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I am thinking of taking a 401k (don't work there anymore) and putting it into an IRA. I've heard you can have the 401k company do a trustee to trustee transfer (rollover), but that it takes awhile to get them to do it. I also heard that in order to make things happen faster, you can also have the 401k plan send you the proceeds in a check and you have 60 days to deposit it into the newly created IRA. Is that correct?

It all depends. When I retired I requested Vanguard's conversion "kit" which was a booklet of forms (rather complicated) necessary for Vanguard to contact my 401k and "collect" the monies in my account. Estimated time to complete, several hours.

As it turned out my 401K had a one-page form asking for my SS#. reason for withdrawal, retirement date and signature, company and account # to which monies were to be transferred. Time to complet: about 3 minutes. Within 2 weeks the money was in my Vanguard account. (Note: Vanguard wanted to know how much money to expect and when. Flawless and easy transfer just a few months before the economy tanked.
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