Have you ever tried to fix a leaky kitchen faucet yourself? If so, the task probably seemed simple at the outset. However, if you’re not an experienced plumber, you may have inadvertently compounded the small problem of a leak — perhaps by over-tightening a nut, pinching the washer, stripping the threads, or worst of all, splitting the pipe — and unintentionally made the situation worse, as well as expensive to fix.

Don’t feel bad; you’re not alone. Some tasks look easy, but actually require more expertise and assistance than we first imagine, and in many cases we would be better off “calling the plumber” sooner rather than later. Leaving your 401(k) behind or trying to move it by yourself can be like trying to fix that leaky faucet — a small nagging problem that over time ends up costing you a surprising amount of money. Transferring a retirement savings account balance between employer-sponsored plans is more complicated than it may appear, and for most people is not a do-it-yourself (DIY) job.

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