What to Do With 401k After Leaving Job Reddit

If you leave your job, you have a few options for your 401(k) plan. You can leave it in the plan, roll it over to an IRA, or cash it out. If you leave the money in the plan, it will continue to grow tax-deferred. However, you will not be able to make any more contributions to the plan. If you roll over the money to an IRA, you will have more investment options and you will be able to continue making contributions. However, you may have to pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it. If you cash out the money, you will have to pay taxes on the money and you will lose the tax-deferred growth.

Roll Over to a New 401(k)

One of the best options for your 401(k) after leaving your job is to roll it over to a new 401(k) plan with your new employer. This is a simple and straightforward process, and it allows you to keep your money invested and growing tax-deferred.

  • Benefits of rolling over to a new 401(k):
    • Keeps your money invested and growing tax-deferred
    • Avoids premature withdrawals and penalties
    • May offer lower fees and expenses than other options
  • Steps to roll over your 401(k):
    • Contact your new employer and ask for a rollover form.
    • Complete the rollover form and send it to your old 401(k) provider.
    • Your old 401(k) provider will send your money directly to your new 401(k).

What to Do With 401k After Leaving Job

If you’ve recently left a job, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k). There are a few options available to you, each with its own pros and cons.

Cash Out and Pay Taxes

One option is to cash out your 401(k) and pay taxes on the withdrawal. This is the simplest option, but it’s also the most expensive. You’ll have to pay income tax on the amount you withdraw, and you may also have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you’re under age 59½.



  • Simplest option
  • No ongoing fees
  • Access to your money immediately



  • Highest tax bill
  • 10% early withdrawal penalty if under age 59½
  • Loss of potential growth

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Leave in Former Employer’s Plan

Leaving your 401(k) in your former employer’s plan can be a convenient option, especially if you are satisfied with the investment options and don’t need immediate access to the funds. However, there are a few key things to consider:

  • Limited Investment Options: Former employer plans may have a more limited range of investment choices compared to other options like IRAs or solo 401(k)s.
  • Fees: Some plans may charge administrative fees for maintaining your account, which can reduce your potential returns.
  • No Access to Loans: If you need to access funds for emergencies or other purposes, you won’t be able to take a loan from a former employer’s plan.
  • Plan Changes: Your former employer may make changes to the plan, such as reducing the investment options or increasing fees, without your consent.

Thanks, guys and gals, for scrolling all the way down here and letting my brain baby occupy a tiny corner of your mind palace. Leave a comment and let me know what you think, or what other topics you’d like to see unraveled here. Until next time, may your investment returns be astronomical and your financial future as bright as the North Star. Keep on rocking those 401(k)s, and I’ll catch you on the flip side for more money matters! Cheers!