A way to cut fees: Consolidate investment accounts

Personal finance Q&A with Steve Dinnen.

Q: Other than cutting down on paper statements or emails, is there any benefit to lumping all my 403(b) plans together? For instance, would I save money on the fees fund managers charge?

R.M. via e-mail

A: Simplicity is definitely a reason to consolidate 403(b) plans. And there may even be some money saved here besides postage, says Mark Pelletier, a financial planner in Concord, Mass.

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Financial advisers and management firms typically waive annual fees or lower fund expenses due when asset amounts rise above certain thresholds. By bringing together your accounts, you may qualify for such a discount.

Another option you might consider, depending on your AGI (adjusted gross income), age, and time frame, is rolling over the old plans to a Roth IRA. You'll pay taxes on that money now, but make it tax-free when you begin to withdraw it.

Talk to your tax adviser regarding your situation before converting any assets to a Roth IRA.

Submit your question to Steve Dinnen at money@csmonitor.com

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