Asked by Bobbie  |  Submitted October 20, 2015

I have an IRA that I have not contributed to in many years. Should I just leave it alone till I retire?

I'm 40 now and it has less than $1,000 in it.

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  Answers  |  2

October 21, 2015

You have a variety of options as to what to do with it. And leaving it alone is one of them -- so long as (a) it's invested well (i.e., good investment choice, low/no fees, etc) and (b) it's incorporated into the rest of your retirement savings planning (i.e., it should be invested in a way which complements or balances out whatever other retirement investments you have, such as employer-based 401(k) plans).

If you mean by "an IRA" an IRA *account* but you have other IRA accounts, nothing stopping you from rolling that money into another IRA account and doing some consolidating.

Some remaining options for that IRA account (aside from leaving it alone and/or consolidating it into other existing IRA accounts) include (a) cashing it out -- which likely will mean paying taxes and penalties, as well as depleting, a little, your future retirement stash; and (b) performing a Roth conversion -- which may also mean paying some taxes now -- which would allow the money to grow for many years to come -- tax *free* -- and also potentially allow you to get at the amount converted, if you need to, without further penalties, in as soon as 5 years.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 09.20.20 @ 05:20


April 08, 2016

Hi Bobbie,

Certainly, you can leave that $1K IRA alone. I'm more concerned about why you are not contributing to it? Are you contributing to something else?

For example;
$1K at a 15% CAGR will become $8k in 20 yrs (you will be 60 then). Would this be important to you? You could make this happen by investing it efficiently.

Always do what is in your best interest. Give us a call to discuss your situation in greater detail. No obligation. My job is to eliminate risk and demand your satisfaction. So, let's get you where you need to be financially and keep you there.

It's not what you make, It's what you keep that determines your lifestyle

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 09.20.20 @ 05:20