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Nov 28 2011 12:00AM

Question


My wife and I are in our early 80s, in good health, and financially solvent. We have Certificate of Deposits (CDs), Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), stocks, bonds, pension income, bank accounts, etc. Should these accounts be consolidated into more manageable assets? If so, into what?

Answer

“There are many reasons why you might consider consolidating your accounts, including the simplification that occurs for not only your future beneficiaries, but also for you and your wife,” said FPA member Jim Mackay, CFP®. “Consolidation is likely to decrease the amount of mail you receive, decrease the time you invest in keeping things organized, and it might even increase your understanding of what you have, how long it will last, how much might be left for beneficiaries, etc.  At the very least it will make things easier for the person responsible for your financial affairs upon your passing.

"Consolidation can mean different things to different people. One way to consolidate is to move all of your accounts to one adviser, planner, or institution. Of course, in doing this it is critical that you do not sacrifice diversification within your investment portfolio.

“I am not aware of any one investment vehicle where all of these things could be consolidated into one. If you are at a stage in your life where you would want a third-party managing your finances, then seek the services of a financial planner or trust company capable of managing multiple facets of your finances.

“I would also recommend that the person or institution named as your successor trustee/personal representative be aware of what you have and where you have it. This will also make their lives easier and reduce the likelihood of something being overlooked.”

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