Back To School - Retirement Net by Ed Slott & Company

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Back To School

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Time to find out the latest information on your IRA

Posted August 31, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Time to sharpen the pencils, dust off the binders and pack up those books. Yes, that’s right, it’s the back to school season. And although the back to school season is generally associated more with those concerned with recess than retirement, it’s a great reminder to us all that you are never too old to learn something new.

Learning about taxes and how they can impact your retirement is no easy task though. The rules are constantly changing and much of the terminology might as well be written in another language. With so much complexity in the tax planning environment, it’s important to know where to turn for reliable information that you can count on. Here are a quick few.

Each year, IRS releases a number of publications that are designed for use by the general public. (These are all available online from the IRS' website.) Although some of the information in these publications can be difficult for even some professionals to understand, they are designed to be user-friendly guides for the “every day” taxpayer. There are seemingly countless publications released by IRS each year, and several of them are particularly useful for retirement account owners. They include:

Publication 590 [Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)]

  • IRAs
  • Roth IRAs
  • Roth Conversions
  • Life Expectancy Tables

Publication 575 [Pension and Annuity Income]

  • Defined Benefit Plans
  • 401(k) Plans
  • Other Qualified Annuity Plans

Publication 571 [Tax Sheltered Annuity Plans (403[b] Plans)]

  • 403(b) Plans

Publication 560 [Retirement Plans for Small Business]

  • SEP IRAs
  • Qualified Plans, such as solo 401(k) plans

Another excellent source of information is your local library. Libraries are packed with great resources and a support staff that can help you sift through the weeds to help you get to the information you want. And with the number of retired baby boomers growing by the day, many libraries have rapidly expanded their selection of retirement themed literature. A word of warning though; make sure you’re reading current material. Remember, the laws are changing all the time.

Of course, it should go without saying that the best source of information is often a knowledgeable advisor who specializes in the taxation of retirement accounts.

Ed Slott and Company has been called "The Best" source for IRA advice by The Wall Street Journal, and "America's IRA Experts" by Mutual Funds Magazine. Ed is a widely recognized professional speaker and author. Get more IRA information from America's IRA Experts.


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