Many investors end up with a large number of financial accounts, including brokerage accounts, savings accounts at banks, and mutual fund accounts with multiple mutual fund providers. When it comes to IRAs, though, less can be more in terms of managing your retirement savings effectively and efficiently.
In this installment of Industry Focus, Motley Fool investment planning analyst Gaby Lapera and Director of Investment Planning Dan Caplinger discuss whether there's an IRS limit on the number of IRAs you can have. As Dan and Gaby explain in this clip, there's no technical maximum on the number of IRAs you can have, and there are some situations in which having multiple accounts can be useful. However, if your IRA providers charge account fees, then you might save yourself money by consolidating your IRAs into fewer accounts.
A transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on June 6, 2016.
Gaby Lapera: Is there a limit to how many traditional and Roth IRA accounts you can have? Can you have as many as you want, or can you only have one of each?
Dan Caplinger: No, you can split them up however you want. You can have an IRA at a bank, you can have an IRA at a brokerage account, you can have an IRA with a mutual fund company, and there's no limit to the number of accounts that you have.
Now, from a management standpoint, it's often a lot easier if you limit yourself to just one or two of each kind. Otherwise, it gets unwieldy to figure out, "I have $1,000 here and $500 there," and sometimes each account will charge you a separate fee, and then you're paying a bunch in fees that you don't really need to. But no, there's no technical requirement that says that you can't have any more than X number of accounts. That's up to you.
Lapera: You brought up another point, which is another reason you might want to have your money in an IRA instead of a savings account, besides the tax benefits -- you can use that money for something. Like you said, you could have it in a brokerage-type account with your Roth IRA or traditional IRA, and invest in stocks. Or you can invest it in a mutual fund or an index fund, as opposed to a savings account, where it can't do anything besides sit.
Caplinger: That's right. Just about any financial institution, a broker or a mutual fund company, will be able to handle IRAs. They can set you up with a retirement account that'll let you get those tax benefits at the same time as giving you a lot of flexibility to invest in whatever it is that you want to invest in for growth.
Lapera: Right. And as we've also talked about on the show a million times, just beating a dead horse, investing in the stock market is one of the best ways to increase your money over the long run, instead of just relying on interest or bonds.