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Transfer My 401K?

Out of nowhere my husband wants me to transfer my 401K to his. It is only about 4K, but its really the only money that is truly mine. I was laid off in May so I also get unemployment that is direct deposited into our joint account. Its growing very slowly right now. His is rocketing up. My worry is that if we don't make it, that money will be in his name. His comeback "but if anything happens to me you are the beneficiary." Yeah, for now. It is super easy to change that information. And since I have not actually ever seen my name on it, it may have never have been there in the 1st place. I don't think he would do anything crazy, but when I mentioned the fact that if we don't work out then he has all of my money, he didn't say anything except "that makes me sad." He is typically very logical and I thought he would understand my side. Do I transfer it? Then when I get a job set up a new one? I am 23...


Asked by ABusyBee at 9:41 AM on Sep. 10, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 18 (5,804 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Yours is still earning something, there really isn't any reason to transfer it. I understand where you're coming from - it's yours, you earned it. I'm happily married (as are you I assume) and I would still do the same thing.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:44 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • just a clarification for you... whatever money has been added to yours or his 401k since you have been married is legally both of yours... i found this out the hard way when the company I worked for switched from 401k to pension while I was in the middle of being divorced and I could not roll it over or cash it out b/c my soon to be ex refused to sign the papers... my attorney said that my ex was entitled to half if he wanted it but luckily for me he left it alone...

    Answer by springsmom0322 at 11:08 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Does he have better investment options in his 401K plan? If so, I could understand his reasoning; you would probably earn more by transferring it. If the investment options in his 401K aren't any better than yours, I don't see any reason to transfer it.

    Answer by andrea96 at 11:36 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • It actually depends on which state you live in as to whether or not the money is both yours and your husbands.

    That being said, unless it's court ordered, you die, or you retire, you can't actually transfer money out of your 401K in order to give it to someone else without being charged a 10% fee plus your tax rate. So transferring $4000 over to your husband is a really really bad idea.

    Once you leave the company you work for you can roll the money in your 401K over to an IRA and from an IRA into a Roth IRA if you'd like. Once it's in an IRA you and your husband can decide together how to invest that money.

    Just from a financial planning standpoint, I'd leave the money in your name just to save on taxes and fees. Talk to a financial planner or your HR department if you have more questions.

    Answer by Erica_Smerica at 5:05 PM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • Oh, and when you get a new job you can roll it in to your new plan.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:45 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • No, I wouldn't transfer it. That would take it out of your name and put it in his, meaning it's going to his retirement not yours. Stay firm. In a marriage, both parties should have equal access to the bank accounts.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 11:08 AM on Sep. 10, 2010

  • All assets are marital assets if anything happens to the two of you, I believe. There is no need to transfer your account. I have mine and my DH has his. We are beneficiaries to the other's account. You need to verify that, at least, and make sure you are his beneficiary and vice versa. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 11:25 AM on Sep. 10, 2010