Faulty 401(k) Advice

It's wise to question any recommendations about your retirement account that don't seem to make sense.

When I left my last employer, I left the money in the company’s 401(k) plan. I'm now being told by a financial adviser that, upon retirement, I'll be required to take a lump-sum distribution. Is this true, or is the adviser just trying to get me to transfer this account for the commissions he would earn from a six figure sum?

You are right to be suspicious, and you may be on to something about the commissions.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.