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Northwest Mutual IRA Advice

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  • Northwest Mutual IRA Advice

    I'm about to begin my residency within the next month. I have term life insurance and long-term disability set up with Northwest Mutual, which I am satisfied with as far as rates and policy wording (I've read the warning about Northwest Mutual disability insurance but am not too concerned about it, as I will be a neurologist). The main question I have is about a Roth IRA that I recently set up with Northwest Mutual. At the time of setting it up, I wasn't aware how high their fees were compared to Vanguard. There is currently $300 in the Roth IRA with NWM, and if transferred to a Vanguard IRA I believe the total fee would be $95. Would you guys recommend continuing with the Roth IRA at NWM or transferring that money to a Vanguard IRA?

  • #2
    I'd transfer it to a lower-cost provider now, while the balance is still small.  Why draw out the pain?  Get it over with now!

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    • #3
      The one time transfer fee is annoying, but you're also likely being charged a management fee, and have more expensive investment funds, that will cost you more over time than the $95 transfer fee. If the only ongoing reason you are using the NWM advisor is simply to have a Roth IRA account they are investing for you, then it's worth moving to Vanguard to avoid paying more fees. If you understand the investments you are in, fees you are currently paying, and are still comfortable with the advisor/value that you're getting, then don't feel like you have to make a switch. I would guess that once you look at the fees/investment expenses relative to the value that you're getting, you'll want to move to Vanguard though.
      Andrew Musbach, CFP® | Co-Founder & Financial Advisor at MD Wealth Management, LLC
      Financial Planning for Physicians | [email protected]

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      • #4
        Since I assume most of this is contribution rather than gains, can you just pull all the contributions out and then deposit into a new Roth with Vanguard? Then just close the northwestern mutual account? Someone who knows more about this please jump in. Just a thought.

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        • #5
          Pay the $95 or whatever (who are you paying it to?) and consider this a very inexpensive lesson in your financial life. Most of us have made much, much costlier mistakes.

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          • #6


            Would you guys recommend continuing with the Roth IRA at NWM or transferring that money to a Vanguard IRA?
            Click to expand...


            no get out.

            lesson learned.

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            • #7
              I know you're just looking for IRA advice, but did you see if your residency has any discounts for individual disability policies? And did this insurance agent cold call you or get your number from a classmate? It's perfectly fine to be ok with their language, but you may be able to get better language at a cheaper or same price.

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              • #8
                Transfer. The $95 fee is one-time. The much higher fund expenses are forever!

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                • #9
                  I have to ask

                  How much term insurance do you have and how much do you need?

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                  • #10
                    From what I understand right now it'd be $95 to Northwestern Mutual to close the account.

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                    • #11




                      I know you’re just looking for IRA advice, but did you see if your residency has any discounts for individual disability policies? And did this insurance agent cold call you or get your number from a classmate? It’s perfectly fine to be ok with their language, but you may be able to get better language at a cheaper or same price.
                      Click to expand...


                      I knew this insurance agent since he has worked with my parents for most of their lives. They actually gave a decent discount based on the residency program I was associated with, and it was a good price compared to a few other options I looked at.

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                      • #12
                        Right or wrong (mostly right), my loathing and distrust of Northwestern Mutual is so strong, that I was just on FB looking at the wedding photos of a doc friend/acquaintance’s daughter, clicked on his new son-in-law’s name, and it turns out he works for NWML. My gut reaction was, “Dude, how can you let your daughter marry into that?”

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