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Author: Wradical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121219  
Subject: Re: Planning for 2013 Date: 3/9/2013 12:18 PM
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There's a lot of information missing here, to be able to give clear answers. The correct answer, as always, is: IT DEPENDS. (Years ago, I was advised you can always bill more for an answer that starts that way.)

I just got a new job, and the company does not match 401k. Should I still put money into the 401k, or just put my money straight into a Roth IRA?

IT DEPENDS. On a lot of things - like your current income and tax bracket, and what you think your income (and deductions) will be after you retire. An employer match is great, but even without it, you get to lower your current taxable income by deferring income via a 401(k) plan. Why wouldn't you want to? Do you really think you'll be in a higher bracket in retirement?

Also, what do I do with the 401k from my previous employer?

IT DEPENDS. How old are you? When do you think you'll retire? Or want the use of the money? If you're 59-1/2 it doesn't matter as much. You can withdraw from an IRA with no penalty. Otherwise it may be to your advantage to have your money in a 401(k) plan. You can withdraw from an employer's plan after separation from service at age 55, at least with no 10% early distributin penalty. Of course, the plan has to permit it.

And since my advice DEPENDS on a lot of unknown variables, I am charging double my usual rate for Motley Fools.

Bill
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