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IMHO you may have received some bad info. 401(k) plans can not force you to take your money out; either as a taxable event, or as a rollover to a Rollover IRA. The exception to the above is the small balance regulation which permits Plans to force you to take your money out if your vested balance is less than $3500. If your respective balances are greater than $3500, then you can leave your money right where it is. It is your choice, not the Plan's choice.

That being said, there are numerous financial and psychological reasons for a terminated employee to want to get there money out & put it elsewhere & under your own direct control.

IMHO, the best move is to open a pair (one for you, one for your wife) Rollover IRA accounts at the discount brokerage of your choice. Then you are free to invest in the stocks, bonds, mutual funds of your choice.

I would modify the above, if per chance either one of you worked for small (benevolently oriented) employers that have some special investment options, such as private investment trust that performs excellently & the employer is picking up the trust management expenses; e.g. the plan currently offers an excellent investment vehicle that would be unavailable to you if you take your money out.

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