We Don’t Invest in Us First

When they change jobs, workers need to decide what to do with an old 401(k) plan.  Just over a quarter of workers (26 percent) say they cashed out their 401(k) and either spent the money or used it to pay down debt, and likely also paid the resulting income tax and early withdrawal penalty (if under age 55) on that distribution.  Workers can delay taxes and avoid the early withdrawal penalty by leaving the money in the old 401(k) plan, moving it to a new 401(k), or rolling over their balance to an IRA.

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