3 Costly IRA Mistakes you should never make: 

1. Pick the right Beneficiary:

Something as simple as naming a proper beneficiary could save you untold thousands, perhaps millions when you include "stretch IRA" rules allowed. If your circumstances have changed due to divorce, death or other issues, failure to update your beneficiary may mean your assets being left to the wrong people or being taxed upwards of 75% due to ordinary taxes, probate taxes, and/or estate taxes.

2. Naming your Estate as beneficiary:

When you name your estate as beneficiary of your IRA, it becomes an asset of your estate and must go through probate. This is an unnecessary expense. Even worse, the entire account balance may have to be distributed to the estate by the end of the fifth year after your death. This rapid payout may cause a large tax bill, plus the loss of future tax-deferred growth for your beneficiaries. Whenever possible name individuals, rather than your estate, as your IRA beneficiaries.  

3. Leaving a Retirement Plan with a Former Employer:
When you leave an employer, you typically have the right to roll over your entire vested balance into an IRA. There are three significant advantages to be gained by employing this strategy: 1) you can access a much wider array of investment options, allowing you to manage those assets more effectively; 2) your beneficiaries may be able to take distributions over their lifetime, thereby allowing for a longer period of tax deferral, even after your death; and 3) you can avoid the 20% mandatory withholding for distributions if you roll over your retirement plan to an IRA.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 was signed into law and it's the Most Sweeping and Massive pension legislation in 30 years. Congress is putting you on alert that when it comes to planning for a secure retirement, you're on your own! 

Here are a few new laws that have been improved: 

1. Direct rollovers of qualified retirement plans to a Roth

2. Tax-free distributions from IRAs for Charitable purposes

3. Non-spousal Beneficiary transfers of inherited 401k

A Forbes Magazine study showed that 90% of the IRA administrators did not know the options available for IRAs.

Remember that most people in the financial world do not understand how IRAs can and should be used. This can cost you & your family hundreds of thousands in real money. This means that finding someone who really understands how IRAs work is small but imperative. It's imperative: to ensure that you are making the right choices, review your situation with an IRA Expert and its imperative to get good financial help from an IRA expert when making these costly decisions.


The "Retirement Know It All"