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BAP (aka Quizboy),

<<Suppose I arrange a custodian-to-custodian transfer into an IRA while I'm looking for a new job. Can I direct the investment of the IRA monies, or do I have to delegate that to the custodian? Also, is there a time limit on how long my "old" 401(k) money can be in an IRA before I roll it into a "new" 401(k) with a future employer?>>

You can have the money transferred to a broker into something called a self-directed IRA. That allows you to trade securities yourself within that account.

The money and all the earnings can sit there as long as you want before you transfer it to a new employer's plan. Just be sure you never make any contributions to it or roll any other IRA money into that one. If you do, the money loses eligibility for transfer to a new plan that accepts money from other qualified plans. There is no time limit involved for the transfer. The only issue is the "purity" of the money.

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