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Phly 05-16-2013 12:20 AM

401k question
Short story, I've had jobs when I was younger, that paid into a 401k. I went self employed after and never even thought about that money.

Is it still somewhere????? I know very little about such things and have been self employed for some time now. At least 12 years. So I was young and Didnt even think twice about it.

I don't wanna hear about what I should do for my retirement! I'll die working. Just who I am.
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tinyliny 05-16-2013 12:49 AM

Oh yes! that money better still be there! do you have account numbers? you need to track it down and roll it into an IRA.

If you roll it into a regular IRA you will pay no tax on it at all. If you roll it into a Roth IRA, you will have to pay some taxes on it, but when it comes time to withdraw it , when you either retire or die, you pay no taxes on it.

ASk Faceman, he knows a lot about these things.

Phly 05-16-2013 12:58 AM

Thank you. I don't have account numbers, well maybe I do but my filing system would make them lost somewhere in time. I'm the kind that stashes mason jars out back.

How can I find faceman? Is he a member?

If I can't find the numbers am I up the creek?
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tinyliny 05-16-2013 01:10 AM

Faceman is a member here. you can PM him with his name "Faceman".

your old company would have the information. you would contact their Human Resources deptartment, if they are large enough to have one.

Do you have any old paystubs? you surely must have SOME piece of paper with the account info on it, or was this ALL done digitally ( I HATE doing every darn thing digitally!!!!)

Once you find the name of the brokerage firm that holds the account, and the account number, you contact them and tell them you want to roll it over into ?
you should open an IRA somewhere. your bank will have simple IRA choices. Or , you can open one with Fidelity online. It is not hard to do. Once you have it openned, there is probably a way to make the transaction all digital. The bank might even do it for you, once you have openned an IRA with them.

when you do open the IRA, start contirbuting to it PRONTO! the sooner you do, the easier it is to get anywhere near what it takes to retire. AND, there are tax benefits to making deductiable contrinbutions to an IRA.

If you are self employed, you can do something called a Keogh (or some name like that). it's LIKE a 401k in some ways, but, again, ask Faceman.

If you set the IRA up to take an automatic deduction from your checking account, like a $100 per month, or whatever you can manage, you will be better off in the long run. It has to do with how you invest themoney in the IRA, and if it's in the stock market, the process of buying on a regular , monthly basis will give you a better overall price/purchasing ability than making one lump sum purchase, where you "guess" the best time to purchase stocks. Timing is important, but only the very knowledgeable can do it well. Us everyday schmucks just do it monthly, and in the long run, we win. IT's called "dollar cost averaging".

An IRA, if you didnt know this, is simply a type of account, like a checking account is a type, as is a savings account. What is actually IN the IRA is up to you. YOu could literally have Gold in your IRA, if you wanted. or cash, or stocks or bonds, or Mutual funds (which are just a bunch of stocks bundled together by a certain manager, and by a certain type or focus (i.e. international, or small companies, or emerging markets , or big co's.)

Is this helpful or am I telling you things you already know?

Phly 05-16-2013 01:25 AM

Yep, I'm lost. I'm a VERY simple man. I know how much money I have, well, because I have it. This is all very confusing to me.

So I can go to the company's I worked for and ask them? I started full time real job at 16. It's only 2 company's that are both still open.

I'll send him a PM. Thank you so much. I'm kinda slow when it comes to such things. But if you ever need to re-align the piston coolers on a Mack e7 I'll help ya out. Lol.
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tinyliny 05-16-2013 01:37 AM

I am a city girl, so don't have the machinery, but I very much respect the skill involved in keeping a car running well.

I am not expert, but there was a time when I was kind of interested in "investing", back when you could make some crazy money. Now, well, we just keep pluggin the money in to some IRA's and stuff. I no longer mess around with it at all.

I tried to make my explanation in "simple man" terms, becuase I actually think that way ,too, more or less.

I do support saving, however, and even modest saving will help.
I remember this story about the King of Babylon, or some other ancient country, who asked one of his wise men how to become the richest man in the world. the wise man said, "save 10% of every bit of money you ever make. Just 10%, but it must be of EVERYTHING"
So, you make 20 dollars, you put 2 away. No matter what. You "pay yourself first". easier said than done, I am sure. But, it does SOUND easy, doesn't it?Go talk to the old company. The money you put in there should still be there.

They may have moved it from one holding company to another, but it should be there.

I am not sure about this, but there is also a government site where they list "unclaimed property" . it's things like dead accounts , like yours, and unopenned safety boxes after the owner has died and no one came to claim, and prizes won but unclaimed, and all kinds of things. There is supposed to be millions of dollars waiting for the right person to claim it. not sure how that works, but it might be an interesting path to explore.

Phly 05-16-2013 01:53 AM

I appreciate all your help. I truly do.

But my mind scatters when this kinda stuff comes up. It's just not how I think sadly. I had totally forgot about all the years I put into WORK. Well because I keep working. This was kinda a random holy crap moment. I suppose I'm getting old, lol.

I'm definitely looking farther into this. And into Educating myself on such things. I know they probly teach all this in high school now. Heck I probly coulda asked my boy.

Honestly and truly thank you.
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Edit. I do save. It just happens to be at home. I blame my polish and hill jack raising :)

tinyliny 05-16-2013 02:02 AM

No, they DON"T teach this in school , but they should!

And why would you EVER walk away from money that you earned.?

I gotta sign off, so i'll be interested to hear one of these days if you ever find it. I hate doing that kind of stuff and have let things like that slip away from me all the time. Things like sending in medical reciepts for reimbursement from insurance. I hate doing all that paper work, or jumping through digital hoops. Believe me, the insurance companies purposefully make it difficult so that a certain percentage of people will just give up and they never have to pay those claims. it is a well known business strategy to "baffle 'em with , . . . you know, starts with B."

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