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Subject:  Re: 401k and immigration Date:  2/24/2001  7:00 AM
Author:  TMFPixy Number:  28082 of 88033

Greetings, Luiz, and welcome. You asked:

I'm working in the US under an H1B visa. I have some money saved to a 401k plan. I am 43 years old. Eventually, I will return to my country of origin and live there. At that point, can I leave my 401k account open until I reach the legal age for retirement (is it 55?), and come back to get the money? Or would it be safer to just withdraw any funds in spite of the taxes?

If you have over $5,000 in the plan at the time you leave the employ of the company sponsoring that plan, then you may leave the money there until you reach the age of 59 1/2. Age 55 applies only if you leave the job having that plan in the year you have reached or will attain age 55.

If you have less than $5K on departure from the job, most plans will force you to take the money. In that case, you may transfer it to an IRA or take the money and pay any applicable taxes and early withdrawal penalty.

I'll leave the choice as to what you should do to you.


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