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<<but I'm considering rolling over some or all of this money if it's possible to invest tax-deferred money in individual stocks rather than in funds.>>

HOWEVER ! ! ! !

I am assuming the money is still in the original 401(k) plan, but is now held in the plan under your name.

IF you are under 59 1/2, and are considering a withdrawal, a QDRO distribution qualifies as one of the 10% penalty exceptions. That means if you take the money as a lump sum distribution, you'll have income taxes, but not the additional penalty.

The minute those funds hit an IRA, you lose the exception. Distribution prior to age 59 1/2 will have income taxes + penalty.

(However, since you are FOOLISH and will use the funds for retirement so the above was not a necessary comment)
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