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As a non-resident alien (foreigner) does it make sense to invest in a 401k? Or just do ROTH and call it a session

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Are you planning to retire in the US? If not, I'd reconsider participating at all in a US-specific plan.

First, you may not be able to "cash out" when you leave the U.S., depending on how the plan is set up. If you're going to a related employer, you may not be treated as having left the U.S. company, and giving you back everything in it may invalidate the plan, so the plan administrator may refuse to do it.

If you're willing to wait until retirement age, and you'd likely retire to your home country, read the pension article of the tax treaty between that country and the US, and see which country would tax your retirement.

If that country is going to tax it as retirement income, and you already paid tax on it in the US before putting it into a Roth 401k/IRA... you haven't done yourself any favors. Even if you put it in a traditional 401k... are you going to have to file US returns every year to get the mandatory tax withholding back? If you want roll it into an IRA, is that other country going to want to treat the transaction as a taxable event, or did you remember to do that while still in the U.S.?

You may tell yourself that you'll move to Bermuda or wherever for a year to break residency with your home country, so you can cash out. Some countries will let you do that, and some won't. But many retirees want to spend their time with kids/grandkids, rather than cooling their heels in a tax haven.

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God send. Thank you

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