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How Do I Move My 401(k)

Retirement Account Focus, Part IV

You've impressed with your savvy and a bigger, better opportunity has come your way. You've said your good-byes to your co-workers, packed up the few personal photos that kept you sane, and received your last paycheck. There's one final thing on your checklist before you can fully forget about your before and convert to the after that you worked so hard to get. You need to do something with your 401(k) that's connected to your old employer! To find out how just

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It's called a rollover and involves you, paperwork, and a 60-day period in which you have to complete the process to avoid tax penalties. Lucky for you lovelies, I recently completed this process. I first logged in to my account online to read up on the 401(k) FAQs, and found that if my employer notified my plan custodian I would have received rollover paperwork in the mail. I hadn't heard a peep from the plan custodian so I emailed the human resources director at my old company. She said that she'd notify them ASAP so that I could get my rollover, well, rolling.

I waited for a few weeks and still no paperwork, so I took the bull by the horn and called the custodial company holding my account. I kicked myself for not calling earlier when customer service told me I could complete the entire process online and the check would be mailed to me in about a week. I followed the guidelines provided by the custodial company connected to my new employer — make sure you do this because if the check isn't made out properly it could hold up the process.

I sent the check overnight through FedEx so that I could track the package and make sure that it arrived at the new custodian. I made the 60-day deadline so incurred no penalties, and my retirement savings from my old job are now just piled in with my account connected with my new job. It's a really easy process and streamlining your accounts is priceless — who wants to keep track of so many accounts when it's unnecessary?

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sophia_HL sophia_HL 7 years
While you are rolling it over, you should convert it to a Roth IRA. You will pay taxes on it now, rather than later. It makes sense because your tax rate should be lower now that you are younger and making less money.
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