Most financial institutions act as trustees for individual retirement accounts. Opening an individual retirement account is as easy as walking into your local bank. All that is required is that you complete a separate IRA application. Here are some things to keep in mind when setting up an IRA:
Most institutions charge setup fees and annual maintenance fees. They can range from $10 to $50. But don't let this ultimately make your decision for you. Always consider the underlying investment first.
If you have three or four different accounts, each charging their own IRA maintenance fees, consider moving them to one account.
Don't be concerned that you don't have enough money to open an IRA. IRA accounts generally have lower minimum account size requirements than regular accounts. Some accounts can be opened for as little as $100.
If you want the ability to transfer your investments, make sure the selected investment does not have any restrictions of its own.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The combined balance of retirement plan accounts on deposit with banks and credit unions is insured up to a maximum of $250,000. For example, IRA balances are not insured separately from and in addition to Keogh balances.