So I gave my mom a call today to ask her some questions about her 401k portfolio. Here’s a summarized transcript:
Me: I looked at your 401k statement.
Me: What kind of other retirements assets you and Dad have?
Mom: Umm… I think I have a Rollover IRA too.
Me: Did you roll it over into your IRA or 401k?
Mom: Umm… I don’t know.
Me: I saw a line on your 401k statement that said “Rollover Amount: XXX”
Mom: Oh yeah! I rolled it over to my current 401k
Me: Anything else? Do you have any other IRAs or stuff like that?
Mom: I think I have some other IRAs, but they are all in different places?
Me: You should consolidate those into a good brokerage. Where are they held currently?
Mom: I don’t know. I can find out.
Me: What about Dad?
Mom: He has a plan from work too, and has I think something like 50/50 stocks/bonds… Oh, and an annuity.
Me: How much is in the annuity and how much is in the 50/50 stock/bonds mix?
Mom: I don’t know. I’ll send you a statement next time we get one.
Me: Ok, about your 401k. Did you know you have about 70% in stocks?
Mom: Really? I just chose the “Moderate” option.
Me: Uh… ok.
Mom: Should I change it around? What should I change it to?
Me: I’ll need to know the rest of the stuff we talked about first. Does Dad have online access to his account?
Me: Ok… well, get back to me
Mom: Oh! I read this thing in the newspaper about this guy who didn’t have much money, like $50,000, but he gave it to some guy and he said they managed it for him really well. Should I go to a guy like that?
Me: Uh… just let me take a look first.
This was not meant to make fun of my Mom. She is a smart woman. I think this is actually the state of the majority of people in their 40s and 50s though. They have a healthy chunk of money in a their nest egg, but have this fuzzy idea of what it’s invested in. They have multiple IRAs and 401ks and 403bs from different places floating around.
This is why I think getting a qualified fee-only financial advisor with references (not “some guy”) is good for lots of folks. I don’t mind giving them my parents some help but I am still learning and don’t profess to know it all by any means. I would like to set them up with one and sit down with all of them sometime, but that will be tough as the live across the country.
Now to wait for my Dad’s statement…
By Jonathan Ping | Retirement | 12/1/05, 6:58pm