If you're like many Americans, you might have a dozen or more jobs during your lifetime. And with each new employer, you might have had the chance to start a 401(k) retirement savings plan. How many old 401(k) accounts are now lurking in your past?
According to a 2013 study by ING Direct USA, half of Americans who have participated in a 401(k) plan have left one behind at a former employer. Of those, almost 20 percent left behind an account worth more than $50,000.
The problem with leaving 401(k) accounts behind, said financial advisors, is that out of sight often means out of mind. Investors may no longer be managing those retirement assets appropriately. They may have picked one investment strategy in their 20s, but by their 40s and 50s, those assets might still — incorrectly — be invested the same way.