Moving to a new job? Here’s what you can do with your 401(k) account.
Pop the bubbly! You just landed the GOAT job and you’re basking in the excitement of your excellent career move. There’s a lot to celebrate (woohoo!) – but also a lot to decide (wah!). Topping the list of decisions: What should you do with the 401(k) account you’ve built up with your prior employer?
There are four main options to consider, with no one-size-fits-all answer. Here are the highlights of your options, which our Financial Advisors would love to discuss further with you!
1. Leave it where it’s at. The employer you’re leaving could allow you to keep your 401(k) account there, or could require you to take your money out when you depart. If given the choice, keeping it with your prior employer would be a simple choice in the short run because you don’t have to take any action. But in the long run, there are potential disadvantages: It can be a huge headache to keep track of multiple 401(k) accounts across prior employers, the plan’s fees may go up, and you may have limited flexibility on how you can take your money out in the future.
2. Bring it with you. Another option provided by your new employer may be to roll your prior 401(k) dollars into their plan. If given this choice, the major advantage would be consolidation. It is easier to keep track of one account versus multiple accounts, and fewer accounts may result in fewer plan fees. The downside, though, is limited investment flexibility -- you likely can’t take your money out until you retire or move to a different employer.
3. Move it to a Rollover IRA. A third option would be to work with a trusted company to move your 401(k) funds into a Rollover Individual Retirement Account (IRA). An IRA provides you with a wider array of investment options, more accessibility to your account, and more flexibility in making changes to your plan than you’d have with an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. Going this route means you would still have at least two retirement accounts in two separate places, however - this IRA and your current employer’s 401(k).
4. Cash it out. You could cash out your 401(k) when you leave your employer, but make absolutely sure you are aware of the financial consequences before doing this. If you are not retirement age, you will pay a 10% penalty for withdrawing your money. (Yikes – this could be considered robbing your own retirement!) Plus, you should plan for a hefty tax bill at the end of the year.
You put yourself in a better professional position by landing a great new job. Call Think at 1-800-288-3425 for help putting yourself into a better financial situation.