The Average American will have about 11 jobs in their lifetime. For many, this means there may also be 11 different retirement plans to keep track of. To make this simple for yourself, you may prefer to rollover all of these assets into one Individual Retirement Account or IRA.
Now there are a few things you need to be aware of when moving money from another company into an IRA.
You don't want the money touching your hands. Sometimes, companies will offer to give YOU your retirement money and let you worry about moving it on your own. Avoid this option if possible as it can be complicated - it is much better if funds are transferred DIRECTLY from one investment firm to another.
Now if your former employer will only release the money to you, then be sure you meet with your HR department or plan administrator to clearly understand the process, any potential taxes and all deadlines. Typically, you have 60 days once the money is in your possession to rollover your 401(k). Be sure you're not late to avoid any penalties. You worked too long and hard for your retirement - don't let missing simple rules set you back.