I’ve had a savings account with ING Direct for almost a year now and have always been very pleased with them. I just recently started looking into retirement planning and discovered that they also offer Roth IRAs with very low startup requirements. Has anyone heard anything about this service, good or bad? Does anyone use them for retirement planning? I hear it’s not always the best idea to do retirement planning through a bank because it’s not their real speciality.
Summary of my response: it’s a good place to start, and you won’t be married to the account. If you decide to seek greener pastures later, then you can rollover the retirement account into your newer better account. Just make sure to ask about account closure fees (which are typically $25 to $50 due to their paperwork involved in rolling out your account and closing it).
More details: The heart of your question has to do with the end where you are worred that "it’s not always the best idea to do retirement planning through a bank because it’s not their real specialty." Getting into the details of your concern, there are two areas of investigation in terms of retirement account suitability:
1) Housekeeping: does the company know what its doing (in terms of keeping the paperwork together), and is the your account access (such as online) to your liking.
2) Does the retirement custodian offer the type of investment options that are to your liking.
Regarding ING, as a retirement account custodian, I am sure that they are fine on point one, and that they are probably fine on point two as well. I have a retirement account through ING which allows a selection of mutual funds.
Where banks typically have a weakness is in step two, as banks typically offer only savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs as "investment" options through a retirement account. For people who want to invest in things like mutual funds, banks are indeed too limiting.
Without knowing your details, I’d still be inclined to say that ING is a good place for you to start.