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*Linking* retirement accounts?

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spiceydog
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*Linking* retirement accounts?  Reply with quote  

My husband and I recently paid off our house (YAY!), and now we're throwing everything toward retirement. As a married couple (and Christians) we've shared everything, but when it comes to retirement accounts, I was amazed to find that, in dealing with online accounts, it doesn't seem to be possible.

I understand the IRS has mandated that retirement investment accounts are for individuals only, and there's privacy rules to contend with. I figured there might be a waiver screen/warning/etc. or the like to get something like this done. Nevertheless, I was more than a little dismayed to find that the Christian company we chose to get our Roth IRA's through won't even consider linking our accounts. Everything is separated. (Which was shocking to me since, during our introductory meetings, we were given an example of a quarterly statement from a fictional couple; listing "Joe and Betty Smith's" assets and accounts side by side. So I definitely made assumptions.)

This just seems wrong to me; kind of like encouraging a couple to keep secrets from each other. And financial secrets as a married couple is one of the worst kinds, IMO.

Honestly, I kind of pictured it might be something like our insurance carrier's site where there's a tab for each account, or that it might be possible to opt in for that. Apparently not. Is this the case with EVERY investment firm? Is there some law or regulation that says a spouse can't even *see* the other spouse's account?

Apologies if this seems to be a stupid question. I simply cannot find any info on the web about it, and few investment companies have this info in their FAQ (if they make even that available).

Thank you for all you do!!
Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:01 am
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ken-do-nim
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I believe retirement accounts are designed to be for individuals and not couples because age plays a factor. If one spouse is 60 and the other is 50, can the money be accessed? If the couple can access the money, then the 50 year old is able to put away money and use it immediately. If the couple can't access the money, then the 60 year old is forced to wait 9.5 more years before retirement is possible.

I can't speak to the visibility issue. Obviously you can share your usernames & passwords with one another.
Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:56 am
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spiceydog
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Thanks for the response! No, I'm clear on the retirement accounts for individuals *only* thing, and not couples. Though really, with that example, whether investment accounts were for individuals or couples, the younger spouse is going to be party to, and benefit from, the older spouses retirement income if they're sharing the same household. That's really not what I wrote about though.

I'm trying to figure out why spouses don't seem to be permitted to see each others accounts, or link to them from their own account? I really shouldn't have to log in as my husband on a different screen and put them side by side when they should be on the same page if we want them to be.

Is this a company by company issue? Is this common? Maybe I'm hoping someone here is married and knows of a company that makes this possible.
Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:14 am
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oldguy
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Ours pull up on one page. His Ira, Her Ira, His roth, Her roth, Our taxable fund, etc. One user name, one password. It's with Vanguard. I don't remember how our representative did it - but it wasn't and issue. Like I wanted to open a single screen and see all of our investments.
Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:55 am
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oldguy
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Like YOU
Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:58 am
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spiceydog
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Bless your heart oldguy, this is EXACTLY what I needed to know! I posted over at the Morningstar forums also and learned that T.Rowe and Schwab also make this an option along with Vanguard. I just don't understand why the company that we're with has made this so difficult, and I'm waiting for an answer back from them about it.

I perused at length the Vanguard site some weeks ago and liked what I saw, so maybe I'll be doing this myself before much longer.

Thanks again for your response oldguy! Very Happy
Post Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:11 am
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wmc1000
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other ways to "link" accts  Reply with quote  

Along with Fidelity who we use, you can also "aggregate" account balances through 3rd party sites such as Personal Capital.

Or if you have an account with an Insurance Company, many allow you to link to other financial websites and "collect" your balances to show your net worth at a glance.

We do this through Northwestern Mutual and we have linked all of our investment accts. both taxable bank accts. and investment accts. and non-taxable, (IRA's , 401K;s, etc.). Additionally we have linked out credit card accts., HSA accts, mortgage,, home value, autos, etc so that we have a continually updates net worth snapshot.

Hope this info may be of further assistance even though it has been several weeks since your original post!
Post Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:28 pm
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