"The average 40-year-old may have changed jobs three to four times in their working career and could potentially have 401(k) accounts at each firm," Rafal said."One of the benefits of consolidating your old 401(k) accounts is that it provides more flexibility to choose the investment strategy that is right for your goals," he said.One of the biggest assets American workers have is retirement accounts.While the notion may be to set it and forget it, these accounts are portable and should be managed throughout your career to get the best returns.This is difficult to do when you have multiple accounts.When retirement accounts are combined you can carefully select your investments and put them into time segments; safe choices for the money you will need to withdraw in the next few years, and more aggressive choices for money you won't need to touch for quite a while.One of the best ways to increase your investment returns is to focus on finding ways to reduce the investment fees you pay and consolidating accounts helps.
Retirement accounts like an IRA require a custodian who must report contributions and withdrawals to the IRS for tax reporting purposes. The more accounts you have, the more fees you'll likely pay.
If your beneficiary is your spouse, make it easy on them.
Combine your retirement accounts so they aren't faced with a hassle one day.
"In many cases it is just a verbal authorization from the account owner specifying which institution the check should be payable," he said.
At this point, Rafal says, you'll want to get with your financial adviser to review your investment options and goals.