Self-directed retirement plan

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Self-Directed Retirement Plan

A retirement plan in which the account holder has a great deal of control over the investments made on the account. That is, either the account holder or a designated representative has the ability to make investments with the contributions made to the account. Generally speaking, a self-directed retirement plan exists through a brokerage, which makes investments on behalf of the account holder. The brokerage may charge an annual fee for managing a self-directed retirement plan in addition to the commissions it charges on the individual trades.

Self-directed retirement plan.

If you participate in an employer's retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or a 403(b), you usually must select the investments into which your contribution goes from a menu of choices your plan offers.

When that's the case, your plan is self-directed, and the income you receive when you retire is determined in part by the investment choices you make.

Individual retirement accounts are also self-directed, as you choose the way that the assets in the account are invested. Individual retirement annuities may or may not be self-directed, depending on the contract you chose.

In contrast, if you're part of a defined benefit pension plan, your employer is responsible for making the investment decisions. If you own a fixed annuity, the insurance company makes the investment decisions.

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