An IRA Owner's Manual, 2nd Ed.
by Jim Blankenship
People kick around the terms “IRA” and “401(k)” as casually as they talk about ketchup and mustard. And, just like most of us have both those condiments in our refrigerators, a good many of us have an IRA or 401(k). But the nitty-gritty details of IRAs can be elusive, and unlike a 401(k) where your employer sets the rules and advises you on tax and other consequences, you are on your own with your IRA.
Jim Blankenship’s book, An IRA Owners Manual, is a readable, helpful book that tells you what to do when with your IRA. Jim’s an expert on financial planning and taxes and holds both the CFP® certification and the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) designation. Couple that with over 25 years of experience with real people and their real problems, and you’ve got a book that will guide you through every aspect of IRA use and management.
The book is organized in a very user-friendly, intuitive way. Jim starts out with general info on IRAs, moves into a discussion of rollovers, and presents information on Roth IRA conversions, taxes, distributions, RMDs, and other tips for managing your IRA to your best advantage. The Table of Contents clearly lays out each section, and the topics are numbered for easy reading.
One of the most helpful sections is the explanation on whether or not it might be worth it for you to convert your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Few people truly understand the ramifications of the move, which can be a great idea in some circumstances, with regard to taxes. Another great part is the discussion of the one-rollover-a-year rule, which is another IRA regulation that can trip people up and cost them money.
This is a great book for anyone with an IRA to read. Think about it this way: just because you have a teenager doesn’t mean you understand that teenager! Your IRA could well be the same…you have it, but you’re kind of clueless and you feel like you are in murky waters. If you buy this book, it will provide a simple and pleasant way to gain full knowledge of how to maximize gains and minimize problems. If only a book on parenting teenagers could work as well!
Check out Jim's great articles on his website Financial Ducks in a Row!