If you withdraw money from your Roth IRA or retirement accounts early, that money will never compound because it won’t be there.

You won’t have a choice: the administrator will deduct it automatically from your check.

And if you thought paying 10% on a mere withdrawal hurt, imagine the crack it’ll make in your entire nest egg. Because your 401(k) was funded with pre-income tax dollars, you’ll get hit with a tax bill in the year you take possession of those funds.

This is especially true for those with poor credit, who may not have access to traditional lending options or be able to borrow money at a reasonable interest rate.

Withdrawing the money from your retirement account is a way to fund these items without borrowing money from a third party that charges you interest. Depending on your age and various tax rules, you may owe both income taxes and penalties on the money you take out of retirement accounts.

The issue is, when can you withdraw earnings without paying the 10% early withdrawal penalty mandated by the IRS? All the same, the benefit of being able to withdraw your contributions without penalties or tax repercussions is a great benefit provided only to Roth IRA investors.

The cons of withdrawing money are common to all retirement accounts, but with different wrinkles depending on the laws and regulations that govern them.

But if it’s an extremely good plan, and better than the one at your new workplace (or there isn’t one at your new workplace), leaving the money behind may be the best move.

Remember that early withdrawal penalty we mentioned above? If you ask your retirement-fund provider to liquidate your account and send you the proceeds, you will have to pay that fee to the Internal Revenue Service (assuming you’re under 59½).

You can escape both the tax and the penalty if the account is at least five years old 59½ or meet a few other specifications (being disabled is one).