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Job Changes and Your 401k Options
Nothing in life is as constant as change. Consider these 401k plan options to help ease your stress and keep your financial house strong when you have an employment status change.
Whether you're moving to a new position, changing careers, recently laid off or considering retirement, any change in your employment status can be stressful. Just make sure you don't let stress stop you from taking time to consider all your options. The decisions you make now could have long-term financial implications.
The Big Picture
A change in employment may cause you to look closely at a number of things, not the least of which may be your 401(k) – especially if it's still with your former employer. If you're not quite ready to retire, this is a good time to understand your 401(k) options. Your choice depends on your situation, but there are four main options for your 401(k) plan assets:
Rolling your 401(k) plan assets over to an IRA has a number of benefits and can help keep you on track toward achieving your retirement goals. An IRA can offer:
A wide array of investment options, including mutual funds, individual stocks, bonds and CDs.
One-on-one guidance and regular review of investment choices to help ensure proper asset allocation.
The opportunity to consolidate other plans and investments to help ensure diversification and simplify account information at tax time.
Flexible options with potential tax benefits to your beneficiaries after your death
Additional strategies that can be customized to your specific situation.
You've earned it, so why not just use it? Here are a few reasons:
If you cash out now, do you have enough time to replenish your retirement nest egg? Are there other options available for achieving your short-term goals that can help you keep your retirement funds intact?
If you are not yet 59½, taxes and penalties can reduce the amount you get to keep from your 401(k) – by potentially thousands of dollars.
You could spend 20 to 30 years in retirement. If you spend your retirement funds today, what will you have tomorrow?
If your former employer will let you, you may be able to leave your money where it is. This option has its positives and negatives:
If you leave your plan with your former employer, you can avoid paying taxes and penalties, and your savings can continue to grow tax deferred.
You won't continue to receive employer contributions.
You may not be able to easily adjust your asset allocation in response to market changes, and your plan beneficiaries may have limited options.
No one will be actively looking over your account, reviewing your options and helping you prepare for your future.
You continue to be limited to the investment options that are available in the plan.
If a new employer offers a 401(k) plan or another tax-deferred savings option, you can move your existing plan assets directly to your new employer's plan without incurring taxes or penalties, in most cases, but consider this:
The options in your new plan may be different from those offered in your previous employer's plan.
You also may have limited guidance on those assets, depending on the size of the company and how your plan is managed.
It may be beneficial to roll the assets directly from your former employer's plan to an IRA while you start another 401(k) with your new employer. That way your money can work for you in two ways.
Want to learn more about these four options? View our head-to-head comparison chart (https://www.edwardjones.com/
Schedule an appointment to sit down with Matt McDonald to discuss your current situation and to help determine which 401(k) option may be best for you. Please call 269-345-0783, stop by my office, or visit https://www.edwardjones.com/
Edward Jones - Matt McDonald: Financial Advisor