Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

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ResearchMed
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by ResearchMed »

TN_Boy wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:31 am
Mike Scott wrote: Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:20 am A couple of others have also posted about relatives helping etc and proximity is not a major issue. Based on what you say, it seems to me that your wife needs a complete financial manager on a routine basis (family or not) when you are no longer able to do it. Her mobility is less important than her willingness and ability to navigate checkbooks, online accounts, health care, taxes and phone calls etc. You may be underestimating the complexity of what you are doing.
Is there someone you trust to take your place as daily manager?
Is this a situation for a setting up a trust fund of some sort?
What about 100% conversion of investments to SPIA deposited to a local bank savings/checking account for simplicity while you are still able to do it?
Is this a case where paying more for more simplicity is the better solution?

I may be over interpreting your remarks, but your wife sounds like an easy future target/victim of financial fraud.

It has come up in other discussions about the potential need for end of life professional management of routine personal financial services going way beyond what is normally considered investment management. Do these services even exist? What would they look like (and cost) if they did?
I agree with a lot of this post, except the advice on converting all investments to SPIAs. That can't make any sense without a full understanding of the Sheepdog family finances, which is not the question on the table. I cannot come up with a situation where converting *all* investments to SPIAs would make sense, nor does it really solve the problem of someone being unable to manage their finances (it merely simplifies the income stream a bit, which doesn't solve all the other problems you have when somebody is having trouble managing money).

My SPIA digression aside, your post is kinda where I was going, should (I have no strong opinion either way not knowing the specifics) someone now be groomed to take over some/all of the money management when sheepdog, for whatever reason, cannot? After one of my inlaws died, my wife was given full visibility into the surviving inlaws accounts, and was able to give advice if needed (and it generally wasn't) and in a good position to take over if necessary.
In addition to the above, I can't imagine putting everything, or even "almost everything" into an SPIA, and I someone who absolutely plans to use SPIAs starting a bit later. Some, a good chunk, should remain behind for any lumpy, unexpected expenses.

That aside, a trust won't help much in this situation. A trust might limit what a beneficiary or anyone else has access to or could do with the money, but it won't help with decision making.
Someone needs to administer the trust, make sure disbursements go out or whatever other requirements or choices are done.

For those who are older, this could well be a trusted family member or friend who has PoA (preferably DPoA, to avoid complications surrounding "is competency an issue yet").
... and then it's back to square 1 in this case.

And then, as mentioned above (embedded), there are the other issues:

One *might* need someone like a guardian, as there are other non-financial issues anyway. Who is checking about medical care or getting someone it?
Or if the drain gets totally clogged?
Who makes sure the utilities are being paid in a timely fashion?
Etc.
These problems may come much later than the "investing decisions", but if there is really a problem finding basic help for that, have the later, more mundane issues been addressed?

Something to think about...
These are very serious questions and issues, of course, questions that may well face an aging couple as well. It's not gender or marital status specific. Usually it's age-related, but not always.
(How do those who need to plan for a relative, especially someone younger, needing life long care handle this if there aren't trusted relatives nearby?)

Perhaps one could start by contacting the local Elder Affairs type group at local government, to get started on such a process?
And perhaps this topic should become a new thread?

RM
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tomd37
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by tomd37 »

Sheepdog,
This is a very timely and interesting post for me to see and read. Our combined ages are the same as yours (me 83 and wife 85) and this is a subject I have been thinking and reading about for the past year or two. I initially considered the possibility of using Fidelity, but now Charles Schwab comes into play. Both have offices seven miles away near each other. We basically have a 40/60 stock bond allocation with TSM (VTSAX) and TBM (VBTLX). I will continue following this post and consider the whole matter further. Our only surviving child is 600 miles away in NC and has full power of attorney, if needed, through our recently reviewed and updated joint revocable living trust.

Thanks for posting your thoughts and concerns and thanks to all who have responded thus far. Everyone's comments are appreciated.
Tom D.
Bill2020
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by Bill2020 »

One other thing to remember if your wife doesn't use a computer is paperless. Almost every bill I get is by email, very few are delivered by USPS.
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goingup
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by goingup »

Sheepdog-
I think it's a good idea. The move will likely give you both a measure of comfort that Vanguard can't provide. Local store, in-person assistance. This seems like a good fit for your situation.
bondsr4me
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by bondsr4me »

goingup wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:51 am Sheepdog-
I think it's a good idea. The move will likely give you both a measure of comfort that Vanguard can't provide. Local store, in-person assistance. This seems like a good fit for your situation.
+1
Totally agree.
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Sheepdog
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by Sheepdog »

UPDATE: To my Boglehead friends.
We are transferring my spouse's Rollover and Roth IRAs to Schwab ( and adding a money market brokerage settlement account).
The Schwab agency here is a franchise, not a company agency. I didn't realize that it was a franchise until we interviewed him. He said his was one of the first franchise offered. He had been a Raymond James agent before this. I don't hold that against him because he said the Schwab fee structure and investment opportunities for himself and his clients are much better
He is transferring her investments (Wellesley Admiral and Balanced Index) from Vanguard directly. We should not notice any difference. A brokerage settlement account was also opened to have money market checking account available for her. (There will not be any trading.) She is very happy to be able to see the investment company personnel in person and have a person closeby to talk with.
I may move my accounts to Schwab in the future, after I find out how this really works out. That would also help her after I pass on.
Thanks to all of you who have given advice.
Woof
“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” — Chinese Proverb
sport
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by sport »

Sheepdog wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:45 pm UPDATE: To my Boglehead friends.
We are transferring my spouse's Rollover and Roth IRAs to Schwab ( and adding a money market brokerage settlement account).
The Schwab agency here is a franchise, not a company agency. I didn't realize that it was a franchise until we interviewed him. He said his was one of the first franchise offered. He had been a Raymond James agent before this. I don't hold that against him because he said the Schwab fee structure and investment opportunities for himself and his clients are much better
He is transferring her investments (Wellesley Admiral and Balanced Index) from Vanguard directly. We should not notice any difference. A brokerage settlement account was also opened to have money market checking account available for her. (There will not be any trading.) She is very happy to be able to see the investment company personnel in person and have a person closeby to talk with.
I may move my accounts to Schwab in the future, after I find out how this really works out. That would also help her after I pass on.
Thanks to all of you who have given advice.
Woof
Jim,
What would happen to this franchise if the broker died or decided to retire. If the office would close in such an event, Mrs. Sheepdog would be in the same situation as she was with Vanguard. There might be no one "close by to talk with".
chw
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by chw »

Sheepdog wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:44 am
delamer wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:22 am Can you transfer the assets in-kind?

Even if there were some one-time fees involved, that could be your best option.
She only has Vanguard Wellesley and Balanced Index and I don't believe that they can do that, but it wouldn't hu

rt to ask,Thank you.
Woof
Schwab can accept Vanguard funds. There will be a fee for future purchases of the same funds however. Once you get assigned an advisor, ask for a fee waiver for future purchases of these funds (in case you want to add to those positions).

Also, before moving the funds, ask Schwab for a transfer bonus- they should offer you one based on what your wife is moving.
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Sheepdog
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by Sheepdog »

sport wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:58 pm [What would happen to this franchise if the broker died or decided to retire. If the office would close in such an event, Mrs. Sheepdog would be in the same situation as she was with Vanguard. There might be no one "close by to talk with".
What happens happens. Life is like that.
“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” — Chinese Proverb
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jeffyscott
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by jeffyscott »

Sheepdog wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:10 am
sport wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:58 pm [What would happen to this franchise if the broker died or decided to retire. If the office would close in such an event, Mrs. Sheepdog would be in the same situation as she was with Vanguard. There might be no one "close by to talk with".
What happens happens. Life is like that.
If it has some value, why wouldn't the business be sold to a new franchisee, like any other business where the owner retires or dies?

Also there may be more branches in the same metro area, either other "independent" branches or Schwab owned.
The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions. ― John C. Bogle
FireFool
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by FireFool »

Have you considered staying with Vanguard but adding using their "Agent Authorization Form" to add a (really) trusted child onto both your accounts? Per their website - "Use this process to add or maintain various levels of access or establish Power of Attorney on your account(s)". At age 80+ already, it's a very real probability that you or she may require someone to step in to assist with your financials if your physical or mental abilities become impaired. This really has to be a case where you have complete and total trust in the "agent" / child you appoint in that to fully assist your spouse they need identical abilities/authorizations as she herself has. I have that authority for my 89 year old mother although I have yet to exercise any transactions on her behalf as we aren't changing any investment choices and the only transaction that's occurring is the annual RMD. For now my Mom still has most of her mental acuity so she would see any unauthorized activity I did in the paper statements that continue to be mailed to her. Theoretically I could sign her up for e-statements and execute transactions against her best interests that are hidden. I also could be effecting investment decisions that my siblings may not agree with. I can't state how important it is that the person has to be someone that you have 100% trust in to look after your spouse and to also have an attitude of equity for all the eventual heirs.

Edit: this "agent" could take on the responsibility of doing any of the needed e-transactions your wife might need - the primary point of your post in regards to her lack of computer literacy/interest.
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Sheepdog
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by Sheepdog »

Bill2020 wrote: Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:12 am One other thing to remember if your wife doesn't use a computer is paperless. Almost every bill I get is by email, very few are delivered by USPS.
I am sorry that I did not answer your comment earlier. I must have missed it.
I have ALL bills and ALL investment statements mailed to us. We cannot be paperless on anything. Even now, all bills are put in a file folder when received and all investment statements are filed in notebooks. (Many or most of the bills are auto paid.) They are removed from the folder when paid (by check or auto pay) so she will know where to take over when I can't do it. ( She took care of all bill paying before I retired, so she will be fine.)
However, a problem will probably occur when neither of us are able to pay the bills (dead or incapacitated). I guess we won't care then, but I should help out our children, shouldn't I? OK, when our sons come here for Thanksgiving, as they always do for major holidays, I will show them where that file folder is and update them of all of the financial stuff. It has been several years since I had a family financial discussion. Thanks for getting me thinking of that.
“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” — Chinese Proverb
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Sheepdog
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by Sheepdog »

ResearchMed wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:50 am

Also: Does she have any charge cards that are in HER name, and *not* as a supplemental account holder on your main account.
You might want to make sure she has at least two of those in place (different networks such as VISA and MasterCard, or MasterCard and Amex), so those are ready to go. Charge some annually recurring expense on that/those.


RM
Thank you for this and your other comments. Much appreciated.
Because of the above comment, she now has two credit cards in her name only, which she did not have before. Thank you again.
Woof
“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” — Chinese Proverb
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Sheepdog
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by Sheepdog »

ResearchMed wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:36 pm
In case it helps, Schwab was by far the easiest in terms of Powers of Attorney, etc.
They accepted MIL's Trust docs and DPoA, neither of which used Schwab's own forms, and neither of which were signed/notarized in the presence of anyone from Schwab. In other words, the docs worked the way we though they should.

The only thing was that the Trust docs were lengthy, so they took a copy for review, approved it all, and that was that.

RM
Well, we tried to do that (give them our Trust Durable POA). The agency will not accept it. My wife must use their POA form. If the need arrives when death occurs, they will accept our POA. I think theirs should be fine though.
Thank you
“One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” — Chinese Proverb
RetiredAL
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Re: Moving my wife's investments to Schwab?

Post by RetiredAL »

Sheepdog wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:38 am
ResearchMed wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:36 pm
In case it helps, Schwab was by far the easiest in terms of Powers of Attorney, etc.
They accepted MIL's Trust docs and DPoA, neither of which used Schwab's own forms, and neither of which were signed/notarized in the presence of anyone from Schwab. In other words, the docs worked the way we though they should.

The only thing was that the Trust docs were lengthy, so they took a copy for review, approved it all, and that was that.

RM
Well, we tried to do that (give them our Trust Durable POA). The agency will not accept it. My wife must use their POA form. If the need arrives when death occurs, they will accept our POA. I think theirs should be fine though.
Thank you
Here's the Schwab form for a POA Agent to submit an external POA to Schwab.

https://www.schwab.com/public/file/P-11 ... n_Fact.pdf

Their standard POA is processed as a routine account item. An external POA is reviewed by their legal people.
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