Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

IRAs: A Quick Reference Guide: Final Notes

February 5, 2018
By Bruce Miller
IRAs

My previous article concluded the series of articles featuring my IRAs: A Quick Reference Guide. I tried to provide basic information to guide owners of IRAs through all stages of the process. I explained general considerations about contributing to IRAs, rollovers and transfers between IRAs, implications of mandatory and elective withdrawals from IRAs and potential tax issues, as well as point out a few IRA administration and custodial concerns.

If you missed any of my previous articles in this series, you can go back to the first article and read the entire series or use the directory below to jump directly to any specific topic that interests you:

While the IRAs: A Quick Reference Guide provides a lot of information about managing IRAs, it is by no means a comprehensive all-encompassing resource. Some IRA concerns are very complex and some issues will be unique to the IRA owner’s specific situation. Therefore, you will need additional resources to navigate through the network of IRA rules and regulations.

If I find myself occasionally confronted by IRA questions that I cannot answer and need some assistance, I seek additional information and more detailed explanations from a variety of sources.

The following is a list of five websites that I find extremely useful and I frequently use them as references. You can visit these sources using the web address I have provided.

  1. IRS Publication 590-A and 590-B — I have used this IRA Publication over the years and have found the information it provides very useful. Sometimes reading and interpreting the words from the IRS can be a bit challenging, but nearly all information that most IRA owners need can be found in this publication. This publication was a single publication before 2014. For 2014 and after, the publication was divided into an A Publication and a B Publication.  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590b.pdf)
  1. The Fairmark web page — I find this site to be extremely useful for finding answers to difficult IRA questions. Kaye Thomas, the owner of the site, has written several books on IRAs and offers detailed but easy-to-read and easy-to-understand pages on various IRA issues on this website. His site also has an excellent “Retirement Savings and Benefits” forum where IRAs are often discussed and where you can post your IRA questions. You must register, but it is free. (http://fairmark.com/forum/index.php(http://www.fairmark.com./) (http://fairmark.com/forum/index.php)
  1. Ed Slott’s IRA forum — Another location where users can post and answer questions on IRAs. You must register for a free account to post in the forum. (https://www.irahelp.com/forums/ira-discussion-forum)
  1. The Bogelhead’s forum — Although this site is oriented toward low cost index fund (or index ETF) investing, there are many very knowledgeable IRA contributors on this site who seem happy to help anyone with an IRA-related question. You must register for a free account to post in the forum. (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/)
  1. Natalie Choate — Natalie’s web page does not offer a forum to ask or read others’ questions and the answers provided by contributors to the site. However, the web page does offer what is well known as “Choate’s Notes”. These notes cover a broad range of topics relating to IRAs and Natalie’s own “bulletin board” that deals with various current topics in IRAs. Much of this discussion is advanced and technical and may not be as good a starting point as the sites I have mentioned above. (https://www.ataxplan.com/bulletin-board/)

Additionally, I am including links to two additional references – a list and brief explanation of main acronyms related to IRA investing and a list of relevant IRS Tax Forms.

I have had many years of experience working with clients on their IRA-related questions. In addition to my extensive experience with IRA-related matters, I have made every effort to research and double-check the information I have provided. But please be mindful, like most others writing on this topic, I may misspeak or leave out some important tidbit of information, as the rules surrounding IRAs are numerous and complex. Although I have used several reference texts and websites to verify the points I have made, any errors are entirely mine. If you do see a mistake, feel free send me an e-mail to offer your observation. You can reach me at teachfp@comcast.net.

In closing, thank you for taking the time to read any or all my articles featuring my IRAs: A Quick Reference Guide, which became my first foray into writing an e-book. Feel free to share this with anyone that you wish. And please remember that the information I have provided in this series of articles should be only a starting point for any IRA decisions you have before you. I encourage you to avoid making an important IRA decision based only on the outlined bullet-points that you read here. Seek out a second opinion or research the topic yourself before you make any final IRA decisions or engage professional financial help. I just hope the information I have provided gets you started in the right direction.

Bruce C. Miller, CFP®


Bruce Miller

 

 

Bruce Miller is a certified financial planner (CFP) who also is the author of Retirement Investing for INCOME ONLY: How to invest for reliable income in Retirement ONLY from Dividends and  IRA Quick Reference Guide.

 

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