I don’t really regret cashing out my 401(k)... I knew there were drawbacks but I didn’t know, off the top of my head, what they were.
“I had a 401(k) when I used to work at Chase Bank. It was one of the benefits they offered—Chase would give a percentage into the 401(k); they would match it.
“[When I left my position,] Chase gave me the option to withdraw. They actually sent me a letter in the mail telling me I can either withdraw or keep it going. They were working with some other financial institution that offered the 401(k) and they said I can withdraw or work directly with that other company. I withdrew the money. It wasn’t a lot because I had worked part-time for only a year.
“Whatever I did take out, I transferred to my new policy... I had heard about them from my dad. He used to do life insurance a lot. My new plan acts like a life insurance policy but also a retirement plan. You’re investing money in it and you can borrow against yourself. But at the same time, it’s a life insurance policy—you get their benefits. Two-for-one.
“I don’t really regret cashing out my 401(k). When I signed up for it, I didn’t know a lot. I knew there were drawbacks but I didn’t know, off the top of my head, what they were.
“I’m the type of person who wants to save money, but I don’t want it just lying around for no reason. That’s why I turned to a life insurance plan. I want my money to actively grow and work for me.”
Photograph & interview by Maria Whittaker
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