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The Retirement Savings Time Bomb . . . and How to Defuse It: A Five-Step Action Plan for Protecting Your IRAs, 401(k)s, and Other Retirement Plans from Near Annihilation by the Taxman Paperback – January 3, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0143120797 ISBN-10: 0143120794 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143120794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143120797
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This book has been recently UPDATED to account for the ever-changing tax laws. This version is the most up-to-date book on retirement planning with the newest facts and figures to help you plan a safe and secure retirement.

From the Back Cover

Through his simple, effective 5-STEP ACTION PLAN, renowned tax advisor Ed Slott explains in clear-cut laymen's terms what you need to know and do now to insure your financial future, including:
  • protecting your retirement plans from excessive taxation
  • tapping retirement funds for emergency cash without penalty
  • passing on more of your wealth to your family
  • getting the most out of the latest tax laws
  • creating the perfect estate plan, and much more!
With trillions of dollars invested in retirement accounts across the country, this book is for every American planning on retiring.

"Slott's book will show you how to keep your cash all in the family." - USA Today

"Ed Slott cuts through the complexities and makes it possible to navigate the maze of retirement plans in such a way that you can find solutions to fit your own financial needs."
-Money

More About the Author

Ed Slott was named "The Best Source for IRA Advice" by The Wall Street Journal. He is a nationally recognized IRA-distribution expert, a professional speaker, and the creator of several public television specials, including Ed Slott's Retirement Rescue!, viewed by millions of Americans.

Ed established the IRA Leadership Program and Ed Slott's Elite IRA Advisor Group, which were developed specifically to help financial institutions and advisors become recognized leaders in the IRA marketplace.

He hosts the popular websites, http://www.irahelp.com and http://www.theslottreport.com, and regularly presents continuing professional-education seminars on IRA distribution planning for financial advisor firms, mutual fund companies, brokerage firms, insurance professionals, financial planners, banks, CPAs, and attorneys all across the country. His diverse client list includes Fidelity Investments, Nationwide Financial, New York Life, Jackson National, Transamerica, Met Life, Northwestern Mutual, Sammons Securities Company, Genworth Financial, Brokers International as well as a host of other major financial companies.

Ed is the author of the best-selling books, Ed Slott's 2014 Retirement Decisions Guide (IRA Help, LLC 2014), Fund Your Future: A Tax-Smart Savings Plan in Your 20s and 30s (IRA Help, LLC 2012) The Retirement Savings Time Bomb and How to Defuse It (Penguin, 2012), Stay Rich for Life! (Ballantine Books, 2009), Parlay Your IRA into a Family Fortune (Penguin, 2008) and Your Complete Retirement Planning Road Map (Ballantine Books, 2007). He is also a personal finance columnist for numerous financial publications and websites.

Ed has been quoted in The New York Times, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Money Magazine, and Forbes. He has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, PBS, Public Television, NPR, and Bloomberg TV and radio.

You can learn more at: www.IRAhelp.com
Read informative articles at: www.theslottreport.com

Customer Reviews

Well written, comprehensive and enjoyable to read.
James A, Leach
He also makes a compelling case for using Roth IRA's instead of Traditional IRA's; and I gotta say, I'm convinced!
C. Smith
This book is definitely a KEEPER, and I will definitely buy updates regularly.
Jelly Bean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Catalogue Browzer on February 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Following a careful read, I concluded the advice in the book is valid, but not for everyone . The copy I read was current in 2007, therefore somewhat dated. Some of the advice did not apply partly because the copy was five years old and partly because my financial situation is unique. For instance, the exemption for federal estate tax is now five million dollars, much higher than in 2007 (two million then). I discovered this by going to the internal revenue service web site. Of course, the law could be changed again and the exemption lowered, perhaps in an attempt to lower the national debt. Also, there were no tables giving the state estate tax laws (exemptions and tax rates, etc). I found that the estate tax in the state where I reside is at most 9.5 percent. I'm guessing this is probably much lower than estate taxes for most states in the northeast (possibly the basis of some of the estate tax estimates given in the book). So where you live could determine how much insurance you will want to leave to your heirs to cover estate taxes. Bottom line is you need to read the book and then do a little research to determine your best course of action, rather than blindly following the advice given. Or better yet, hire someone to help you with your estate plan. Having read the book, I feel better equipped to talk to a professional intelligently and present my unique situation. I consider the time taken to read the book well spent, and I would recommend the latest version to friends with IRA accounts.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Charles on May 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Overall: Surprisingly poorly written and leaves out a lot of details

Pros: Some people may find the loose animated style of prose easier to understand and follow than traditional prose styles/books. Best suited to those usually not comfortable reading books.

Cons: The books is written as if transcribed from a brief lecture the author has given and comes across more like a QVS pitch than a guide to retirement saving. As a result there is a lot of motivational talk and sales pitch you have to wade through to get to the actual content of the book. Unfortunately, when you get there, the content if pretty thin with many details either left out completely (more often) or strew somewhere in the book (less often). Hard to recommend this book with so many decent books on the subject out there. Especially since this is a topic where the details do matter and a book that glosses over or ignores them is likely to steer you in the wrong direction.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Darlene's Creations on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rambling,no clear direction how to get the answers the individual reading this mess needs. 5 vague points that do not really help unless you are a CPA or someone in the financial field.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Boylan on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this book. Almost all the information that's in it is also in the IRS Publication on IRAs, sometimes almost word for word. The "chattiness" mentioned by another reviewer seems to make the book seem as though this author is adding information, when he's mostly not.

What's not in this book is information on leaving your IRA to a charity, which it turns out is also an effective way to avoid having your IRA taxed. The book actually states that you should not leave your IRA to a charity, but then it never says why. Later in the book, it says you should not mix types of beneficiaries (designated versus non-designated), but again, doesn't explain that if a non-designated beneficiary is a charity, the IRA will not be taxed.

I asked a tax expert at my Alma Mater, who sent me an article discussing leaving an IRA to a charity. Here is the key except from that article:

"For IRA owners having both family and charitable interests in their estate plans, it is far more tax-efficient to leave pre-tax IRA assets to a charity and other, after-tax asset to family, given that the charity pays no income tax and the latter generally is income-tax-free to heirs." (55 PLUS, November/December 2011, Jim Terwilliger, CFP.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sable23 on March 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is very comprehensive so everything isn't going to apply to you. However if you are thinking about purchasing this book you probably have some retirement investments in place. This book will probably have the answers to your questions, even if you don't have a couple of million in your IRA. He explains things well and gives you cases of people who have done the right thing and others who have done the wrong thing. It's a good format.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EmBee on March 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a lot like going to a stock broker for advice. The advice is just an opinion. This book will give you a point of view but in the end, you still have to make up your own mind (as it should be). Mr Slott does not give out any FOOL-PROOF methods or strategies but merely hints of what can be done. There is nothing you can take to the bank with this book. Like I said, just another way to see things but in the end, you make the decision.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jefferey W. Lew on September 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good book. Well written and informative. This was recommended by my financial planner. The only issue I see is that if most individuals invest in Roth IRA's, this book is uesless. The information only pertains to traditional IRA's. So if you have a traditional IRA, you may want to consider this book. If you have a Roth IRA, then pass on this book and purchase something else.
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