Table of Contents
What is Beagle?
Beagle is a financial services company that aims to help people access retirement savings they may have forgotten about or lost track of over the years. As people change jobs multiple times throughout their careers, it’s common for old 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to get left behind without a person realizing.
Beagle uses public records and its proprietary search technology to locate forgotten accounts and reunite people with any matching retirement funds. For a monthly or annual subscription fee, the service will search for a user’s name across various financial industry databases and provide reports on any potential missing accounts it discovers.
Beagle (originally called Meet Beagle) launched in 2009 and is based in Vancouver, Canada. The company recognized that as the job market evolved, it became easier for retirement balances to slip through the cracks when people changed employers. By offering search and assistance services, Beagle aims to help bolster people’s overall savings.
How Does Beagle Work?
The process for using Beagle is fairly straightforward. First, a potential user signs up on the Beagle website and provides personal details like their name, date of birth, Social Security number, previous addresses and employers.
Beagle then runs the user’s information through multiple private and public records to search for any retirement accounts associated with them. This can take 1-2 days to fully complete. Once finished, Beagle provides an initial report on any potentially matching accounts it found.
From there, Beagle asks the user to verify some workplace details to narrow down the search results. Then, the service presents subscription plan options. Depending on the chosen plan, Beagle may help users access found accounts, roll funds over, or take out 401(k) loans.
For accounts Beagle locates, it does not disclose account balances upfront. Instead, the user must log into each account individually or contact the managing company to obtain specific balance details. Beagle claims this Privacy Act compliant approach follows regulations.
Within a few days to a few weeks depending on the Financial Institutions processes, Beagle aims to have helped users consolidate any found savings into a new retirement account of their choice for easier ongoing management.
Is Beagle Legitimate?
When considering using a new financial services company, it’s important to evaluate whether they appear to be a legitimate operation. Here are some indicators that Beagle is likely on the up-and-up:
- Established Company – Founded in 2009, Beagle has operated for over a decade which suggests longevity and stability.
Physical Address – The company lists a valid office address which checks out on Google Maps.
Positive Reviews – Sites like Trustpilot host hundreds of verified reviews mostly rating Beagle positively.
Secure Payments – Beagle uses encrypted payment processors like PayPal which provide fraud protection.
Transparent Services – The website clearly explains how searches work and what help is provided.
Accredited Standing – Beagle is a member of industry groups like AIF and adheres to their best practices.
While no service can promise absolute security or prevent all potential customer issues, the available information suggests Beagle aims to run as a responsible, legit business. Customers should still err on the side of caution as with any financial dealings.
What Services Does Beagle Provide?
In addition to conducting forgotten account searches, Beagle offers auxiliary services to help users access and manage any funds it helps locate:
- Rollover Assistance – Beagle can help roll located savings into new qualified retirement accounts.
401(k) Loans – The service provides access to 0% interest loans taken directly from found 401(k) accounts.
Fees Audits – Beagle reviews user accounts and reports on any excessive or hidden fees being paid out.
Investment Guidance – Basic guidance is offered on allocating funds across various investment asset classes.
Online Account Access – Located accounts can optionally be viewed and managed long-term through Beagle’s portal.
Customer Support – Phone, email and online chat assistance is available daily.
Overall Beagle aims to serve as a one-stop resource to help users through the whole process of finding missing savings and setting up new consolidated retirement assets.
How Much Does Beagle Cost?
Beagle offers three primary subscription plans with different included services and price points:
- Starter Plan – $25 for basic search results only.
Standard Plan – $45 for search results plus rollover and loan assistance.
Premium Plan – $45 every 3 months for all services plus ongoing support.
Users can also pay monthly ongoing fees if opting to manage located accounts through Beagle long-term. This additional service costs $3.99 per month.
Beagle promises refunds if users remain unsatisfied after utilizing the search feature. So potential customers have low initial risk while gaining expertise to draw upon. Overall the costs seem reasonable considering the amount of lost savings that could be uncovered.
To gain insight from real user experiences, it’s helpful to browse review sites for services like Beagle:
- Trustpilot – Over 500 reviews averaging 4.8/5 stars. Most praise easy services and funds located.
BBB – Beagle holds an A+ rating with the BBB and has resolved all listed complaints.
Benzinga – A financial analysis source gave Beagle its top 5/5 star rating badge.
Positive reviewers highlight located accounts containing tens of thousands found with little effort. Negative feedback mostly involves customer service response times rather than accuracy or legitimacy issues.
On the whole third party reviews paint Beagle in a good light with high success rates. A few minor growing pains seem inevitable as demand increased for a useful service. But Beagle appears dedicated to consumer satisfaction according to resolved complaints.
Should You Use Beagle?
For those unsure of missing retirement balances or facing difficulties utilizing old employer accounts, Beagle could offer an appealing solution:
- Consolidation Benefits – Gaining a single holistic view of savings streamlines ongoing growth potential.
Wider Investment Access – More control and lower costs may follow consolidating into new self-directed accounts.
Protection Against Forgetting – Bonuses to prevent losing track of funds again by parking them in one easy place.
Risks Are Low – The refund policy and mild subscription costs mean little potential loss from just trying Beagle.
Savings Add Up Substantially – Even small located balances can grow large over decades when compounded interest takes effect.
While not suitable for anyone with impeccable retirement account records, Beagle seems worth considering for its potentially major rewards balanced against limited risks or obligations. Trying can’t hurt and could even result in uncovering thousands in lost savings.
Overall Beagle aims to fulfill an important need around helping individuals access all retirement assets intended to fund their later years. For a reasonable price most users appear pleased with located accounts through their services. The legit reviews and longevity inspire trust that Beagle operates honorably to achieve this mission.