3-star brokerage rating

Merrill Edge IRA Review (ROTH, Traditional) For 2021


Merrill Edge Roth IRA review, Traditional IRA, 401k Rollover, SEP and SIMPLE IRA. Merrill Edge retirement accounts fees, rating, minimums, commissions, pros and cons.


Merrill Edge IRA Commissions

InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks and ETFs $0
Stocks and ETFs broker assisted $29.95
Options $0.65 per contract
Mutual funds $19.95
Merrill Edge self-directed mutual funds 0.75% gross proceeds, $50 minimum, $250 maximum
Bonds On a net yield basis

Investments stocks, mutual funds, options, ETFs, bonds, CDs
Merrill Edge minimum deposit to open account $0


Merrill Edge IRA Overview


Investors who want to start building a nest egg for retirement should check out the IRAs available at Merrill Edge. With good educational tools and professional investment advice, this broker has a lot to offer retirement savers.


Individual Retirement Accounts


Merrill Edge offers Traditional, Roth, Rollover, SEP, and SIMPLE accounts. The Traditional IRA is ideal for investors who plan to be in a lower tax bracket during retirement. The Roth is the opposite of that. The Rollover IRA is perfect for savers who have old 403(b) and 401(k) plans that they would like to consolidate into one IRA. The SEP and SIMPLE varieties are designed for self-employed person and small businesses.


Merrill Edge ROTH IRA Review


An IRA with the broker carries no annual fee. There is also no fee to setup the account, and there is no low balance fee, either. Closing out or transferring a Merrill Edge IRA does carry a $49.95 charge. Statements are in electronic format by default. Paper statements are $5 each.


IRA Education


Investors will find a wealth of investment education on the Merrill Edge website, much of it relevant to retirement planning. Videos and webinars cover a variety of topics, such as how not to outlive a retirement account, utilizing Social Security with a personal retirement account, and retirement for Millennials. Articles discuss several topics, including the number of retirement accounts you should have, when to start taking Social Security, the advantages and disadvantages of converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth, and IRA distributions.


Merrill Edge IRA Review


The broker also has good articles on estate planning. These address important issues, such as passing IRA assets to heirs, giving children an early inheritance, creating a trust, and multigenerational IRAs. There is also an estate planning checklist on the Merrill Edge site.


IRA Tools


Several good retirement calculators are available on the broker's website. First, there is an IRA selector tool. This handy device leads users step-by-step through a questionnaire to help decide whether a Roth or a Traditional would be a better choice. There is also a required minimum distribution calculator. The tool asks for several pieces of information, such as account balance, date of birth, and expected rate of return. It then calculates the amount that is required under IRS guidelines to be withdrawn from the account.

Another calculator looks at the results of converting a 401(k) plan to an IRA. Users input data such as account balance, federal tax on early withdrawals, and state income tax rate. The tool then shows the results of converting to an IRA, such as total taxes paid and the remaining balance, and compares the results to simply taking a lump sum payment.


Merrill Edge ROTH IRA Review


A cash distribution calculator determines the penalty for taking an early withdrawal from an IRA. The tool shows a pie chart of the resulting account value. Also shown is a graph of the results of not taking the early withdrawal.

The Merrill Edge Retirement Evaluator analyzes an IRA and any regular payments to the account. It takes into consideration Social Security payments, life expectancy, and age at retirement. It then determines how much money will be needed monthly for retirement, and calculates the budget shortfall, if any.


Merrill Edge IRA Reviews


Funds


Merrill Edge customers can trade over 3,900 mutual funds. Over 800 of these are no-load, no-transaction-fee products. Mutual funds that aren't transaction free cost $19.95 per transaction.

Target date mutual funds are available with the broker. These products were created for retirement savers. Each fund has a certain date, such as 2040, that is the target date. This is the time when retirement is expected to begin. The fund automatically becomes less risky as the target date approaches by selling equities and buying bonds.


Comparison


E*Trade offers ten different IRA types, more than Merrill Edge's five.

Ally Invest has more mutual funds than Merrill Edge, offering over 12,000 funds in total. It charges only $9.95 to buy any fund.

Webull IRAs come with no on-going fees like Merrill Edge and MUCH lower pricing - $0 on ALL investment products.


Merrill Edge IRA Review Recap


Merrill Edge has great tools and educational materials for IRAs. Customers who want paper statements, lower commissions, or a larger selection of funds would do better elsewhere.


Open Merrill Edge IRA


Open Merrill Edge Account