So glad I found this board, I only wish I would've spent the time to learn more about Vanguard years ago, it may have saved me from the headache I'm trying to get out of now, Ameriprise!
So I want to first start-off by giving a real-quick overview of myself/family, and what we got to where we are, so hopefully others on this board can quickly help steer/guide me along the right path.
My Wife and I have been married 10 years now, I'm 38, she's 40. We have 2 children, ages 8 & 5. I'm employed (engineer), and am quite blessed in that I make a decent salary, so that she has been able to stay home with the kids since my first child was born.
We are debt free, with the exception of our home mortgage, and one car loan. So essentially I have quite a bit of comfort room for available cash every month versus outgoing expenses.
My wife and I inherited Amerprise accounts (Roths & Trad. IRAs) a few years back, due to the unfortunate passing of both her parents. We essentially have just left the accounts as is, only doing the required RMDs, we tapped into it one single time, only to use a chunk of cash to assist with our downpayment on our new house we just moved to....
We of course were automatically assigned an Ameriprise advisor, since we inherited the accounts. Throughout my work history, I always contributed a decent amount to the 401k of each company I've worked for throughout the years, but never took the time to research investing much further than that. So needless to say, when we finally allowed the Ameriprise advisor to review everything with us, we fell for the pitch, including Financial planning services.
All said and done, I allowed Amp. to rollover two 401ks I had sitting idle from previous employers, plus little accounts I had sitting in Etrade that I never really funded, plus dupe me into half a dozen different VULs, some on me, some on my wife, some on the kids!
Thankfully the VULs are only a few months old, hardly anything cash wish in them yet, If I flat out surrender them...SCs are 10-15 years on most, so I obviously will lose 100% of whatever is in them.
What I just realized, is my one 401k was rolled into an Ameriprise "Riversource RAVA 5 Advantage" Variable Annuity (deferred)..... $40,000 value. 7 year Surrender period.
Two weeks ago, I setup a new Vanguard account, and setup my first transfer from this Ameriprise pile of accounts. I setup to transfer my other 401k Rollover, that was just sitting in an Ameriprise IRA account, but only in a Money Market fund.
My ultimate goal is to get everything out from Amp. that I can get out, and into Vanguard. Then once I reach that stage, I can hopefully get some good help from folks on here how to best invest that money!
But at this point, I wanted to pass my initial questions on the bogle experts here!
1) My plan moving forward is to surrender all of these VULs, since all have less than $1k in any them (all have only been open 8
months or less), I will chalk up this total loss as a "lesson learned".....
Does everyone agree this is the right move with these??
2) Can I do anything with this "Ameriprise $40k annuity", without losing the approx. $5k SC? even with a 1035 exchange to
something at Vanguard, I still pay that SC, right?
3) I would assume with my other Inherited IRAs, I should just move them straight into similar Traditional IRA accounts at VG?
4) Is there anything at all with Vanguard, that I should be aware of now (before moving more over), related to any surrender
charges, or account rules, etc, that would "lock me in" or tie up my money, that could lead me into a similiar situation where my money is "tied up" in rules,
(basically just covering worst case scenario, if for some reason I did want to take my money out, could it possibly have
pains like Ameriprise)
I don't want to ever get myself in a mess like this again with any Advising company, I certainly have the brain power to make my own investment decisions, I always made the false assumptions in the past that the "market" was too complicated for me to understand, and I had to leave those things to the pros (ie Amex/Amerprise, Smith Barney, Schwab, etc)....
So I did start from the advice here on the Wiki, got the recommended books, etc....and began the process to VG...hopefully finally moving in the right direction!
Thanks so much for any help you all can provide!