IRAs and Harvard University Credit Union: A winning formula

"Winning is never accidental. To win consistently, you must have a clear plan and intense motivation." --Lou Holtz, legendary football coach

Great advice, especially when it comes to retirement. A retirement plan and determination will take you where you want to go--traveling, golfing, or relaxing by a lake.

Whatever you have in mind for your golden years, a Harvard Credit Union individual retirement account (IRA) is a safe harbor for your retirement funds. There are more IRA types, and more maturity options than ever, so funds are available when you need them, now or later.

Financial institutions notify you when a certificate comes due, but keep track of due dates. Along with terms, such as grace period, due dates are spelled out in the contract and worth checking out. If you do nothing when an IRA certificate matures, it automatically will renew at the same terms but not necessarily the same rate.

Because you don't have to keep your IRA in the same account forever, it pays to shop around. IRA rules permit you to transfer, tax-free, IRA assets to different financial institutions or brokers. And, if you leave an employer, you may be able to move accumulated pension benefits into an IRA. If you're switching jobs, you also can use an IRA as a holding account for moving funds to your new employer's plan.

And if you need some, but not all, of your IRA assets, it's possible to move part of the withdrawal tax-free into another IRA and keep the rest of it. Of course, the amount you keep generally will be taxable and may be subject to the 10% early federal withdrawal penalty, and, in some states, an additional state penalty. Shifts are subject to certain rules to avoid penalties, so check with your tax adviser to be sure.

When you're ready for a change, contact Harvard Credit Union about rolling over established IRA funds, adding funds to, or putting new money into an IRA. We have attractive savings rates and offer a safe place for your retirement funds.