Freelance Writer Files: Two Little Words (Or is it One?)

"Rollover" can be a confusing word, but not to your dog.

"Rollover" can be a confusing word, but not to your dog.

When you say, “Rover, roll over!” if he’s trained to do so, he’ll roll his body over. Simple enough. But there is a heck of a lot of confusion among humans over “roll over,” “rollover,” and even “Rollover,” and how to use those words in regard to finances. I’ll admit it is a little tricky, but here’s a quick primer (pronounced “primmer,” not “prymer,” as some national announcers, who shall remain nameless, have begun saying).

1. There’s “roll over” as when you turn on your side to avoid snoring.
2. Then there’s “roll over,” which is what you do to money when you cleverly extract your 401(k) money and magically transfer it into a different 401(k) or an IRA without it going into your hands, thus avoiding paying taxes on it.

Roll over" is when you take money out of your 401(k) and transfer it magically without paying taxes.

Roll over" is when you take money out of your 401(k) and transfer it magically without paying taxes.


3. Then there’s “rollover,” which is what you’ve done. You can even have a Rollover IRA.

To sum it all up:

Need a financial adviser? Don't pick this guy.

Need a financial adviser? Don't pick this guy.

• “Roll over” is a verb form used to request a physical action, as in “Roll over, sweetie, you’re snoring.”
• “Roll over” is also a verb form meaning, “Hey, Herb [your financial adviser]. Take money from my old 401(k) from that crazy sweatshop where I worked until they mercifully canned me, and put it into an IRA.”
• Rollover is a noun that can be used in a sentence like, “I asked Herb to do a rollover of my 401(k) money into an IRA.”
• After Herb fulfilled your request, you could say, “I have a Rollover IRA.”

So don’t ask your dog to do a rollover, or Herb to roll over for you. They just might take it the wrong way.

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