The Power of Tax-Deferred Growth Why are 401(k) plans, annuities, and IRAs so popular? Share | Related Content 18 Years Worth of Days The average retirement lasts for 18 years. Are you prepared to fill that many days? Choices for Your 401(k) at a Former Employer Individuals have three basic choices with the 401(k) account they accrued at a previous employer. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.