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IRA Rollovers – How to Roll Over an IRA

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An IRA Rollover is a tax-free method to move your retirement account money from either a workplace retirement account or IRA to another IRA. Here are the steps required to roll over an IRA:

Step 1 to Roll Over an IRA - Get The Forms

Contact the current custodian if your account and request an IRA rollover form. Your custodian is the financial company hosting your assets. It’s also the company from whom you receive statements. If you are going to roll over a workplace retirement account such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, you should also contact your HR department.

Step 2 to Roll Over an IRA - Complete The Forms

Most IRA rollover forms will provide you with several distribution options, of which a rollover is one. Be sure to pick "Rollover to an IRA" or your money may come directly to you, causing mandatory withholding and, in all probably, an early distribution penalty.

Step 3 to Roll Over an IRA – Monitor the Progress

You can choose to have a check mailed to you (for the benefit of your IRA) or mailed or wired directly to your new IRA custodian. Either way, make sure to keep track of the progress. Checks do get lost in the mail, and you don’t want yours to be one of them, especially if you aren’t paying attention.

Step 4 to Roll Over an IRA – Invest the Money

When your account is rolled over, any previous investments are converted to cash. Not until you give the new IRA custodian direction will the money be once again invested in the new account. Be sure to invest your retirement money in short order. Your investment options within an IRA are practically endless and include mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds.

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