The average person changes jobs every 4 years.
If you’ve had multiple jobs throughout your life, there’s a good chance you’ve had multiple opportunities to open a 401(k) account with each of the companies you’ve worked with. Clearly, this isn’t the most efficient way of doing things, but employers don’t really care about that. It’s your job to make sure all your accounts are in order.
Still, it’s easy to lose a 401k account, whether it was because you were too busy or because you simply forgot that one account by mistake. We’re talking to the tune of $3.1 trillion collectively as Americans. Clearly, not everyone knows that you should be rolling over your 401k whenever you find a new job.
However, with Meet Beagle, that no longer becomes that big of a deal. Really. Let’s take a deep look into what exactly it is that Meet Beagle does, and whether or not it’s worth it for you.
What is Meet Beagle?
Meet Beagle is a company founded in 2020 that helps customers locate their old 401(k)s. This problem is much more prevalent than one might expect. In addition to simply losing track of your 401(k), depending on how much money is in the account, a number of things can happen that are out of your control. There could be fees building up, the money may have been distributed to you at some point without you knowing or remembering, or it may have been transferred to the state.
What Meet Beagle helps with is to simplify the process for you so that you don’t have to go through the entire process of trying to figure out who has what and what’s been done to the account. They’ll find all the accounts under your name and will even point out any hidden fees that have been or are accruing on your account.
Does Meet Beagle have an app?
At this time, the Meet Beagle user interface is via their direct website. There are no Apple or Google Play Store apps available to download.
How long does it take for Meet Beagle to find any missing 401(k) accounts?
Meet Beagle can take 2-4 days to get back to you, but when they get back to you, they’ll have all of your accounts displayed in an orderly manner for your perusal. Some users have had luck requesting a manual expediting, so it doesn’t hurt to be nice and request one if you’re anxious to get your accounts back.
How much does Meet Beagle cost?
To find your old 401(k) accounts, Meet Beagle simply charges a monthly fee of $3.99. You can subscribe to them and once you’re satisfied and convinced all your old accounts have been found, you can cancel the subscription.
Meet Beagle offers other services as well, such as opening a retirement account with them. For example, you can find all your 401(k)s and let Meet Beagle roll all the money over to a newly set up 401(k) account managed by Meet Beagle. Keep in mind that even if all your old 401(k) accounts have been found, if they have been rolled over to an account managed by Meet Beagle, you’re stuck paying the very reasonable $3.99 per month as long as that managed account stays open.
Does your 401(k) follow you?
Unfortunately, your 401(k) does not follow you when you move jobs. It’s your responsibility to contact your former human resources department or 401(k) plan administrator to get them to roll over the money from a previous account to a new one of your choosing.
What happens to old 401(k) accounts?
What happens to your old 401(k) account generally depends on how much money you’ve had in it.
Any account with more than a $5,000 balance will remain in the account. Any fees that you’ve been paying on the account will continue to be paid from the account.
Accounts holding between $1,000 and $5,000 will get rolled over into a safe harbor IRA. You won’t be paying the 401(k) fees anymore, but the new IRA will likely have its own new set of fees.
Any account with less than $1,000 will get a check in the mail for the amount, so always be careful not to throw away any mail without first checking.
How do I find an old 401(k) account for free?
The usual way to locate it is to contact each and every one of your previous places of work to see if they can help you find it. This can be very time-consuming and frustrating. It’s even worse if the previous company you worked for has gone out of business for any reason.
Can I cash out my 401(k) account once it’s found?
You absolutely can, but in the majority of cases, you absolutely should not. If you cash out your 401(k) before 59.5 years of age, you’ll not only be taxed on the income (remember, you never paid taxes on the money prior to investing it), you’ll also pay an early withdrawal penalty of 10 percent to the IRS. That can come out to a huge chunk of change and is almost never worth it.
Is Meet Beagle legit/safe to use?
Meet Beagle will only ask customers for information that they need in order to track down old 401(k)s. Inherently, it is sensitive information, but it will be handled professionally, as they do adhere to a safe protocol as expected of any company that deals with financial matters.
Is Meet Beagle worth it?
In most cases, if you even think you might have an old 401(k) floating out there, Meet Beagle is a relatively quick and affordable way to find out just to make sure. You can always pay your $3.99 and bounce. Even if you continue to pay for the service because you’ve rolled over all of your previous 401(k) money to a new account managed by Meet Beagle, it’s still a pretty good price especially if you’ve got over $100k saved up for retirement.
Meet Beagle makes life a lot easier for users who’ve worked multiple jobs and have opened multiple 401(k)s in the past. In fact, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if people who know they’re supposed to roll over 401(k)s at a new job end up not doing so at all, knowing that in 20 or 30 years, they can just sign up for Meet Beagle and have them roll it over all into one new account managed by Meet Beagle. I know I probably would.