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Millennials are taking control of their future by loving what they do every day. As a smart, ambitious generation, there's no reason we shouldn't take control of our finances to help ensure we continue to stay in control of our lives and our independence.

Millennials are taking control of their future by loving what they do every day. As a smart, ambitious generation, there's no reason we shouldn't take control of our finances to help ensure we continue to stay in control of our lives and our independence.

New Job? Congrats!! But did you forget something?

There is no "Corporate Ladder" anymore...

It's not like the old days where our parents stuck with a company from graduation through retirement. Through our 20s and 30s, our ambitious Millennial generation has become known for "job hopping," staying at each job for an average of less than 3 years (compared with an average 4.4 years for the overall average population)*. In each of those career building moves, we have probably opened and funded a 401k/403b to max our employer contributions. Kudos on that! After all, free money is still free money.

But more often than not, 401(k)s rack up a ton of fees that are hidden, buried, call it what you like, but they are invisible (even in the fine print).

If the word "fees" didn't get your attention, look away from your Instagram feed and here are 5 more reasons to roll your 401k into an IRA:

1) Do What You Want: More Investment Options

401ks have a pre-selected group of funds from which you have to choose. IRAs allow you to explore a whole world of investment options including stocks, mutual funds, individuals bonds and ETFs. This allows you to invest according to your unique financial goals, needs and timeline. You can therefore follow your own investment philosophy or one that you develop with a financial professional.

2) It's Cheaper: Transparency of Fees

We said it before but we'll say it again because all too often we find that individual investors assume that if they can't see it, it's not really there. Doh! IRAs don't actually cost anything to set up, it's the investments within them that may be charging fees. Thanks to the world of low cost ETFs and no-load mutual funds, it can be much more cost-effective to implement your investment strategy in an IRA than a 401K which usually have insane operating expenses that eat into your return.

3) Saves You From Yourself: 10% Early Withdrawal Penalty (YES! This is an advantage.)

There are many nuances to why borrowing from your 401k is a phenomenally bad idea for an individual investor. So the fact that IRAs penalize you to borrow from yourself is actually a great deterrent to doing so. As disciplined as you may be, it never hurts to have a fail-safe device in place to keep you accountable to the security of your future. After all, you've worked so hard for it.

4) Invest in What You Believe In

IRAs allow you to invest in individual stocks. Not that we encourage single stock investing, because without the supervision of a professional, it's not usually a successful strategy. However, for the sake of an example, suppose you are extremely passionate about solar energy, you could technically invest A SMALL PERCENTAGE of your overall account value towards a company whom you feel is making great strides in the advancement of solar energy. There are many more example of course but please take caution when investing in single stocks.

5) Monthly Check in the Mail- Woohoo!

For those of you who are approaching retirement age and prefer getting a check in the mail every month, IRAs are a great choice. You can purchase an annuity in your IRA that distributes a monthly income check essentially setting up your own pension fund within the account. With social security looking bleak for our generation, this option will have a lot of merit down the road.


Hopefully by now we are preaching to the choir and you're google'ing the phone number of your old company's Benefits Department to request a roll from your 401k to your newly set up IRA.

So what should you do first? Set up an IRA online or with an advisor.

Keep in mind you can consolidate the 401ks from any prior employer all into the same IRA. This is an inherent benefit because it's much easier to keep track of it all with everything all in one place.

A final note: your ex-employer can send the check directly to the new firm where you've opened your IRA or they can send it to you, but either way it must be deposited within 60 days or it'll count as a distribution and you'll have to pay taxes on the entire amount.

Alright, so we've told go do it!


Priya @ MC

Stash Wealth, 142 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY, 11249, United States

Priya Malani left Wall Street to reestablish a new norm for what it meant to work with a Financial Advisor. As a Registered Investment Advisor based in New York, Stash Wealth educates and empowers Millennials and Gen Y'ers to take control of their financial future. Stash Wealth hosts monthly talks on personal finance topics called Financial Cliffnotes: LIVE. Also, it puts out a biweekly Financial Cliffnotes Newsletter. On the planning side, Moderna Capital has found the best way to execute successful financial plans is to deliver them in bite size pieces rather than the industry norm (one hefty document) that only leaves the client further confused and overwhelmed. By delivering modular planning on topics relevant to the needs of this generation, Stash Wealth helps individuals and couples secure their financial future and end the guilt that comes with not knowing where they stand.