Roth IRA, roll over an employer-sponsored plan from your old job to your new employer, take a distribution, or leave the account where it is. Each choice may offer different investment options and services, fees and expenses, withdrawal options, required minimum distributions, tax treatment, and different types of protection from creditors and legal judgments. These are complex choices and should be considered with care. Visit our Rollover IRA page or call a Merrill rollover specialist at 888.637.3343 for more information about your choices.
Did you know that there are two ways to move assets from one IRA to another? The most common is a transfer. This is when you transfer assets from an IRA held at one financial institution to an IRA at another. You may directly transfer assets between investment firms as frequently as you wish. The second, less common approach is called a rollover. Rollovers occur when you withdraw assets from an IRA and then "roll" those assets back into the same IRA or into another one within 60 days. IRS rules limit you to one rollover per client per twelve month period. If you have questions or want to learn more call 888-MER-EDGE or consult a tax advisor.

Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as "MLPF&S" or "Merrill") makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp."). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

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Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities.

Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as "MLPF&S" or "Merrill") makes available certain investment products sponsored, managed, distributed or provided by companies that are affiliates of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp."). MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, a registered investment adviser, Member Securities Investor Protection (SIPC) popup and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation ("BofA Corp").
Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc. (MLLA) is a licensed insurance agency and wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA:
Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value
Are Not Deposits Are Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity


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