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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Selecting a retirement plan

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I am 56 and am looking for a retirement plan. Various sources have mentioned a Roth IRA or a fixed annuity, according to what i can initially put into it. Between those two options, do you have an insight on which one is the wiser investment to make?

A: These are not mutually exclusive choices. In other words a Roth IRA can be invested in a fixed annuity or not; a fixed annuity can be owned in a retirement plan regardless of whether it is a Roth IRA. The important thing is that your question tipped off your lack of information about investments and retirement planning, so the clear answer is that you should schedule a consultation with an independent professional opinion with someone who has no vested interest in selling an annuity or managing a Roth IRA. A professional opinion will be based on an understanding and consideration of: 1) your specific goals, 2) your other assets and liabilities, 3) your personal risk preferences 4) your income and tax situation. Only at that point would an adviser's opinion hold any real value. I offer this type of consultation through OnlineAdviser. This is a telephone based consultation that is meant to provide fast independent and unbiased advise for a low at a low cost without further commitment. The fee is a flat $150 including the written follow-up. Please see the OnlineAdviser page for more information.


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