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Friday, January 29, 2010

Why You Should Transfer Your 401k To A IRA

By Kimberly Klark

Rolling over your 401k plan into a more flexible IRA plan allows you to continue putting off paying taxes on your 401k distribution. If, however, you choose to take your 401k distribution out, you can get it in one lump sum or get a check spread out over a specified time period or whatever options for payout your plan provides.

Take note that when you are under 55 years old decide to leave your job and just take out your 401k, you will be charged with 10% for taking out your money early. However, if you are at your retiring age (55 and above), you will have the privilege of withdrawing your money in lump sum and some tax benefits. See your accountant to make use of these benefits.

If you want to make the most of your 401k, wait until your retirement. The only time you can truly take advantage of withdrawing your 401k in lump sum is when you are your retiring age and you lose your job or decide to leave. Otherwise, you get to pay 10% early withdrawal penalty. On top of that, you will be charged with income tax as the money will be declared as your income for the year.

The only time you can truly benefit from withdrawing a lump sum cash as far as income taxes are concerned is if you are at your retiring age when you decide to leave your job or got fired, for that matter. Under 55 years of age, you are immediately charged with 10% early withdrawal penalty, not to mention the income taxes you have to pay since your withdrawal will be declared as your income for that year.

In deciding for 401k rollover, the basic thing you ask yourself is, how much money can you afford to lose when you take out your retirement savings before its time? With this kind of financial issue, the best person to turn to is someone involve with finances too, like an accountant or tax consultant. In case you lose your job, it is important to remember not to make any impulsive decision of pulling out your 401k money. What is a 401(k) Rollover? When you leave employment, either voluntarily or not, you will need to roll over your 401k plan to a new account within 60 days of your departure. Failure to do so may lead to high management fees charged to your plan as well as possible penalties.

What is a rollover? A rollover is simply changing your 401k plan from your employers sponsored plan to a new employers plan if you change jobs, or to a private plan if you are currently unemployed. This process does not have to be complicated or cost you any additional money. But you will need to do it within the time frame stated or you could face many fees which will deplete your account in record time. Never cash out your account with the intention of restarting it later! You will not only face heavy fines from the brokerage house you will be fined, penalized and taxed by the IRS for early withdrawal of retirement savings.

When you get to the point where your 401k is involved, it is best to ponder upon the possibilities first before making any moves. The reason why it is a bad idea to withdraw your money before time boils down to the amount of money you will have to shed out for taxes and penalties. Are you willing to lose some money in your retirement savings? To help you in making wise decision, financial advisers like accountants and tax consultant can be of big help. In conclusion, when you lose your job, don't just jump at the chance of spending monies that you took years to accumulate in your 401k plan. - 23208

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