IRAs, 401(k)s & Other Retirement Plans

Twila Slesnick and John Suttle, IRAs, 401(k)s & Other Retirement Plans (Nolo, Berkeley, CA, 2004. 278 pages).

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You've worked hard and saved your money in a retirement plan, and now you are getting ready to retire. How do you make the most of the money you have saved? IRAs, 401(k)s & Other Retirement Plans may be able to help you understand your retirement plan.

Written in plain language, the book describes in detail how to decipher your IRA or 401(k). The authors begin each chapter by explaining who should read that particular chapter. For example, everyone should read the chapter on tax rules for distributions, but only people who want to withdraw their money before age 59 ½ should read the chapter on early distributions. The book explains how to avoid early distribution penalties by taking equal periodic payments, what distributions you must take in your lifetime, how to compute the amount to withdraw, and what happens to your plan after you die. There is also a separate chapter on Roth IRAs.

In addition, the book includes tips and helpful terms, and the index has sample IRS forms and life expectancy tables. If you want a thorough understanding of your IRA or 401(k), this is the book for you.