If my Roth IRA has contributions to multiple different funds will it be any more difficult to get the money out when it's time to retire? Would I just sell each of the funds and close the account or how would that work?

2 Answers 2


No, holding multiple funds, stocks, or any other asset in one IRA does not make it substantially more difficult to get the money out in retirement. Your IRA is your own investment account and you're allowed to buy and sell assets within your IRA throughout your life including both before and after retirement. It's up to you how you want to withdraw your funds in retirement, but you do not need to take everything out at once (and in the case of a traditional IRA, doing so would most likely be a rather tax-inefficient thing to do). You can sell the assets in your IRA for cash and withdraw it in any order you please. It may be worthwhile to discuss with a financial advisor what would be the best plan for you.

Note: For purposes of withdrawals, you have one (Roth) IRA, despite how many accounts it's spread across. The value of the withdrawal can be withdrawn from the account(s) you choose, i.e. 10 accts doesn't mean you need to make 10 withdrawals across each.

  • 2
    Distributing trad IRA all at once can push you into higher tax bracket, but as long as you're at least 59.5 and have had the/any Roth IRA 5 calendar years (and it has been 5 years since any relevant taxable conversion i.e. not backdoor) distributing Roth money is tax-free regardless of amount. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 3:52
  • Daniel - Your answer was right on target, I added the note to clarify what I think OP was concerned about. You are welcome to roll it back if it's unwelcome. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 14:08
  • @JTP my understanding of the question was that the OP was asking about holding multiple "funds" (I guess mutual funds or ETFs) within a single IRA. Not about having multiple IRA accounts.
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 18:45
  • "sell each of the funds and close the account" implied to me that each fund was bought at the sponsoring company. This part of it is ambiguous, I'd say. Why close an IRA if you are selling shares of one fund in an acct? Surprised no one asked OP for any clarification on this. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 19:04
  • OP was talking about a Roth IRA (eg: no tax consequences for qualified withdraws). There are no RMDs for Roth IRAs either. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 21:45

You certainly could, but generally you'd want to leave the funds in the account as long as possible. Unless you have a very small amount saved in your Roth IRA, you're not going to spend it all at once. Best to let the funds you don't need to spend immediately continue to grow1 tax free. If you take all the money out as soon as you retire, any earnings on it would be subject to tax.

To access the money, yes, you would sell a bit of one or some or all of the funds in exchange for cash. The proceeds from the sale would still be in your Roth IRA. You can then just transfer that money to your checking account (or have the IRA custodian mail you a check) and spend it. The only reason having multiple funds in the IRA would make this more difficult than having a single fund is that you need to decide which funds to sell, and how much of each to sell. If you have a solid asset allocation strategy, this decision is simplified; sell such that your allocation ends up closer to your target.

1Granted, you may want a more conservative asset allocation once you retire (or near retirement) than you had while you were still working.

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