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When someone leaves their job, they are faced with the question of what to do with their retirement account. This decision can have a significant impact on their future financial well-being, especially if they have a substantial sum of money like $1,000,000 in their retirement account.

There are several options available to someone who has a large 401(k) account balance, and each option has its advantages and disadvantages. The decision ultimately depends on the individual’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and personal circumstances.

Option 1: Leave the 401(k) with the former employer

One option for someone with a $1,000,000 401(k) account balance is to leave the money with their former employer. This option may be appealing for those who are happy with their investment options and do not want to deal with the hassle of transferring their account to a new plan.

However, there are some drawbacks to leaving a 401(k) with a former employer. First, the investment options may be limited, and the fees may be higher compared to other retirement account options. Second, it may be more challenging to manage the account since the individual is no longer an active employee of the company.

Option 2: Roll the 401(k) into a new employer’s plan

If the individual is starting a new job and the new employer offers a 401(k) plan, they may be able to roll over their old 401(k) into the new plan. This option can be a convenient way to consolidate retirement savings into one account, making it easier to manage their investments.

However, it is important to note that not all employers allow rollovers from a previous employer’s 401(k) plan. Additionally, the investment options in the new plan may be limited or more expensive compared to other retirement account options.

Option 3: Roll the 401(k) into an IRA

Another option for someone with a $1,000,000 401(k) account balance is to roll the funds into an individual retirement account (IRA). This option gives the individual more control over their investments and potentially lower fees compared to leaving the money with a former employer.

An IRA also offers more investment options than a 401(k), allowing the individual to diversify their portfolio according to their risk tolerance and financial goals. Additionally, an IRA offers greater flexibility in terms of withdrawals and allows the individual to avoid required minimum distributions (RMDs) until age 72.

Option 4: Cash out the 401(k)

While it is possible to cash out a 401(k) when leaving a job, it is generally not recommended for someone with a $1,000,000 retirement account balance. Cashing out a 401(k) before age 59 1/2 incurs a 10% penalty in addition to ordinary income tax on the distribution.

This penalty can significantly reduce the amount of money the individual receives from their retirement account. Moreover, cashing out a 401(k) early can have a significant impact on the individual’s long-term financial goals, potentially leaving them with insufficient retirement savings.


In conclusion, someone with a $1,000,000 401(k) account balance has several options when leaving a job. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately depends on the individual’s financial goals and personal circumstances.

Leaving a 401(k) with a former employer may be convenient, but it may come with limited investment options and higher fees. Rolling over the account into a new employer’s plan can be a convenient way to consolidate retirement savings but may come with more limited investment options. Rolling the account into an IRA

Make it funny

Alright, here’s my best shot at making it funny:

So, you’ve got a million bucks in your 401(k) account and you’re wondering what to do with it. Well, let me tell you, the first thing you should do is take me out for a fancy dinner to celebrate. I’m kidding, but seriously, I’m not.

Now, you could leave your money with your old employer, but that’s like keeping your ex’s hoodie. It might feel comfortable at first, but eventually, you’ll outgrow it, and it’ll just take up space in your closet.

You could roll it over into a new employer’s plan, but let’s be real, you’re just going to spend that money on office snacks and company swag. Plus, your new coworkers will never let you live down the fact that you’re the guy who rolled over a million bucks into the company 401(k).

Or, you could cash out your 401(k) and use the money to buy a yacht, but that’s like buying a tank top in the winter – it’s a bad decision that you’ll regret later.

So, what should you do with your million-dollar retirement account? Roll it over into an IRA, of course! It’s like upgrading from a flip phone to a smartphone, but instead of making phone calls, you’re making money moves.

With an IRA, you have more control over your investments, and you can diversify your portfolio according to your financial goals. Plus, you can avoid required minimum distributions (RMDs) until age 72, which means more time to enjoy your retirement and less time worrying about taxes.

So, there you have it, folks. The best way to handle a million-dollar 401(k) account is to take me out to dinner and then roll it over into an IRA. And if you don’t like that advice, well, I guess you can always buy that yacht and invite me for a ride.

Just kidding, please don’t cash out your 401(k) for a yacht, unless you want to rename it “S.S. Regret.” In all seriousness, it’s important to consider your long-term financial goals and speak with a financial advisor before making any big decisions.

But if you do decide to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA, just remember to keep your eye on the prize: a happy and secure retirement. And if all else fails, just invest in a bunch of lottery tickets and hope for the best. Just kidding again, please don’t do that either.

In all honesty, managing a million-dollar retirement account can be overwhelming, but it’s a good problem to have. So take a deep breath, do your research, and remember that with great wealth comes great responsibility (and probably some jealous coworkers).

And let’s not forget the most important thing of all: having fun! Retirement is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and pursue the things you love. Whether it’s traveling the world, taking up a new hobby, or spending time with loved ones, make sure you’re building a retirement plan that supports your dreams and aspirations.

But with great wealth also comes great responsibility, so it’s important to make smart investment decisions and keep an eye on your finances. This may mean diversifying your portfolio, keeping your expenses in check, and avoiding risky investments that could jeopardize your retirement savings.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about what to do with your retirement account, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a financial advisor. They can help you navigate the complex world of retirement planning and ensure that you’re making the most of your hard-earned money.

So there you have it, folks. Whether you choose to leave your retirement account with your former employer, roll it over into a new plan, or invest in an IRA, just remember to stay focused on your long-term financial goals and enjoy the journey along the way. And if all else fails, just buy me that fancy dinner, and we’ll figure it out together!