Question: I’m retired and earning $6,000 annually by working part-time. If I convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, can I open a separate Roth in the same calendar year? The rollover amount, by the way, is less than what I’m earning at my job.
Question: My wife and I are retired and in our mid-60s, and I want to consolidate all of our investments—my 401(k) and two IRAs—under one roof. Are we putting ourselves at risk if everything is at one firm?
Question: I have an IRA with my spouse’s employer, and I pay no fees as long as I trade only select funds. But my profits have only been 2 percent in the past 18 months. Should I make a switch or stick with no-fee funds?
– David Hippensteel, Milwaukee
Question: We plan to give a portion of this year’s Required Minimum Distribution directly to our church to fulfill our 2012 pledge. If we receive the money by check in 2011, when do we need to make the donation for the maximum tax advantage?
–Reader in Monument, CO.
Question: I rolled over my 401(k) into what I thought was an IRA but I just found out that my money has been in a non-IRA brokerage account the whole time. What should I do now?
Question: My existing 401(k) balance consists of both before and after-tax contributions and related returns on investments. Can I rollover/direct transfer the after-tax portion into a Roth IRA?
Question: Currently 40% of my retirement funds are in cash because I fear interest rates can only go up. I’m earning only 1% and I realize this money should probably be invested in bonds. I would prefer ETFs, but am open to managed funds. Whatever funds I use would be within my IRA. I am 64, but do not anticipate needing this money for a very long time, if ever. My first question is allocation: Is a total bond market ETF adequate, or should I also invest in a foreign fund, high-yield fund, and/or TIPs? What funds would you recommend, and what allocation? My second question is even more important to me. How do I get from cash to bond funds or ETFs? All at once? Two percent a month for 50 months? Short, intermediate, or long term?
-John Duft, St. Jacob, Ill.
Question: I’m a just-retired teacher with a 403(b) account with Fidelity. I recently met with one of their retirement specialists who advised converting my 403(b) to a rollover IRA, saying it would provide me with more flexibility (to move investments) and make it easier to make mandatory withdrawals (less paperwork). His rationale seemed reasonable to me (no hard sell or pressure) but what do you think? — Barry Koski, New York, NY
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