NinjaPigeon - My Flight to Financial Independence

Friday, May 26, 2006

Fidelity 401k Rollover to Vanguard IRA

Well, this week I finally was able to get this process going. There were some paperwork issues to resolve with Fidelity prior to starting the rollover. First was that my former employer still listed me as an employee. Took care of that in April. Then I had to update my address. That took the first 3 weeks of May. The person on the phone told me that on May 16th I'd be able to start the rollover.

Called Vanguard on Monday the 22nd and they helped me pick the right options on the account request. When I told them the company I'd be rolling money from was Fidelity they informed me Fidelity would only issue checks to them, and not any of the easier methods. So I got the name to have the check endorsed to as well as the address to mail it to. I was able to get the application completed in a relatively short time after my quick phone call to their support number.

Finally I called Fidelity and was able to request they close my 401k and issue a check to me. They got confused at first and were trying to roll my old 401k into my new one. Got that sorted out and they said I'd have the check by June 1st. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to know how much the check is for, as it is based on the NAV on the day of closing. When I logged in that night to check what the NAV had been, my account balance was $0. Apparently Fidelity wastes no time in getting the account closed and the check sent!

Okay, so the process was painless enough, and I'm just waiting on my check now. But I made some mistakes that cost me some money. Mainly, I was being lazy, and so instead of requesting a check on the 16th, I didn't request it until the 22nd. As we all know, the Market has had a rough couple of weeks. So taking my time to get my check cut actually resulted in a check that was between $200 and $400 less than it could have been. If I had sold on the 16th, I'd have still had that money, with funds still getting cheaper, resulting in more buying power once my check arrives at Vanguard. Oh well, you live and you learn.

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