Don’t forget about Your Old 401(k)s

retirement income planning

Do you have multiple 401(k)s? If you left your money in a former employer’s 401(k), you may want to reconsider as you near retirement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statics[1], Baby Boomers have held an average of 12 jobs by the time they turn 50. When you leave a job, the money you contribute to your 401(k) is still yours, and you may also be able to keep your employer’s contributions depending on your vesting schedule. There are a few options for your old 401(k)s: You can cash out of the plan, leave the money in the plan, rollover the money into your current employer’s plan, or roll it over to an IRA. All of these options have different advantages, so don’t forget about your old 401(k)s as you approach retirement.

Cashing out of an old 401(k) plan is usually not the best option because the funds are treated as withdrawals and are taxed as income. You should always consider your tax burden in retirement. And, if you cash out before you are 59½, you can get hit with an early withdrawal penalty. So, it may be a better idea to leave your money in the old 401(k) and continue to reap the reward of tax-deferred growth. However, there may be a better option.

Investment options are limited within a 401(k) plan to those provided by your plan custodian and employer. And, you might not be aware of the fees you are paying: Employer-sponsored 401(k) plans tend to have higher administrative fees than IRAs. Combine this with the fact that you’re paying fees for each retirement account you have, and rolling over your old 401(k)s into an IRA seems like a good option.

Funds rolled over into an IRA are not treated at withdrawals and are not subject to income tax. You can continue to enjoy tax-deferred growth by rolling over funds directly into an IRA within 60 days of when they are taken from an old account. IRAs tend to have a broader array of investment options and lower administrative fees. With an IRA, you can invest in practically any stock, mutual fund, bond, real estate or security. And, instead of keeping track of multiple former workplace retirement accounts, you can simplify your finances by rolling over your plans into one IRA and reviewing a single account statement.

The professionals at BML Wealth can help you make the most of what you’ve saved by figuring out a personalized plan for your old 401(k)s. Whether you’re looking to simplify your finances or reduce fees, we can help you. Click here to schedule your free review to take the first step towards a comprehensive retirement plan.

This commentary on this website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of BML Wealth Management, LLC’s employees providing such comments. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. BML Wealth Management, LLC is for marketing purposes only. Investment management services are offered through Cooper Financial Group dba Cooper McManus, which manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”\[1] https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/baby-boomers-born-from-1957-to-1964-held-an-average-of-12-point-3-jobs-from-ages-18-to-52.htm

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