Is a 401(k) Rollover Right for You?

Gone are the days where people enter the workforce and stay with the same company for 30+ years, eventually riding off into the sunset of retirement with a nice pension.

Instead, employees are often moving between jobs as they explore new career paths and search for opportunities to grow and flourish. As they move on to different companies, retirement accounts from previous jobs often get forgotten about. Most people don’t think to do anything with that old 401(k) because they can leave the money alone and just let it grow over time.

But is that the best option for these old investment accounts?

One strategy we discuss with clients all the time is whether to rollover that 401(k) from a previous employer into an IRA. If you haven’t explored this option before, let’s talk a little about why it might make sense financially to consider this move.

First, moving your money out of an employer-sponsored plan will open up a much bigger variety of investment options because the previous plan limited the type of equities or mutual funds you could buy into. The IRA gives you control over your investment strategy and that flexibility could benefit you greatly over time.

Now, just because there’s more to invest in doesn’t mean you’ll always be successful picking the right allocations. But now that you have control over your money means you can also begin working with your financial advisor to invest those funds appropriately and build a diversified portfolio.

Another benefit of a rollover is being able to shed those hidden fees you’ll often find in a 401(k). If you aren’t sure what fees you’re being charged, take a look at your latest statement and check. While they might not seem that significant, they still slow down your ability for growth over time and every little bit helps towards retirement.

The last thing to consider with a 401(k) rollover is what it might mean for your tax filings in the upcoming year. When you move that money out of the 401(k) and into a new account, it will have tax implications that you’ll want to discuss with your advisor and CPA. But paying those taxes now might be a benefit over the long-term if rates continue to rise so it might not be a bad thing, but that’s something you’ll have to explore further.

If you haven’t thought more about this strategy, now is a great time to take a deeper look to see if making this move now could put you in a stronger financial position when retirement arrives.

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