How many jobs have you had in your lifetime? If you're like the average American born toward the end of the baby boom, the answer is 11 or 12. If you're of a younger generation, you're likely to have even more jobs in your lifetime according to researchers. And odds are that you've participated in some of their employer-sponsored retirement plans. When you transitioned from one position to the next, did you move your retirement funds into anew or existing retirement plan?
Roll Over Your Funds
If you do have money in a former employer's plan, consider rolling those funds into an IRA. With an IRA, you'll have significantly more investment options and control over your money. Many IRAs include thousands of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other types of investments that aren't generally available in employer plans. IRAs also offer more flexibility. For example, if you find that some of your investments aren't performing well, it may be easier to switch them within an IRA than in a 401(k).
Note that you can roll multiple retirement plans from past employers into a single IRA. Managing your funds in one account is more convenient and makes it easier to assess your investments.
Give Your Financial Advisor the Full Picture
Putting money aside in employer-sponsored plans can be a smart retirement strategy, but it does require proper management. Take some time now to get your past accounts in order. Financial advisors can make more insightful recommendations and more effectively help you achieve your financial goals when they have full visibility over your entire investment portfolio.