Etrade Roth IRA review, Traditional IRA, 401k Rollover, SEP and SIMPLE IRA. Etrade retirement accounts fees, rating, commissions, and minimums.

Rating:  Etrade brokerage firm rating

Etrade Individual Retirement Accounts Overview

Retirement savers looking for an IRA should check out Etrade. With a wide selection of different types of Individual Retirement Accounts along with good customer service, investors saving for life after work can do well here.

Etrade IRA Types

Etrade offers investors several different IRA's. The broker's clients can open Roth, Traditional, SIMPLE, or SEP accounts. The firm also offers a OneStop Rollover. This account converts a 401(k) into a professionally-managed IRA. It is supervised by Etrade Capital Management, and the minimum rollover amount is $10,000.

The broker also offers a Beneficiary IRA (in both Roth and Traditional formats). It is a type of inherited account. It is created by a beneficiary of a Roth, Traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE account.

Retirees at Etrade can open a Complete IRA. This type of retirement account is for people over the age of 59½. Account holders can make withdrawals with a debit card, checks, and bill pay.

An IRA for Minors is also available at Etrade. This product is a Roth or Traditional account that is opened in the name of a legal minor who has earned income for the tax year.

Etrade has retirement specialists available at 1-877-921-2434 who can assist people with questions about any of the firm's IRA's.

Etrade IRA Selector

Etrade IRA Costs

An IRA with Etrade comes with no setup, inactivity, or annual fees. Paper statements do cost $2. Making any type of early withdrawal (before the age of 59½) carries a $25 fee. Excess contributions are also assessed a $25 charge. Another $25 charge, a recharacterization fee, is applied to a Roth IRA conversion that is converted back to a Traditional, or when a contribution is changed from a Roth to a Traditional.

Inside a retirement account, Etrade customers pay the same commission schedule as any other account pays. The broker charges $6.95 for stock and ETF trades that are placed on-line. Alternatively, traders can buy and sell securities using a living, breathing broker over the phone. This route costs an additional $25.

IRA Tools

A good library of calculators and educational materials are on the Etrade website to help retirement savers manage their own retirement accounts. For example, the broker has a helpful tool that guides users step-by-step to help determine whether a Roth or Traditional IRA would be a better choice.

Etrade IRA Tools

A retirement distribution tool helps investors calculate if and when distributions should be taken from an IRA. Helpful advice is also given by the tool. This advice covers certain situations, such as when an account has both deductible and non-deductible contributions, or when an account has investment losses.

Other resources include an IRA rollover tool, a calculator that determines required minimum distributions from an account, a conversion calculator, a small business plan selector, and an IRA beneficiary calculator.

Etrade ROTH IRA Review: Money Needed

Besides calculators and tools, the Etrade website also has good educational resources for retirement savers. Articles cover topics such as contribution limits, saving for retirement, and portfolio management during retirement. There is also information on retirement plans for small businesses and a FAQ covering important requirement issues. Videos and web seminars cover topics such as setting retirement goals and retirement planning.

Funds for IRA's

Retirement savers interested in mutual funds won't be disappointed with Etrade. The broker offers over 2,000 funds with no transaction fee and no load. In total, there are more than 7,400 mutual funds available to trade.

Seventy target-date mutual funds are available at Etrade. Some of them have no load and no transaction fee. These products are ideal for retirement savers. Each fund has a target date, such as 2035, that is the expected date of retirement. As the date approaches, the fund becomes more conservative in its investment strategies, taking on less equity and more debt.

Etrade clients who aren't interested in mutual funds should consider the broker's list of commission-free ETF's. There are over 100 exchange-traded funds that cost nothing to buy and sell. The broker does impose a short-term trading fee if a commission-free ETF is held less than a month. Many of these ETF's have investment objectives that will appeal to retirement savers, such as a dividend fund and a real estate fund. All of the funds on the commission-free list have expense ratios below 1.00%, and many are below 0.50%.

Etrade IRA Review: Distributions

The Good

Etrade has more calculators and retirement information compared to Merrill Edge. Its list of mutual and exchange-traded funds is much more extensive than what Firstrade offers. Etrade has eight different types of IRA's, whereas Merrill Edge offers only five.

The Bad

Etrade's $6.95 commission is steep compared to Ally Invest ($3.95 or $4.95). The broker also has fewer commission free mutual funds and ETF's than TD Ameritrade. Etrade's $25 IRA fees are rather disappointing compared to TD Ameritrade, which has no IRA fees at all.

Etrade IRA Review Conclusion

Etrade customers who are trying to save for retirement can find good resources on the broker's website. With a large selection of IRA types and funds the firm is a good option for retirement saving. But anyone who invests in stocks or ETFs will find better pricing at other brokers.

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Etrade IRA reviewed by Rating: 4