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I have about $4,000 in my 401(k) plan, and I have about $3,000 in credit card debt. I am leaving my job to start with another company and I am faced with the choice of rolling my 401(k) over into my new company's plan or taking the penalty and closing it out to pay off my credit cards, then starting over with my new employer's plan. I am 28 and single. I know that the advice is to first get out of debt, then build up an accessible savings of two months' living expenses or so, then start saving for retirement. Would it be in my best interests to close out the 401(k) to pay off my debt, build up a safety net in savings, and then start contributing to the new 401(k)? Or would I lose too much by starting two years later? -April
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