Money: If You Cash Out, You Lose Out

Forty-two percent of workers cash out their 401(k) retirement savings plans when they leave their jobs and take their accounts with them, according to a survey by consulting firm Hewitt Associates. Big mistake. When you cash out, you pay taxes and possibly a penalty of 10% of the account's value; also, your money no longer grows tax-deferred. Financial planner David Bergmann advises that you roll the money into an IRA or your new employer's 401(k), or leave it in the old employer's plan.

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