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It's time to Evaluate the Benefits of Consolidating Your Accounts

On average, an American will have 12 jobs throughout their working career. [1] When transitioning to a new job, you can qualify for a 401(k) retirement account, but what happens with your previous account that may have been with your previous employer? It’s possible that you have missing 401(k) accounts and you may want to contact your previous employer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated around 25 million Americans have left money behind in an old 401(k) when leaving a job. [2]

If you have experienced the accumulation of multiple retirement accounts, we understand how time-consuming and frustrating it can be. Therefore, we encourage you to consider the benefits of consolidating your accounts and when doing so, you may be asking yourself, why is this better for me?

5 Reasons to Consolidate

1. Simplicity - Managing multiple accounts across several institutions can be confusing. The fewer retirement accounts you have, the easier it is to keep track of your savings and stick to one consistent cohesive investment strategy.

2. Fees – You might be paying more in fees than you need. Often, consolidating accounts helps save you money!

3. Withdrawals – Making mandatory withdrawals is easier. Starting at age 72, the government says you must make required minimum distributions (RMDs) from specific retirement accounts, including 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Having your retirement savings in a single account can help you simplify RMDs and avoid potential costly tax penalties.

4. Reduce Temptation – Consolidating may reduce the temptation to cash out. Savers with balances less than $1,000 cash out their retirement accounts 60-80% of the time. Conversely, those with $10,000+ balances leave the money in their 401(k) 97% of the time. [3] Don’t tap into your retirement accounts if you don’t need to. Save your money for the future!

5. Reward – Having all your retirement savings in one place provides the opportunity to clearly see the effects of real time account valuation over time.

Consolidating your accounts can make planning for retirement easier and more beneficial. Being able to see all your money in one place, with one company and under one advisor is favorable for your financial future and for you. There are multiple ways to achieve this goal! Depending on what kind of money is in the 401(k) accounts, Pre-Tax or Roth, will determine which method is best for you. Feel free to contact us and meet with one of our Financial Advisors to help navigate the best options of consolidating your accounts and find the best option that works for you.

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Number of Jobs, Labor Market Experience, and Earnings Growth: Results from a National Longitudinal Survey.” Press Release. August 22, 2019.

[2] United States Government Accountability Office. “401(k) Plans: Greater Protections Needed for Forced Transfers and Inactive Accounts.” November 2014.

[3]Bailey, Sabrina and Pang, Gaobo, Northern Trust “The $10,000 Hurdle.” February 2019.

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