Advisor Fees From Retirement Accounts


Deducting Section 212 Expenses

Financial Advisor Fees | Your Retirement Authority

Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code – entitled “Expenses for the Production of Income” – details the deductibility of expenses associated with an individual’s money and financial issues. Under Section 212, there are three categories of deductible costs, including: “all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year:

  • for the production or collection of income
  • for the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held for the production of income or
  • in connection with the determination, collection, or refund of any tax.”

Notably, there is a requirement for the fee to be deductible to be attributable to income, which the IRS has interpreted to mean taxable income as a result, investment management fees for tax-exempt investments like municipal bonds are not deductible. Traditional investment advisory fees, though, including ongoing AUM and wrap fees, generally are deductible as long as they’re not directly attributable to the management of tax-exempt assets.

Where To Find Info On Financial Advisor Fee Schedules

To figure out the financial advisor costs you may be charged, look at the firms Form ADV . On this form, a firm must clearly note each fee type that it charges for its investment advisory services. Specifically, in Section 5, the firm must check off each type of fee that it charges clients for its investment advisory services.

In Part II of the Form ADV , the firm will provide greater detail. That includes information on whether the firm earns money in any way aside from client fees. The brochure will also include specifics on how the firm calculates fees.

Is A Million Dollars Enough For A Couple To Retire

Is a million dollars enough money to ensure a financially secure retirement today? A recent study determined that a $1 million retirement nest egg will last about 19 years on average. Based on this, if you retire at age 65 and live until you turn 84, $1 million will be enough retirement savings for you.

Recommended Reading: Is An Ira A Retirement Plan

Fee Study: How Much Does A Fiduciary

Eric Droblyen

When a business owner needs help picking investments for their 401 plan, my advice to them is always the same hire a fiduciary-grade 401 financial advisor. The reason only advisors bound by a fiduciary standard of care have a legal obligation to give impartial investment advice to their clients. In contrast, its perfectly legal for non-fiduciary advisors who are bound by a lesser suitability standard to give conflicted advice by steering their clients towards high-commission investments when lower-cost alternatives exist. In general, fiduciary-grade 401 advisors include investment advisers, but not brokers and insurance agents.

The irony? Even though fiduciary-grade 401 financial advisors are bound by a higher standard of care than non-fiduciaries, their investment advice often costs less. Dont take my word for it. Check out our latest fee study of fiduciary-grade 401 advisors.

Less Is Definitely More For Core Funds

Wells Fargo Advisors Review

If your advisor is using mostly low-cost index mutual funds or ETFs, your average weighted expense ratio should likely be less than 0.25%. Plenty of U.S. stock index funds and ETFs charge less than 0.10%. International stock and bond funds might run a bit more.

If your advisor has you invested in funds and ETFs that charge more, thats worth a conversation, if you are also paying the advisor an assets-under-management fee. If the portfolio is mostly actively managed funds, you need to make sure youre on board with that approach.

Over long periods, very few actively managed funds consistently out-perform index funds, especially in the biggest corners of the market.

For instance, the investment category known as large-cap blend includes portfolios that invest in the S& P 500 index. According to Morningstar, a mere 15% of actively managed large-cap funds managed to outperform large-cap index funds over the 15 years through 2020. The under-performance gap was 1.4 percentage points on average: 12.4% vs. 13.8%.

Expense ratios are likely to be an even more important factor in your investment success in the coming years, as many market pros expect the long-term returns for U.S. stocks to be much lower than what we have experienced for the past 10 years. One example: Based on current economic conditions, Vanguard estimates U.S. stocks might deliver in the range of 2.6% to 4.6% annualized over the next 10 years. For core U.S. bonds the expectation is a return no higher than 2.4%.

Read Also: Best Financial Plan For Retirement

Extra Financial Advisor Costs You May Encounter

The financial advisor cost might not be all you pay when opening an account. In addition to paying the advisor, youll also be responsible for brokerage, custodial and other third-party fees. For instance, if a financial advisor uses mutual funds or exchange-traded funds in your account, youll have to pay costs associated with those funds in addition to the fee that you pay your advisor.

These costs can add up. The average cost of a mutual fund is 1.25%, though low-cost funds can cost less than 0.50%. According to a NerdWallet analysis, a 1% mutual fund fee can cost a young investor as much as $590,000 over 40 years. When discussing fees with your financial advisor, you should be sure to ask about any additional costs you may incur.

Identify And Prioritize Goals

Your online questionnaire helps you capture, prioritize, and categorize your short- or long-term goals. And your advisor will work with you on a financial plan to realize them. But your plan is a living document that can evolve as life changes.

Adjust your goals

Securely log in to your account and make adjustments in goals. Whether you want to change your goals or their priority, or adjust the time horizon.

Check your progress

You can always monitor your plan online. And twice a year, your advisor will reach out to review your plan with you and assess progress on your goals.

Get guidance when needed

If you experience a significant life event or financial changes, or if you want reassurance during market uncertainty, you can turn to your advisor.

You May Like: What To Do About Health Insurance If You Retire Early

Pay Roth Ira Fees With Outside Taxable Funds

For years prior to 2018, even though taxpayers were generally able to take a deduction for investment management fees, fees attributable to Roth IRAs were not deductible because they were not for the production of taxable income. Just as advisory fees attributable municipal bonds were prohibited from being deducted, so too were the fees attributable to Roth IRAs, as both investments are meant to produce Federally-income-tax-free income, and not taxable income, for which the deduction is allowed.

Nevertheless, to the extent possible, it was still better to pay Roth IRA fees with outside taxable dollars. By doing so , taxpayers were allowing an amount equal to their fee to remain in the Roth IRA, growing tax- and penalty-free, while paying that amount with taxable funds, for which every dollar of future interest, dividends, and capital gains would have otherwise been taxable.

Since the advisory fees attributable to Roth IRAs were never deductible in the first place , the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not change the calculus, and it is essentially business as usual. Such fees should continue to be paid with outside taxable funds, not because of the tax treatment of the fees, per se, but simply to allow the maximum amount of money inside the Roth IRA to grow tax-free.

Annuities The Elephant In The Room

1% Financial Advisor Fees vs MPI® Fees

Regarding retirement accounts and rollover advice, much of the regulatory angst involved recommendations to roll over into an annuityan annuity provides for tax-deferred growth and, in some cases, lifetime income. However, retirement accounts already provide for tax-deferred growth, so why pay the additional costs that annuities usually have for something theyre already getting?

Also, unlike mutual funds, annuities do not provide accumulation rights. So, for example, if clients roll over $1,000,000 from their 401 to American Funds, the third largest mutual fund company, they pay no commissionthe bigger the deposit, the smaller the commission. But, in this case, the financial professional still gets paid 1%, and American Funds adds a 1% charge if the money leaves within 18 months.

It is the same scenario if one million dollars are rolled into an annuity. The commission earned could be as high as 6% or $60,000 instead of the $10,000 earned by using a mutual fund. Also, the annuity could impose surrender charges, requiring the customer to pay a fee if they withdraw over a certain amount.

Interestingly, companies profits from selling annuities were less than hoped. First, as volatility in the stock market was exposed, they underpriced some income guarantees. Plus, the precipitous drop in interest rates ate into the interest rate earned on reserves they were required to put aside to pay those guarantees. Thus, the rollover into an annuity does not look so bad.

You May Like: How To Protect Retirement Assets From Divorce

Is There An Investment Minimum To Get Started

Yesyou can receive a Financial Plan with just $250,000 in qualifying T. Rowe Price accounts or new investable assets.

T. Rowe Price account types that qualify:

  • Individual or joint accounts

  • Roth Rollover and Rollover IRAs

  • Revocable Trust accounts

  • Traditional or Roth inherited IRAs

  • Transfer on Death accounts

The following account types dont qualify or count toward the minimum. However, you can include them in your Financial Plan to provide us with a more complete view of your financial situation.

  • Workplace Retirement Accounts , 403 accounts)

  • Education Savings Plan Accounts

Not sure if you qualify for this service or which accounts are eligible? We can help. Call .

Financial Advisors Are Part Of The Problem

Financial advisors often charge an Assets Under Management fee – usually 1%.

That means you pay your advisor a percentage of your accounts. As your money grows, so too does their fee. Unfortunately, their services usually stay the same. And if youd like to see a detailed breakdown of the fees from the investments they chose, good luck. The fees are buried in statements or netted off returns, or both. We bet your financial advisor doesn’t even know.

Recommended Reading: Garnishment Of Social Security Retirement Benefits

To Ensure A Successful Planning Experience:

  • Its best to set aside 30 to 60 minutes for the questionnaire.
  • If you need a break, pause and come back later. Your information is saved automatically as you go.

What to expect on your questionnaire

Agree to the Terms of the Service:

  • Review key facts about the Service.
  • Review Service documents and confirm your acceptance of the Service Terms.
  • Consider inviting a planning partner to join your plan.

Tell us about yourself, your finances, and your goals:

  • Basics about you, your family, and your financial goals.
  • Concerns and expectations for the future.
  • Your annual income and current retirement savings.
  • If linking outside investment accounts: You may need to have your login credentials available.
  • If entering accounts manually: You will need your financial statements, such as quarterly mutual fund statements, year-end brokerage statements, or pension statements, if applicable.

We Offer 2 Compensation Models Based On Whats Best For You

Pricing Information

Our belief is that comprehensive retirement planning, coupled with prudent asset or portfolio management, offers the highest probability of enjoying a successful retirement. We offer various fee methods to choose from for your ultimate flexibility.

Comprehensive Services Provided:

We stress test your current retirement against many different market environments utilizing sophisticated technology. If necessary, proper adjustments will be discussed to increase the probability of a better retirement outcome.

Tax Efficiency Assessment We create a tax efficient income distribution strategy to reduce taxes and ultimately increase the probability of portfolio survival.

Social Security Timing Strategy We assess multiple Social Security filing strategies to determine the most efficient strategy to maximize this benefit.

Portfolio Analysis and Management We create a high quality, low-cost, optimized portfolio by combining the growth potential of stocks with guarantees provided by Fixed Index Annuities.

Risk Management We develop a life insurance and Long-Term Care needs analysis to assess and then minimize potential risks.

Ask the Advisor Service We offer unlimited access to your retirement advisor via email or personal meetings anytime to address questions or concerns.

Payment Method #1 Hourly FeeAn hourly fee can be utilized to provide Retirement Planning, Financial Planning or Portfolio Management services. Hourly fee for services: $200

Read Also: T Rowe Price Retirement Customer Service

Understanding Hidden Retirement Account Fees

Owner of Quest Education, teaching business owners about funding, paying off debt, and investing in alternative assets.


Most people are familiar with the fees that accompany their cellphone, gym membership or streaming service such as Netflix. What most people don’t know is how much the fees are associated with their retirement accounts. Seven out of 10 people don’t know how much they are paying inside their 401 accounts.

Not knowing the fees inside a retirement account can eat at the total sum of money and impact someone’s lifestyle as they get older. The differences in final values of investments with different fees can have a massive impact on the future value. For example, take a $50,000 investment that returns 6% a year and has a total annual fee of 2.25% that is held for 30 years. After 30 years, the value would total $145,093.83. A fund with the same amount invested and same annual returns but with a yearly fee of 0.45% would total $250,832.55 after 30 years.

A big reason most people aren’t aware of these fees is that most of the costs are hidden and don’t show on the monthly or quarterly statements financial companies provide.

Let’s start with some of the basics of the stock market and the fees tied to these investments.


If someone purchases one share of Apple stock or 10 shares of Apple stock, there could be a trade fee of a few dollars or no trade fee at all. Most Wall Street companies are moving toward a zero-trade-fee business model.

Mutual Funds

The Fiduciary Standard And Financial Advisor Fees

The best assurance you can get that your financial advisor works to minimize your fees is if they follow the fiduciary standard.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a financial advisor, wealth manager, or Registered Investment Advisor who adheres to the standard requiring them to only give financial advice that is in the best interests of the client. It is not a toothless promise. An advisor not doing this who claims to do it can be held accountable.

For a fiduciary, how much a financial advisor costs cannot be tied to his or her interests.

This is crazy:

A 2015 report found that savers receiving conflicted advice earn returns roughly 1% lower per yearwe estimate the aggregate annual cost of conflicted advice is about $17 billion each year.

Did you catch that?

Not only do you pay more for non-fiduciary financial advice, but in most cases, your investments do worse too.

As investors, youre losing on both fronts with how much a financial advisor costs and with how much youre earning.

Few commission-based advisors also act as fiduciaries . Thus, you shouldnt expect your investments to perform better when managed by a commission-based advisor. Based on that report, youll do worse, and youll be paying 3-6% for the privilege.

Recommended Reading: What To Do When I Retire At 55

Why A Financial Advisor’s Fee Structure Matters

No matter which type of financial planning service you choose, be sure to understand exactly how much you’ll pay for services and what the services entail. That’s especially important with a traditional human advisor because there are so many different payment structures used. Before hiring one, ask plenty of questions and know these terms:

  • A fee-only advisor doesnt earn any commissions from investments. These advisors face the fewest conflicts of interest when offering advice. They may still piece together more than one fee type for example, charging an AUM fee for investment management and a flat fee for financial planning.

  • A fee-based advisor charges a fee but may also accept commissions from investments. Many advisors combine commissions with an AUM fee.

  • A commission-only advisor earns their income from commissions on the investments bought and sold on your behalf.

Utilize Limited Partnerships To Make Advisory Fees Deductible Again

Investing Basics: Planning for Retirement

Yet another way that financial professionals can try to relieve the burden of the loss of the miscellaneous itemized deduction for their clients advisory fees is to restructure their investment offering as limited partnerships.

The basic purpose of the structure would be, similar to converting to a mutual fund or ETF, the opportunity to turn a non-deductible advisory fee to the client into a management fee of the investment partnership as an entity, converting a non-deductible fee into a deductible one. And hopefully, at a lower upfront and ongoing cost than the relatively prohibited expense of creating a mutual fund or ETF in the first place.

However, the limited partnership approach is not without its own challenges. From a regulatory perspective, such investments would almost certainly not be registered securities, which means the partnerships would be treated as private securities, and thus, generally available only to high-net-worth and other accredited investors. More substantively, though, is simply the challenge of legitimately being able to claim management fees of the partnership as an expense beyond just an already-non-deductible advisory fee.

Read Also: Army Benefits Center Civilian Retirement

Creating And Maintaining Funds Can Be An Expensive Proposition

For most advisory firms, the biggest blocking point to restructuring the firms investment offer as a series of mutual funds or ETFs may simply be the cost initial registration costs often run upwards of $100,000, and ongoing costs related to accounting, administration, audits, compliance, legal, custody, and other elements of the business are likely to exceed six-figures annually as well. And remember, those fees are separate from the actual advisory fees that the RIA would want to bill the mutual fund or ETF to generate its revenue!

To make matters worse, many RIAs would have to establish and maintain more than one mutual fund or ETF to continue their current investment management strategies uninterrupted, given that most firms have a range of models for clients, not just one solution. For instance, suppose an RIA typically places its clients and one of five models ranging from conservative to aggressive. In such a case, in order to maintain the same investment philosophy, instead of simply creating and maintaining one mutual fund/ETF, the RIA might have to create a series of five separate funds a conservative fund, a moderate conservative fund, a moderate fund, etc. For which there are some cost efficiencies as creating a series of five funds in a single offering is less expensive than just making 5 standalone funds but would still increase the total cost significantly for the typical advisory firm.

Share post:


More like this

Retirement Income Calculator With Inflation

Making Your...

How Much Do I Need In 401k To Retire

What Is...

What To Do With Tsp After Retirement

Tsp Installment...

How Much Money To Retire At 62

How Much...