The Truth about Protecting Your IRAs and 401(k)s (Truth About Series)

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Overview

All you need to know about every IRA, every 401(k)…even HSAs, and more!

· The truth about getting the most benefits at the lowest cost

· The truth about avoiding the pitfalls that can kill your retirement

· The truth about choosing the best strategies for you--and your kids

The Truth About Protecting Your IRAs and 401(k)s arms you with the up-to-the-minute knowledge you need to build your retirement income, as you reduce your costs, taxes, and ...

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The Truth About Personal Finance (Collection)

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Overview

All you need to know about every IRA, every 401(k)…even HSAs, and more!

· The truth about getting the most benefits at the lowest cost

· The truth about avoiding the pitfalls that can kill your retirement

· The truth about choosing the best strategies for you--and your kids

The Truth About Protecting Your IRAs and 401(k)s arms you with the up-to-the-minute knowledge you need to build your retirement income, as you reduce your costs, taxes, and risks! Consumer finance expert and nationally syndicated radio host Steve Weisman offers 48 quick, bite-size, just-the-facts information about every type of tax-advantaged retirement investments: self-directed, stretch, SIMPLE, SEP, Roth, and spousal IRAs, 401(k)s, and more. You'll find up-to-the-minute guidance on avoiding pitfalls that can cost you a fortune…choosing the right retirement strategies for both you and your heirs…planning retirement investments when you’re a married or unmarried couple…widening your 401(k) investment options…and much more. Like every book in The Truth About Series, this book distills all the essential knowledge you need on a topic...presents it clearly, simply, and quickly, with an “a-ha!” on every page...and shows exactly how to put it to work in your daily life. Easy to read, easy to use, it’s all you need to gain retirement security--and protect it for the rest of your life!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132333849
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 12/18/2008
  • Series: Truth About Series
  • Pages: 195
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Weisman is Senior Lecturer at Bentley College in the department of Law, Tax, and Financial Planning. He has also taught courses on financial planning at the University of Massachusetts, Curry College, and Boston University. He is a host on the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including NYC’s legendary WABC and KRLA Los Angeles. A member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys, Steve is legal editor and a columnist for Talkers Magazine and writes for publications ranging from The Boston Globe to US Air. His books include Boomer or Bust, The Truth About Avoiding Scams, and The Truth About Buying Annuities. Weisman has earned a Certificate of Merit for legal journalism from the American Bar Association.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

“I’m here from the government, and I am here to help you.” For some people that phrase instills confidence that the government of the people, for the people, and by the people has come to the rescue of its citizenry and will be providing assistance in some important matter. For other people that phrase instills a fear that when the government gets involved, things tend to get overly complicated and complex. When it comes to retirement planning, both mindsets are right.

Although sometimes it may seem like the purpose of tax laws is to merely take as much of our hard earned money as possible, tax laws are also written to encourage certain activities and discourage others. The tax deduction for mortgage interest is an example of Congress’ attempt to encourage and facilitate home ownership. And so it is with retirement planning.

In an effort to encourage us to save for our own retirement rather than be dependent upon the government and programs like Social Security, Congress has passed laws providing opportunities for us to save for our own retirement while also reducing our income tax burden—a definite win-win situation for us. Perhaps the most popular and most effective ways of saving for your retirement are through IRAs and 401(k)s. More than 3 ½ trillion dollars are invested in IRAs while 401(k)s hold investments worth another 3 trillion dollars.

When it comes to planning for your retirement, IRAs and 401(k)s offer tremendous opportunities, but also pitfalls and traps for the unwary. As with any government-created program, there is a veritable avalanche of rules that can be viewed by pessimists as being stifling complications filled with financial danger. To the optimist, however, these rules provide opportunities for you to adopt IRA and 401(k) strategies specifically tailored to yours and your family’s needs—not just for now, but for the next generation.

That is where this book comes in. This book may not turn you into an optimist if that is not your predisposition, but it will provide you with the truth about all the ins and outs, the regulations, and the loopholes involved with IRAs and 401(k)s. It will help you identify both the pitfalls and the opportunities. It will help you help yourself toward a secure retirement.

“The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.” George Foreman

Praise Quote

“Steve Weisman has provided yet another immensely readable book and the single most important resource for all Americans who have an IRA or 401(k).”

ROBERT POWELL, Editor of Retirement Weekly, MarketWatch

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Truth 1 IRA 1

Truth 2 Let’s get it started (IRA style) 5

Truth 3 59 1/2 and 70 1/2 9

Truth 4 Earned income 13

Truth 5 IRA deductions 17

Truth 6 Distributions from IRAs 21

Truth 7 Minimum required distributions 25

Truth 8 Withdrawal pains 29

Truth 9 Spousal IRA 33

Truth 10 Trusts as IRA beneficiaries 37

Truth 11 Beneficiary designations 41

Truth 12 Customizing beneficiary designation forms 45

Truth 13 Self-directed IRAs 49

Truth 14 Stretch IRA 53

Truth 15 Disclaimers 57

Truth 16 Inheriting an IRA 61

Truth 17 Maximizing IRA benefits for a surviving spouse 65

Truth 18 Roth IRA for children 69

Truth 19 IRA conversions 73

Truth 20 SIMPLE IRA 77

Truth 21 SEP IRA 81

Truth 22 IRA effects on taxation of Social Security benefits 85

Truth 23 Excess contributions to a Roth IRA 89

Truth 24 401(k) 93

Truth 25 401(k) Fees 97

Truth 26 IRA and 401(k) investments 101 101

Truth 27 What to do if you don’t like your 401(k) choices 105

Truth 28 Vesting rules for 401(k)s 109

Truth 29 Borrowing from your 401(k) 113

Truth 30 Company stock in 401(k)s 117

Truth 31 IRAs, 401(k)s, and creditors 121

Truth 32 Automatic 401(k) enrollment 127

Truth 33 Roth 401(k)s 131

Truth 34 Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), or Roth 401(k) 135

Truth 35 401(k) choices when you leave your job 139

Truth 36 401(k) transfers 143

Truth 37 Individual 401(k) 147

Truth 38 SIMPLE 401(k) 151

Truth 39 Increasing tax brackets 155

Truth 40 Suing plan administrators 159

Truth 41 Retirement savings contribution credit 163

Truth 42 Divorce and your IRA or 401(k) 167

Truth 43 Health savings accounts 171

Truth 44 Unmarried and same-sex couples 175

Truth 45 Steve’s rules, part 1 179

Truth 46 Steve’s rules, part 2 183

Truth 47 Definitions 187

Truth 48 IRS Publication 590: Worksheets and Tables 193

About the Author 195

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Preface

“I’m here from the government, and I am here to help you.” For some people that phrase instills confidence that the government of the people, for the people, and by the people has come to the rescue of its citizenry and will be providing assistance in some important matter. For other people that phrase instills a fear that when the government gets involved, things tend to get overly complicated and complex. When it comes to retirement planning, both mindsets are right.

Although sometimes it may seem like the purpose of tax laws is to merely take as much of our hard earned money as possible, tax laws are also written to encourage certain activities and discourage others. The tax deduction for mortgage interest is an example of Congress’ attempt to encourage and facilitate home ownership. And so it is with retirement planning.

In an effort to encourage us to save for our own retirement rather than be dependent upon the government and programs like Social Security, Congress has passed laws providing opportunities for us to save for our own retirement while also reducing our income tax burden—a definite win-win situation for us. Perhaps the most popular and most effective ways of saving for your retirement are through IRAs and 401(k)s. More than 3 ½ trillion dollars are invested in IRAs while 401(k)s hold investments worth another 3 trillion dollars.

When it comes to planning for your retirement, IRAs and 401(k)s offer tremendous opportunities, but also pitfalls and traps for the unwary. As with any government-created program, there is a veritable avalanche of rules that can be viewed by pessimists as being stifling complications filled with financial danger. To the optimist, however, these rules provide opportunities for you to adopt IRA and 401(k) strategies specifically tailored to yours and your family’s needs—not just for now, but for the next generation.

That is where this book comes in. This book may not turn you into an optimist if that is not your predisposition, but it will provide you with the truth about all the ins and outs, the regulations, and the loopholes involved with IRAs and 401(k)s. It will help you identify both the pitfalls and the opportunities. It will help you help yourself toward a secure retirement.

“The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.” George Foreman

Praise Quote

“Steve Weisman has provided yet another immensely readable book and the single most important resource for all Americans who have an IRA or 401(k).”

ROBERT POWELL, Editor of Retirement Weekly, MarketWatch

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Easiest reading book, has more information and tells you everyth

    Easiest reading book, has more information and tells you everything you will ever need to know about 401s and IRAs.
    Am so impressed with it that I have loaned it out twice and am now buying another copy for a friend.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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