Ask Stacy: Should I Roll My 401(k) or 403(b) Into an IRA?

When you leave a job, you have a choice: Leave your retirement plan behind, or roll it over into a self-directed IRA. Which should you do?

Ask Stacy: Should I Roll My 401(k) or 403(b) Into an IRA? Photo by karenfoleyphotography / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to “Ask Stacy,” a short video feature answering money questions submitted by readers and viewers. You can learn how to send in a question of your own below.

If you’re not typically a video watcher, give it a try. These are short and painless, and you’ll learn something valuable.

Today’s question is about what to do with your retirement plan after you leave an employer; specifically, should you leave it with your former employer or roll it over into a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA)?

I moved a company retirement plan into a self-directed IRA many years ago. On the other hand, I advised my wife to leave her old 403(b) right where it is. Here’s my logic:

For more information on this topic, check out “Have a New Job? What to Do With Your Old 401(k)” and “Which Is Better — a Traditional or Roth Retirement Plan?” You can also use the search tool above, put in “retirement plan” and get plenty more information on all facets of retirement investing.

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The questions I’m likeliest to answer are those that will interest other readers. In other words, don’t ask for super-specific advice that applies only to you. And if I don’t get to your question, promise not to hate me. I do my best, but I get a lot more questions than I have time to answer.

About me

I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.

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Got more money questions? Browse lots more Ask Stacy answers here.

Stacy Johnson
Stacy Johnson @moneytalksnews
I'm the founder of Money Talks News and have spent the last 40+ years in the personal finance trenches. I'm a CPA, author of a few books and multiple Emmy recipient. I'm ... More

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