July 25


Retirement Money: How to Maximize Your Savings When Switching Jobs

By Harrison O'Reill

July 25, 2023

When you change jobs, it’s essential to consider what to do with your retirement savings. Whether you have a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement plan, you have several options. Taking the time to understand your options and make informed decisions can help you achieve your retirement goals.

You can leave your retirement savings in your former employer’s plan. This can be a good choice if you’re happy with the plan’s investment options and fees. You won’t be able to contribute to the plan anymore, and you may be subject to higher fees if you’re no longer active. Reviewing the plan’s rules and fees is important.

Retirement Accounts

Deciding what to do with your retirement accounts is essential when changing jobs. You have several options, including rolling over your account to a new employer-sponsored plan or an individual retirement account (IRA).

401(k) Plans

If you have a 401(k) account with your old employer, you can roll over the funds into your new employer’s plan if they offer one. This option allows you to consolidate your retirement savings into one account and may make it easier to manage your investments. However, it’s important to review your new plan’s investment options and fees before making a decision.


Another option is to roll over your 401(k) account into an IRA. This gives you more investment options and potentially lower fees. Traditional IRAs offer tax-deferred savings, while Roth IRAs offer tax-free withdrawals in retirement. It’s important to consider your retirement goals and tax implications before choosing an IRA.

Retirement Plan Transfer

You can also transfer your retirement plan to your new employer’s plan or an IRA through a direct rollover. This option avoids taxes and penalties for early withdrawal. However, you may need to fill out paperwork and work with your old plan administrator and human resources department to complete the transfer.

When deciding what to do with your retirement savings, it’s important to consider fees, investment options, and retirement goals. Consulting with a financial advisor or planner can help you make an informed decision.

Additionally, be aware of potential tax implications and early withdrawal penalties, especially with the recent changes to the Secure Act 2.0. Having an emergency fund and considering creditor protection for your retirement savings is also important.

Retirement Planning

Retirement Goals

When changing jobs, it’s important to reassess your retirement goals. Take the time to evaluate your current financial situation and determine what you want your retirement to look like. Consider factors such as your desired retirement age, lifestyle, and potential healthcare costs. Once you clearly understand your goals, you can make informed decisions about your retirement investments.

Investment Options

When changing jobs, you can roll over your retirement account into an IRA or your new employer’s retirement plan. Evaluating your investment options and choosing a portfolio that aligns with your retirement goals is essential. Consider factors such as risk tolerance and diversification when making investment decisions.


Taxes and Retirement

It’s important to consider the tax implications when making retirement investment decisions. Consult with a tax advisor or financial planner to determine the best strategy for minimizing taxes on your retirement income. Consider income tax rates and required minimum distributions (RMDs) when making tax-related decisions.

Retirement Income

When planning for retirement, it’s important to consider your sources of income. Besides retirement accounts, consider other sources of income such as Social Security benefits or rental income. Determine how much income you will need in retirement and develop a strategy for achieving that income goal.

Retirement Risks

When planning for retirement, it’s important to consider potential risks such as inflation, market volatility, and longevity risk. Consult with a financial advisor or planner to develop a strategy for mitigating these risks and ensuring a secure retirement. Consider factors such as investment options and diversification when making risk-related decisions.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:


Changing jobs can be exciting and stressful, but it’s important to consider what to do with your retirement money. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that your retirement savings continue growing and work towards your long-term financial goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I withdraw my retirement money when changing jobs?

Yes, you can withdraw your retirement money when changing jobs. However, it is not recommended, as you must pay taxes and penalties on the money you withdraw. The best option is to roll over your retirement account to your new employer’s plan or an IRA.

Q. What happens to my 401(k) when I change jobs?

When you change jobs, you have several 401(k) plan options. You can leave your money in your old employer’s plan, roll it over to your new employer’s plan, roll it over to an IRA, or withdraw the money. You should roll over your 401(k) to avoid taxes and penalties.

Q. Should I consult a financial advisor when changing jobs?

Yes, it is always a good idea to consult a financial advisor when changing jobs. They can help you evaluate your retirement goals, review your investment options, and determine the best plan for your retirement portfolio.

Q. What should I consider when choosing a retirement plan with my new employer?

When choosing a retirement plan with your new employer, consider the investment options, fees, and contribution limits. You should also evaluate your retirement goals and choose a plan that aligns with your long-term financial objectives.

Q. How can I minimize taxes on my retirement savings when changing jobs?

To minimize taxes on your retirement savings when changing jobs, consider rolling over your retirement account to your new employer’s plan or an IRA. This will allow you to avoid taxes and penalties on the money you withdraw.

Q. Should I hire a financial planner to help me manage my retirement savings?

If you are unsure about managing your retirement savings, hiring a financial planner may be a good idea. They can help you evaluate your retirement goals, review your investment options, and provide guidance on managing your retirement portfolio.

You might also like