Author Topic: My silly old 401k  (Read 4125 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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My silly old 401k
« on: May 06, 2013, 07:40:56 PM »
So, I have an old 401k from when I was previously employed with GE (they call it an S&SP but it is just a 401k).  I changed employers almost 4 years ago and the only thing I've done since then is check the dollar amount every once in a while.  I'm trying to decide what to do with it and started looking closer at it today.  Having just found this site a month ago, and voraciously reading everything about investing ever since, I now know to look for the fees charged in the funds I have my money in.  A few of the funds have high fees so I'm trying to determine if I should just move my money into a target date fund they offer, a mix of low fee funds, or just move the whole darned thing into an IRA.  I also have a dumb question- since I'm not adding new money, do the fees continue to be charged?

401k= $29k (no new contributions)
Currently dollars are all over the place..
$13k is in a US Large Cap Equity Index (with an insanely low 0.01% fee rating)
The rest is in a bunch of different GE specific funds (international, income, money market, GE stock, etc), some with high fees- stuff a randomly selected when I was 24 and was trying to be "diversified" as I had heard was important...

They offer a 2040 target date fund (managed by Fidelity) with 0.09% fees.  There is also a small cap equity fund at 0.04% and a TIPS index at 0.03%.

I don't know whether to go for the target fund, mix the large cap/small cap/TIPS, or go to an IRA.  What would an IRA advantage be besides being able to withdraw under 72(t)?  HELP! :)

Saving mom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: My silly old 401k
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 07:43:50 PM »
Either target date fund or rollover Ira to open up additional investment options.


  • Bristles
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Re: My silly old 401k
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 11:01:53 PM »
The advantage of an IRA is that as you leave future jobs, you can consolidate all of your old retirement accounts in one account so that at any given time, you only have current 401(k) and Rollover IRA, not a 401(k) for every job you've ever had. And sometimes plans change and when you're not at the company any longer, it gets trickier to figure out what's going on with the plan.

The only way the fees would no longer be being charged is if they were front-end load fees. So yes, mostly likely, you're still being charged fees. I would roll the money over to an IRA to consolidate.

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: My silly old 401k
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 07:09:33 AM »
Those index funds have pretty good expense ratios. It wouldn't kill you to keep it there, but I think it's easier to manage all my money in one place. To do that, you'd need to roll your 401(k) into an IRA with your online brokerage of choice (e.g. Vanguard). Then you can open a Roth IRA, taxable account, etc. for extra stashing.

If you want to get the absolute lowest fees possible, keep your money in the 401(k) but only in the funds which are cheaper than Vanguard's. That would be the large and small cap funds. Then buy bonds at Vanguard, since TIPS by itself is not very diversified. But this strategy means you're doing more work over time for a savings of only ~0.03% per year.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: My silly old 401k
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 11:06:49 AM »
Yeah- the low fees were really what was holding me back.  I think that I will roll over, though, to make it easier.  I don't want to have to constantly think about rebalancing in the old 401k in addition to my other retirement savings locations.  Thanks!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: My silly old 401k
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 02:48:36 PM »
A little off topic here...Where did you look to find the fees? That is one reason I've not rolled over a former 401K.