Retirement Hodgepodge

Physician's Money Digest, June15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 11

Tip:

If your mailbox gets stuffed with IRAand 401(k) statements every month, youmay have your retirement eggs in toomany baskets. The old rules governingretirement accounts often mandated severaldifferent accounts (eg, you needed tokeep money from an old 401[k] plan in aseparate rollover account if you thoughtyou ever might put it into another companyplan). New rules allow you to mergesuch an account into an IRA and still beable to put it into a new 401(k) plan withoutpenalty. Do a direct transfer; ifyou have the money sent to you, the401(k) administrator must withhold 20%for taxes. You'll get credit for that whenyou file your 1040 next year, but it's betterto have it in your IRA and earningtax-deferred gains.