retirement

9 common misconceptions about IRAs

The beneficiary form can wait
The beneficiary form can wait © Ryan R Fox/Shutterstock.com

In any article about retirement accounts, the beneficiary form is likely mentioned. It's so simple to fill out, but often gets overlooked. Yet the future of everything you've worked for depends on it.

"The beneficiary form determines the ultimate future value of your retirement savings: how soon it will be taxed; how much it will be taxed and who will get it. Will it be subject to probate?" asks Ed Slott, founder of Ed Slott and Company, an IRA education company, and author of "Fund Your Future: A Tax-Smart Savings Plan in Your 20s and 30s."

The tax benefits in IRAs, particularly the Roth, are incredibly valuable. Ensure that your heirs are able to take full advantage of those valuable benefits by filling out the beneficiary form properly and then explaining the benefits to them so that they don't just cash out the account.

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