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Do You Know Your 401(k) Options? Thumbnail

Do You Know Your 401(k) Options?

Between high contribution limits, tax advantages, and potential employer matching, a 401(k) can be a home run for your retirement savings. But if you've moved on from your 401(k) employer or are planning a transition soon, do you feel prepared to handle your retirement plan? Consider these options for managing your 401(k) savings after you leave your employer:

Keep your current 401(k)

Logistically, this is your easiest option. Unfortunately, some employers don't offer this once you've left. It's best to check with your HR department to understand what's available.

Rollover to a new 401(k)

If your new employer offers a 401(k) plan, you can likely rollover your existing plan. This will allow you to continue taking advantage of 401(k) benefits like employer matching and high-contribution limits. However, you will be limited in your investment options based on your new employer's plan.

Rollover to an IRA

If your current employer doesn't offer a 401(k), you could choose to roll your savings into an individual retirement savings (IRA) account. An IRA offers more flexibility and choice with your investments, but does have a lower yearly contribution limit than a 401(k).

Withdraw your money

If you need extra cash today to cover expenses, you can choose to withdraw funds from your 401(k). Keep in mind, you will pay taxes on your contributions, plus a penalty for early withdrawal. While this might not be financially advantageous, it's still an option if you need cash immediately. 

Keep your current account No action neededNot allowed by all employers
Rollover to new 401(k) Maintain your tax-advantaged retirement account Limited by your new employer's investment options
Rollover to IRA Gain more control over your investments No employer matching and lower contribution limits
WithdrawGet cash instantly Will likely pay penalties

Navigating your 401(k) is just the tip of the iceberg in retirement planning—there's a whole world of strategies waiting to empower your future preparations. Reach out to a trusted financial advisor to help figure out the best option for you.