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Qualified Plans

Let me set the stage for this chapter and put it into the proper perspective. At present, almost everyone has the opportunity to contribute to what are broadly termed “qualified plans.” If you make a buck, you can put it into an individual retirement account (IRA). However, not everyone participates in all types of qualified plans, so this chapter will have more appeal to some and less to others. It will also be a more targeted chapter, so you may want to skim some of the information. For example, if you have a 401(k) and an IRA, you'll get more information from this chapter than would a government employee who has only what is called a 457 plan.

However, government employees will also take note that they will have a larger burden in funding their retirement than will someone who has a pension plan, a profit sharing plan, and an IRA. So get what you can get from this material and sock it away for the next chapter where we start to do some “objective based financial planning.” Remember that the laws pertaining to qualified plans can change at a rate that competes with bunny reproduction, as can the limits of contribution and the requirements for distribution. If you're not someone who spends much time on a computer, you may want to at least get comfortable with surfing the Web because it's by far the best way to stay current on important issues facing your retirement.


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