smart spending

7 steps to clean up financial clutter

Roll over 401(k) accounts
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Employees who change jobs often leave a trail of retirement accounts in the care of their former employers. As those accounts proliferate, it becomes difficult to manage the investments, and if a plan is transferred to a new manager, the assets may go missing or the investment choices may be very limited.

To get rid of 401(k) clutter, roll over old accounts to your new employer's plan as soon as you're eligible to do so. If your new employer doesn't offer this benefit, roll over into an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. Some banks will count an IRA toward a minimum balance that can earn reduced or waived fees on a checking account or other services. Rolling over an old 401(k) when you start a new job also can reduce the temptation to cash out your investments.

"My philosophy is when you leave an employer, you take what's yours with you," Rogoszinski says.




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