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<<While we're on this topic, can you tell us the limits for a 403(b), and are there any differences between what I can do with 401(k) and 403(b) money when I leave my employer? I plan to roll everything from my 403(b) into a self-directed IRA when I move on, if the rules are the same as for a 401(k). >>

The 403b has the same limits as the 401k (i.e., 15% of compensation or $10K, whichever is lesser). The 403b does include a "catchup" provision that allows some folks who are close to retirement to exceed that amount to make up their lack of particiaption in earlier years. It's complicated to explain, so I won't.

When you leave or retire, you may roll the 403b money to a self-directed IRA should you so desire. That way you can get of funds and annuities and into the world of direct stock trading instead.

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