READING ROOM

Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb?and How to Defuse It

(Viking Penguin; 2003; $24.95)

By Ed Slott, CPA

If you're like most physician-investors, you're more concerned with properly managing your riskier stock investments than your IRA. Just put as much as possible into the available retirement plans and rest assured that the money will be there when you're ready for it, right?

Not quite. Getting to your tax deferred savings may not be as tax advantageous as you'd think. Ed Slott, a nationally recognized tax advisor and accountant, points out some important retirement plan tax tidbits. His book addresses the need to actively manage IRAs and company plans, making the most of them through distributions and rollovers. He offers advice on how to keep more of your retirement funds for yourself and your family in various situations, from tapping funds for emergency cash, to protecting assets from lawsuits, to passing your estate on to loved ones.

Beginning with a primer in retirement plan terms, Slott walks readers through a steady plan to protect their nest eggs from excessive taxation. He offers a clear perspective through examples and individual worksheets, then outlines a workable 5-step approach, including: smart timing, insuring, stretching, "Rothing," and avoiding estate taxes. When it comes to your money and the IRS, ignorance is expensive. Know what you can do now to protect your assets in the future.