You can not roll a 401K into a Roth IRA. You can only make after tax contributions to a Roth. With a 401K from an old employer, you should do a direct Rollover IRA with an online brokerage account. You could rolllover to a new employer, but unless they have a really great plan with outstanding funds (highly unlikely), go with a rollover. I go through Fidelity and Ameritrade, but any of the online places are good. Ameritrade has pretty high transaction fees, but they have some of the better fund offerings that are hard to get at other places like CGMFX and PVFIX. I think Fidelity has the best online website and they make the rollover process the easiest...and offers some pretty decent funds that I mentioned(that is who I did my rollovers with in the past). Again, this is all just my opinion.
Look for No Load, No Transaction Fee Funds like WGRNX, FBRVX, or others (Fidelity has Fund Picks across different categories that give decent suggestions).
After the rollover, I would then look at opening a seperate Roth IRA. You have to fund this with after tax money, but all distributions are tax free at retirement, and contributions that you make can be taken out at any time without a penalty - no other retirement investment will allow you to do that. Funding a Roth IRA is the single best investment you can make.
Thanks again for all the advice. I think its time to start learning about all this stuff myself. I will check out the books you recommended.
I just changed jobs and need to roll over my 401k. Would you roll it into a Roth IRA or into my new employers 401k? I know you have more flexibilty w/ a IRA, but what would be the other advantages of putting my old 401k money (~$46k) into a Roth IRA.
Don't worry, probably paid dividends and short and long term capital gains (I had several funds do this recently). If you are reinvesting in the fund, you should see more shares in your account in the next couple of days to offset this. I good source on mutual funds is morningstar.com.