Should I roll my traditional IRA into my new 401(k) account?
I was advised to roll my 401(k) plan from a previous employer into a traditional IRA, which I did. I haven’t made any contributions to it since rolling it over, and it has grown very little. I have a 401(k) with my new employer; should I roll my traditional IRA into my new 401(k) account? I feel that if I combine them, my money and 401(k) will grow the most. I was advised to leave my traditional IRA at the company that it is at, so I am not sure what my best option is.
The first place to look is at the new 401(k) plan's investment options and fees. It is quite common for 401(k) plans to have very limited investment options and very high fees. It is still worthwhile to invest in them to get the company match, but may not be worth rolling the IRA into the plan. If your 401(k) has solid investment choices and reasonable fees, rolling the IRA might make sense from an ease of management standpoint. Your 401(k) also has the greatest creditor protections, which could be a consideration if you have a heightened chance of being sued.
From your question, though, it appears there is a bigger potential issue. Who is doing the advising? Based on the wording of the question, it seems to me like you got advice to roll the old 401(k) over to the adviser, and then the adviser hasn't talked with you or helped you much since that time. If that is the case, you may have an adviser who is giving advice based primarily on how much money they can make off of you. You may want to look at changing advisers as well. (Make sure to make the roll-over decision after you find a new adviser so they can help you make a good decision)
If you do change advisers, I recommend a fee-only and fiduciary financial planner. This means they are legally required to do what's in your best interest, and they don't get paid on commissions which create conflicts of interest. Contact a few advisers by searching for fiduciary advisors and asking for referrals from friends. Interview 3-5 planners to see who works best for you and who you mesh with personally. Before spending your time interviewing each adviser, look up how the adviser is licensed to see how they do business and how they are compensated. This article will help you understand what the different financial adviser licenses mean.