The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tax-Free Investing


Anyone who doesn't want to hand over the lion's share of earnings and income to Uncle Sam— those with or without 401(k) and pensions, the self-employed and worker bees, homeowners and renters... the list goes on and on.
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Anyone who doesn't want to hand over the lion's share of earnings and income to Uncle Sam— those with or without 401(k) and pensions, the self-employed and worker bees, homeowners and renters... the list goes on and on.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028638928
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 7/17/2000
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents


1. The Toll Taxes Take.
"I Owe My Soul to the Company Store."
Graduating with Honors. Being Bracketed.
What's Taxable, What's Not.
Exclusions. Deductions. Credits. Off the Top.
Two Things Certain: Death and Taxes.
Form by Form. Putting Off Tax Day.
Audit Blues.
Audit Ins and Outs. Taxpayer Rights. Records to Keep.
States Have Taxes, Too.

2. Pay Now, Pay Later, Pay Not at All.
The Investment Universe.
Investing for Growth. Investing for Income. Substitutes for Cash. Allocating Your Assets. Your Time Horizon. Tolerating Risk.
Tax-Sheltered Investments.
Retirement Plans. Annuities and EE-Bonds.
When It Pays to Pay. The Pros Have It.
Online Tax Help. Tax Software.


3. The Roof Over Your Head.
Your Hidden Wealth. Uncle Sam Shares the Costs.
Mortgage Interest. Closing Costs. Other Deductible Items.
Work Makes Strange Bedfellows. Feathering Your Nest. Tapping the Wealth.
Loans and Lines of Credit. Reverse Mortgages.

4. Territorial Imperatives.
Sharing the Wealth.
Moving On. Once and Again. When a House Is Not a Home.
New Job, New Home. At the End of the Road.
Splitting Up Is Hard to Do. Two Things Are Certain: Death and Taxes.

5. By the Sea, by the Sea.
A Dream Come True.
Location, Location, Location. Sharing Space and Time. Going In Together. Where the Grass Is Greener.
Permutations and Combinations. Strangers in the House. This and That. Making It Permanent.
Taxing Times. Double Trouble.
Moving On.


6. UGMA, UTMA, Kids and Taxes.
Kids and Taxes.
Children Get Credit. Caring Gets Credit, Too.
Your Child's Income. The Kiddie Tax. Who Files What. Your Name or the Kid's.
A Custody Case. Trusting In Your Kids.
When the Game Ends. What Your Kids Need to Know.

7. Uncle Sam's IOUs.
A Tax-Deferred Delight.
How to Buy. How Much Will You Earn? How Much Your Bonds Are Currently Worth. Does Mature Mean Grown-Up?
I-Bonds to Beat Inflation. HH Is for Hesitate.
Tax Ramifications. Tax-Free for Some Folks. Holding On.

8. Education Tax Breaks.
The Cost of College. Education IRAs. HOPE Springs Eternal. States Get in Line.
Locking in Low(er) Prices. Growing Your Money. Choosing the Right Plan.
Filling the Gap.
Types of Aid. Loan Consolidation.
Beyond Financial Aid.

9. For Grandparents Only.
Sharing the Wealth. What's "Unified" About This Tax?
Just Write a Check. More Is Better.
Trusting in Tax Breaks.
Pick and Shovel. Skipping Generations.
College Bound.
529 and Counting. Investing on Your Own.
Buying Shelter.


10. Building Your Nest Egg at Work.
Playing by the Rules.
Playing with Matches. Playing It Close to the Vest.
Variations on a Theme. The Ball Is in Your Court.
On the A La Carte Menu. Making Your Choices.
Who Pays the Freight? Is There a Problem Here? Leaving Town.
Borrowing Your Own Money. Hardship Withdrawals.

11. Promises to Keep.
Uncle Sam Kicks In.
Win Some, Lose Some. Giving Back.
Guaranteed Benefits.
When It's Yours, It's Yours. Uncle Sam Minds the Store.
Variations on a Theme.
Cash Balance Plans. Nonqualified Plans.
When It's Time to Go.
To the Max. Taxing Times.

12. On Your Own (IRA) Account.
Yes, You Can. Penalty-Free Zone. New Kid on the Block. To Roth or Not to Roth.
Switching Gears. Another Option.
Stashing the Cash.
Growth or Income. Avoid IRA Mistakes.

13. You're on Your Own.
Be Your Own Sugar Daddy. The Old Standby.
High-End Perk. Calling It Quits.
New and Improved.
Helping the Help.
Introducing a 401(k). You're on the Hook.

14. Hold On to Your Gains.
You're the Boss.
Birthday Rules. When to Retire.
Roll Over and Stay Alive.
Rollover Rules. Company Stock Has Square Wheels.
Your Own (IRA) Account.
Name That Beneficiary! Distribution Choices. Today and Tomorrow. On the Receiving End.
Doing Well by Doing Good.

15. The Ins and Outs of Annuities.
The Game Plan. Now or Later. Fixing the Future. A Mixed Bag. Playing the Odds.
Choosing Investments. Sales Gimmicks. Loads and Fees.
To Buy or Not to Buy. Take the Money and Run.
To Annuitize or Not to Annuitize. Tax and Consequences.


16. Everyone into the (Money Market) Pool.
Skip the Savings Account. All in the Family. Using a Money Fund.
No Guarantees Here. No Peas in a Pod.
The Devil Is in the Details.
Costs Count. How to Invest in the Money Market.

17. Muni Madness.
The Ins and Outs of Bonds.
Bond Basics. Tax-Free Specifics.
Understanding Yield. When Zero Is the Answer. Risk Isn't a Four-Letter Word. Alphabet Soup.
What Ratings Mean. Safety First.

18. Making the Most of Bonds.
A Place for Bonds.
Allocating Your Assets. Taxable and Tax-Free.
To Pool or Not to Pool. Buying Singletons.
Matching Maturities. Building a Ladder. Something Old, Something New.
Price Points. Where and How to Buy.
Reading the Tables. What to Look For. What to Do When Things Go Wrong.
When It's Time to Sell.

19. Uncle Sam Treasures You.
The Treasury Market.
Two "B"'s and an "N." Coming Attractions.
Inflation-Indexed Treasuries. Getting on Board.
Treasury Direct. Banks, Brokers, and Mutual Funds.
Treasury STRIPs. The Smart Exchange. Uncle's Nephews and Nieces.

20. Ganging Up with Mutual Funds.
Joining the Crowd. A Little at a Time. Different Strokes for Different Folks. Money off the Top.
Loading the Dice. Year After Year After Year. Coming Out Ahead. One-Time Charges. Open and Above Board. Prospectus Pointers.
Measuring Performance.

21. Blue Plate Specials.
The Door Is Closed. In Units We Trust. The REIT Stuff.
REIT Basics. Buying Tips.
The General Is In.
Limited Partnerships Today. Gone but Not Forgotten. Tax Consequences.

22. There's No Free Lunch.
The Short and the Long of It. The Lone Ranger. Pack Mentality.
As a Shareholder. When You Sell. Be Specific. The Law of Averages. Tax and Consequences.
Tax-Free? Maybe.
States' Rights. Tax Efficiency. Tax Swaps.
An Alternative That Isn't.


23. Your Money for Your Life.
Hidden Value. How Much Is Too Much? Meeting Short-Term Needs. To Have and to Hold.
Whole Life. Universal Life. Variable Universal Life. Policy Riders. Special Coverage.
Money on the Line.
Agents. Swaps.
Burying the Wealth.

24. You Can't Take It with You.
Uncle Sam Collects.
Business Before Pleasure. Greedy States of Affairs.
Bypassing the Tax Man.
The Merry Widow(er). Step Up to Tax-Free Gains.
Gaining by Giving.
No Gift Tax Here. Giving Big Bucks. Doing Good.

25. You Must Be Willing.
Where There's a Will.
Are You Prepared?. When Wills Don't Count. Just Say "No."
Telling It Like It Is.
Managing the Money. Healthy Choices.
Trust in These Documents. Who Represents You? Trusts for the Living.


A. Resources.
B. Glossary.
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