First time switching jobs...what is the deal with rolling over 401k? Would someone please give me a TL;DR on this?

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Agree. Roll over 401k into a rollover IRA. Some places encourage you to leave it in current 401k, but no reason to do so. More control and flexibility if you roll it over. Need to set up rollover account destination ahead of time. Keeps it tax free (deferred).

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You should have some HR person that you can reach out to for these questions. Different companies have (sometimes) different requirements to set it up. But high level - you’ll need the current institution with your 401k to send information to your new company

Or, another option is just roll the 401k into an IRA. I just start new 401ks when I join a new company, and roll the previous balance into my IRAs

Would the IRA be set up through a separate brokerage account? Or is it a subcomponent of my new employer's 401k?

Simplest method would be to create the IRA with whoever is managing the previous 401K (at least it was easy with Fidelity).

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