A client told me he had recently changed jobs and asked if I would roll over his 401(k)—into an existing Roth account. I asked if he knew whether his original 401(k) had been a traditional, or a Roth. Was he sure?
He was a little gruff at my complicating something so simple. But I really encouraged him to call his 401(k) company and verify it, first. Because I suspected it was most likely a traditional 401(k)—which would have rather large tax ramifications for him that he wasn’t considering.
Wouldn’t you know it? He called me—on my day off—he was obviously grateful that I had stopped him and asked the right questions. It had indeed been a traditional 401(k) and I had just saved him a costly mistake. I came into work and opened a traditional IRA for him right then. It was worth an afternoon of vacation time to garner that kind of appreciation.