Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Lost job today, 401k question
Old 10-01-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lisa99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,327
Lost job today, 401k question

My DH lost his job today in a corporate downsizing. He's happy about it since the environment was toxic. This gave him the push to find something he's happy with since money isn't a concern.

One of the decisions we have to make is whether to leave his 401k where it is or roll it into a Vanguard IRA.

I've done some googling but thought I'd ask the experts. Are there any reasons financially to not move his money into a roll-over IRA? He's 48 so the one reason I found re: being able to use the money penalty free if you retire at 55 doesn't apply.
__________________

__________________
Lisa99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-01-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,620
If he leaves it in the 401(k), then the assets will not affect something called a "backdoor Roth IRA" if that is a possibility in the future.
__________________

__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
401Ks are usually asset protected because of ERISA, but with IRAs the level of asset protection depends on state law. Also 401Ks may have a stable value fund not available to the general public, so that is one other consideration.
__________________
daylatedollarshort is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
If he leaves it in the 401(k), then the assets will not affect something called a "backdoor Roth IRA" if that is a possibility in the future.

Another thing to consider if it applies. I left my money in my 401k until after I had converted my tIRA to a ROTH. The 401k was substantial and 100% tax deferred. My tIRA was much smaller and had a significant after-tax basis so converting it before the 401k was rolled into an IRA meant I paid tax on only the gains of the tIRA.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: chicago burbs
Posts: 559
If the 401k has good selection of funds (both equity and bonds) and has low expense ratios (below .4) and no other fees, I would probably leave it in the 401K.
__________________
golfnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Nm
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
Dryer sheet wannabe
Clover5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Another thing to consider if it applies. I left my money in my 401k until after I had converted my tIRA to a ROTH. The 401k was substantial and 100% tax deferred. My tIRA was much smaller and had a significant after-tax basis so converting it before the 401k was rolled into an IRA meant I paid tax on only the gains of the tIRA.
Need some help here. My assumption was that the tax basis for the tIRA to ROTH backdoor was based on gains prior to any 401k conversion funds... I think you are saying that the 401k dollars are part of the gain?
__________________
Clover5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 08:32 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
Really glad that your DH's job loss is a positive development for him, Lisa, so congrats!

And agree with others that the available funds are one factor in the rollover decision.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:03 PM   #9
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clover5 View Post
Need some help here. My assumption was that the tax basis for the tIRA to ROTH backdoor was based on gains prior to any 401k conversion funds... I think you are saying that the 401k dollars are part of the gain?
When you convert some IRA money to a ROTH you cannot pick and choose which IRA money to convert. Suppose you have rollover IRA of $400k from a 401k which was all funded from tax-deferred contributions and you have a tIRA which you funded with $60k of after tax money and it is now worth $100k. If you convert $50k to a Roth the amount of basis you can convert is a proportion of the total of all IRA's. $50k is 10% of the all your IRA's so when you do the conversion you get 10% of your basis tax free, i.e. 10% of $60k, which = $6k, and you pay tax on $44k. Your basis going forward is now $54k.

If you don't do do a rollover, and leave that $400k in the 401k, then the only IRA money is the $100k in the tIRA so when you convert $50k, you get 50% of the basis which is $30k and you only pay tax on $20k instead of the $44k in the example above. You now have a tIRA worth $50k with a basis of $30k, plus a ROTH of $50k.

This is what I did when I retired, leaving the 401k money where it was until I had converted my tIRA which all funded on after tax money, so I only paid taxes on the gains within that tIRA.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clover5 View Post
Need some help here. My assumption was that the tax basis for the tIRA to ROTH backdoor was based on gains prior to any 401k conversion funds... I think you are saying that the 401k dollars are part of the gain?
The tax basis used for Roth conversions is the amount of nondeductible tax contributions you made to all similar existing IRA's. You have no choice about it. So if all your current IRA's had only nondeductible contributions and no growth (a typical "backdoor" Roth situation), the taxes due on conversion can be $0 ($6500 "income" - $6500 basis). However, if you rollover a $200k 401k into an tIRA, you have $0 tax basis in that IRA (assuming the 401k was all pre-tax contributions). And now your $6500 "income" for the "backdoor" Roth conversion is offset by a basis of $6500 * ($0 + $6500) / ($200,000 + $6500), only $204.60 . You owe taxes on a net "income" of $6500 - $204.60 = $6295.40 . That's almost a pure Roth conversion, not a contribution.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,439
If your DH's plan includes a stable value fund that is paying a decent interest rate that would be a reason to stay given the current and expected future interest rate environment.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 11:24 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,423
How long do they typically allow you to maintain your 401k?
__________________
explanade is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2013, 11:27 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,278
Another reason is if you own company stock.... it is late, so I am not looking it up...

But, if you own shares of company stock, you can take it out as stock and only have the cost basis as taxable income....

An example.... you bought shares over the years and they cost $50K.... when you are (IIRC) 59 1/2 you take out the shares and they are worth $200K.... you would only have taxable income on the $50K.... the gain is not taxable... (at least not until you sell, and then it is cap gains)....


That is the main reason I left my money in my mega 401.....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 08:17 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lisa99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,327
Thanks everyone for your input.

We will start doing a backdoor roth once I retire so we'll leave his 401k where it is. Plus there are some decent very low cost funds in his 401k that align with our asset allocation so no reason to move the money.
__________________
Lisa99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,330
I suggest you not leave it there indefinitely. Plans can change or even end. I have heard horror stories about people that had 401k plans with tech companies that went belly up after 2000 found that the plans became orphans. The company was defunct and no longer paid to administrator. Without pay, the administrator didn't do anything for the people with 401ks. I'm not sure how it all worked out. I'd feel much safer with my money with Vanguard (or others).

I don't understand how a backdoor Roth could be done any differently from a 401k than a tIRA.
__________________
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
2B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 09:11 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lisa99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Villages
Posts: 1,327
Good point 2B.

It won't be indefinite but not concerned about the company's stability right now. They're an industry leader and have billions in free cash.
__________________
Lisa99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 96
My preference when changing jobs has always been to move it out of the company 401k into a self directed IRA. Much more flexibility. Until recently I thought that if I waited until Jan 2015 (the year I turn 55) to retire that I would be able to take money out as needed without a 10% penalty. As it turns out in reading the fine print, that is true, but I must withdraw the entire amount and pay taxes on it in that year. Being that this is 50% of my retirement savings, that is not going to work. Now I will be headed towards a rollover and 72t when the time comes to RE.
__________________
cinman2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2,365
No-penalty withdrawals from a 401k can occur starting at age 55, but if you xfer those dollars into an tIRA, you have to wait until age 59.5.
__________________
GrayHare is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 11:28 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
No-penalty withdrawals from a 401k can occur starting at age 55, but if you xfer those dollars into an tIRA, you have to wait until age 59.5.
Below is one of the exceptions to the 10% penalty directly from the IRS site. It does not exclude IRA's from 72t rules. Am I missing something?

"Distributions made as part of a series of substantially equal periodic payments over your life expectancy or the life expectancies of you and your designated beneficiary. If these distributions are from a qualified plan other than an IRA, you must separate from service with this employer before the payments begin for this exception to apply."
__________________
cinman2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2013, 11:34 AM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
No-penalty withdrawals from a 401k can occur starting at age 55, but if you xfer those dollars into an tIRA, you have to wait until age 59.5.
I thought that in order to withdrawal money from a 401k at 55, with no penalty or special considerations, you had to be working in the year in which you turned 55.
__________________

__________________
This sig intentionally left blank.
gozer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:12 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.