Obtaining a 401k rollover is something that thousands of people will do each year. Each person can have completely different reasons for wanting to do this and there are different ways to accomplish this objective.
Do you have several accounts from different jobs?
If you have worked for more than one employer during your work life, it is possible that you have accounts in different places. People often start paying into a 401k when they get a job but forget about it after they leave. Many people just procrastinate about doing anything because they are under the mistaken impression that this is something that is difficult to do. Others don’t feel like they have enough information to know what to do with the plan as to where to put it next. People feel that it might be safer to leave the money where it is instead of taking any risks.
Depending on the fund that the money is in, this can be a really bad idea. The first reason is that it ties up money that could be better used elsewhere and may keep it locked into funds that are really not performing very well. Many companies, especially the smaller ones, have 401k plans that are not really performing well or are poorly managed by the big players in the financial world. Many times the companies have been given advice by counselors and advisors that were more interested in getting a commission instead of making funds grow.
It’s the economy!
While things have improved recently, many people have suffered big losses to their 401k plans. This can be due to the kinds of investments used for the plan but some people had to withdraw portions of it for other reasons. More than one person took money out, with a large penalty, to try to get through a time of unemployment or to try to save their home from foreclosure. Those people may now be employed or gotten through the hardest part of the downturn and now want to put the money back into the accounts. With some plans not performing well, this can sometimes make it harder to get caught up.
What to do?
Talking to an independent investment counselor is often the best bet. These financial professionals are not tied to one individual brokerage house but instead work with a variety of different groups. This can help clients to get more objective advice about the different kinds of investment strategies available. People can find more aggressive funds or they can find ones that are considered the safest. This can help to get old 401k plans working for people again.