Consumer questions: 401k penalties

Cell Phones & Dropped Calls

Question: "Our question is about AT&T, we both have iPhones, and love them, but they drop calls all the time and I hear this from all my friends who have AT&T, too. Why does AT&T not work in this major metropolitan area?"

Answer: Actually, they work. It just depends on where you are and the coverage in your area. AT&T is the only carrier that works with the iPhone, so you need to make sure ahead of time that it will function in the areas where you work and live. AT&T has good service, but doesn't reach all locations.

Will Bailed Out Companies be Audited?

Question: "I just want to know if there will be auditors assigned to the companies who are being provided monies from the bailouts?"

Answer: There were auditors there before and they were doing the job and they were told to be quiet and keep it to themselves. That's what was going on for years and years. There are people ringing that bell saying we have a problem here, and no one wanted to hear it across both parties, administrations, and Congress, because the money was flowing. Now, no one wants to be the last guy. So now the auditors are going to be listened to; they're going to be treated with the respect which they deserve. We're going to hear a lot from them.

Penalties for Cashing out 401k

Question: "With the way that today's economy is, and people losing their jobs and having to cash in their 401k's, do you think the government will consider doing away with the huge penalty when you have to cash in your 401k early?"

Answer: No, don't see that happening. We're on our own now. With the threat to Social Security, the government will probably do everything they can to get folks to save more and put even more money away. It's not likely they will let up on the 401k rules.

For more of Michael Finney's consumer stories and advice, visit 7 On Your Side.

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