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 /

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.

Got any words of wisdom you can offer on this week’s question? Share your knowledge and experiences on our Facebook page. And if you find this information useful, please share it!

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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