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Greetings, ilnana, and welcome.

<<My question is: What if I leave my employer to take a job overseas with a non-US company? What would I do with the money I have accrued up to now (appx. $12,000). I plan on returning to the states one day, but don't know when. And what if (!!) I don't return?>>

If and when you leave your employer you may do one of three things:

a. Leave the money in the plan until you retire.
b. Take the money and pay all taxes and penalties due.
c. Transfer the money to an IRA and pay taxes on that when you take money in retirement.

If you don't return, you can always take the money and pay taxes. If you're younger than age 59 ½ when you take it, you will also pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty. If you do return and if you use option a or c, then you can always transfer that money to a new employer's 401k plan if that plan accepts such transfers.


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