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TD Ameritrade IRA Review and ROTH IRA Fees in 2023

TD Ameritrade Will Close Its Doors

Charles Schwab has acquired TD Ameritrade, and the merger will be complete by the end of 2023. Please read our (detailed) Charles Schwab Review for the most current information.

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TD Ameritrade IRA Review

TD Ameritrade offers many account types, one of which is the IRA (Individual Retirement Account). The account itself is just the beginning of what’s available with this brokerage firm for retirement savers.

TD Ameritrade IRA Overview

There are six IRA types available at TD Ameritrade: Beneficiary, Minor, Traditional, Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE. The last two are accounts for small businesses. The Minor account, as the name suggests, is designed for a legal minor. It is available in both Roth and Traditional tax formats.

TD Ameritrade ROTH IRA Review

One TD Ameritrade login is all that is required to access multiple taxable and tax-advantaged accounts that are opened under a single tax ID number.

TD Ameritrade IRA Fees and Minimums

There are no ongoing fees for retirement accounts of any kind at TD Ameritrade. There is no fee to open, maintain, or close an IRA. There is no low-balance fee, either, because TD Ameritrade does not impose any balance requirement on an IRA. It can be opened with zero balance if desired.

Although there is no fee to close an IRA, transferring a full account out of TD Ameritrade will incur a $75 charge. A partial transfer is free.

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Retirement Advice

TD Ameritrade no longer offers investment advice, which means all accounts, including IRAs, are now self-directed. There are no financial advisors available for retirement planning or other services.

TD Ameritrade IRA Review

Tradable Products

TD Ameritrade’s self-directed IRAs have a decent selection of tradable asset classes:

  • Equities
  • Mutual Funds
  • Exchange-traded Funds
  • Closed-end Funds
  • Bonds
  • Futures
  • Forex

The last two categories, futures and forex, require a $25k account balance. Some IRA versions are not eligible for futures trading. The equity category includes penny stocks and OTC stocks.

Self-directed investors who want some retirement guidance will find 219 target-date mutual funds. These are funds that become less aggressive as the date of retirement approaches.

It’s really easy to find these mutual funds with TD Ameritrade’s intuitive fund screener. The search wizard will be found under the Research & Ideas tab on the classic website. Once the screener is launched, select “Morningstar Category” in the left-hand column of available criteria, and then choose the target date. Multiple target dates can be selected (hold down the control key).

Opening an IRA at TD Ameritrade

It’s really easy to open an IRA at TD Ameritrade. Only a few minutes are required to get a personal IRA open. SEP and SIMPLE accounts may require more time because they are business accounts.

At the top of the TD Ameritrade application page is a green “Open New Account” link. Click on this to get a long list of accounts that can be opened with the brokerage house. The accounts are grouped into categories such as retirement and business. Expand the category to see the list of accounts in the category. Click on the specific IRA you want and follow the instructions.

An account can also be opened on the TD Ameritrade mobile app. Look for the button to open a new account at the bottom of the login screen. The thinkorswim app also has an account opening button on its login screen.

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IRA-to-IRA Transfer

There are a variety of reasons why you may want your existing IRA to be at TD Ameritrade rather than at your current broker. Maybe you want to trade futures or forex, or maybe you want to invest in a target-date mutual fund that your current firm doesn’t offer. Whatever the case, it’s quite easy to move your IRA to TD Ameritrade.

The first step is to open a new IRA to receive the old IRA’s assets. Once the new IRA is open, it’s time to request the transfer. This is done with the incoming firm, which is TD Ameritrade in this case.

There is a transfer request form on TD Ameritrade’s website. To find it on the classic website, hover over the My Account tab in the top menu and click on Account Transfer. This will pull up the transfer form, which is really easy to use.

The same form can be found on the Next Gen website (the newer website). Click on the Transfers tab in the top menu and select “From Another Brokerage” from the drop-down menu.

On the main TD Ameritrade mobile app or the thinkorswim app, the transfer form will be found on the More page (look for the icon with three dots in the bottom menu). On this page, tap on “Transfer funds” and follow the prompts.

If the outgoing brokerage firm charges a fee to transfer (not to close) the old IRA, TD Ameritrade will reimburse the fee. So hang onto the statement that shows the charge.

Rollover Service

If you have a Qualified Retirement Plan (QRP) with a former employer, the transfer process is a little more involved, although it is certainly possible to move the QRP into an IRA with TD Ameritrade. There are several eligible QRPs. Examples include 403(b), profit-sharing, and 401(k) accounts.

With this type of transfer, the request should be made with the previous employer instead of with TD Ameritrade. You will need to provide the plan administrator with the TD Ameritrade account number.

Obviously, you’ll need to have an IRA already open with TD Ameritrade. You can open the Rollover IRA if you wish (there is a discrete button to open this account) or you can open a regular Traditional or Roth account. Pre-tax QRPs can be rolled into SEP and SIMPLE accounts, too.

Be aware that moving a previous employer’s retirement plan into an IRA could in some cases carry tax implications, so be sure to consult with a CPA before taking this step.

Withdrawals and Contributions

Thanks to its great software, it’s pretty easy to make contributions and withdrawals in an IRA. On the Ameritrade website, the deposit tool will be found by going, once again, to the My Account tab. This time, click on Contribution in the Deposits & Transfers section.

On the next page, a variety of contribution options will be presented. They include:

  • ACH
  • Wire
  • Instructions to mail a check
  • IRA-to-IRA transfer
  • Physical stock certificate transfer
  • Instructions for the QRP rollover

Choose the one you want and follow the instructions.

The mobile app has a check deposit tool that makes depositing paper checks fast and easy. With any deposit method, make sure you select the IRA you want to contribute to in case you have more than one account with TD Ameritrade. Otherwise, the deposit will end up in the wrong account.

On the same Deposits & Transfers page, there is a tab for distributions. Here are the options presented:

- Transfer to a TD Ameritrade account
- Wire distribution
- Transfer money to your bank (ACH)
- Check distribution

Tax withholding elections can be specified on the form at the bottom of the ACH form.

TD Ameritrade IRA Margin

Although it’s not possible to buy securities with borrowed funds in an IRA, TD Ameritrade does permit an IRA to be margin enabled. This allows the account to trade securities with unsettled cash. Thus, the IRA can day trade, which is a huge advantage.

It’s really easy to add this feature to an IRA using TD Ameritrade’s website. It does need to be the classic website and not the Next Gen website, which is the slimmed-down version.

On the classic website, hover over the Client Services tab and select the My Profile link in the drop-down menu. On the next page, make sure you’re on the General tab. Now, look for the Elections & routing section. There will be a link to add margin to the account. You’ll need to verify some account information, like investment objective, and then submit the online application. It may take a business day or two to receive a response.

TD Ameritrade Retirement Resources

Although TD Ameritrade only has self-directed IRAs, it does a good job of providing these accounts with lots of retirement tools. A good place to begin is on the website (again, the classic website) underneath the Planning & Retirement tab. There are three links underneath this tab that IRA account holders will want to check out: Retirement, IRA, and Planning & Retirement Overview.

Under the IRA tab, we found a small section with information on contributions, including the maximum for the year and the total the IRA has received for the year. A tab switches the chart to information on distributions, and a third tab is for beneficiaries.

To add a beneficiary to an IRA, click on this tab and then click on the green button to manage a beneficiary or add one. Both primary and contingent beneficiaries can be added to an IRA at TD Ameritrade.

There are many other tools on the IRA tab. For example, an IRA selection wizard helps to choose between Roth and Traditional accounts. It asks for data points like annual income and tax filing status and then recommends one IRA version over the other.

Under the Retirement tab is a collection of more resources. These include an RMD (required minimum distribution) calculator and a retirement calculator. The latter is an in-depth tool that takes a wide range of inputs and calculates whether the user is on track or not for saving enough for retirement.

TD Ameritrade ROTH IRA Fees

The Retirement section breaks down its resources into three stages: Starting, Nearing, and Arriving in Retirement. There are many articles and pdf files in these sections. Examples include:

- Rollover pocket guide
- Strategies for Income Protection
- Social Security Administration Retirement Estimator

Retirement Education

There are also some articles and videos devoted to retirement education. These materials will be found under the Education tab at the top of the site (look for the Portfolio Management & Retirement link under the Education Center category).

TD Ameritrade IRA Fees

Although a lot of the resources cover general investing topics that taxable accounts can use as well, some are published for tax-deferred accounts. Examples include:

- Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) [video]
- Investing Basics: Planning for Retirement [video]
- Investing for Income in Retirement: Planning and Withdrawal Strategies [video]
- Simple Steps for a Retirement Portfolio [course]
- Taking Required Minimum Distributions [video]

TD Ameritrade IRA Review Assessment

TD Ameritrade definitely has some great IRA services, and that's why they have 11.5 million customers.

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