The experts will fill you in
IRAs are complicated beasts, and there is no way to learn all the things you don't know. Similarly, your bank, broker or IRA custodian may not know what you know, and it's not the financial institution's responsibility to educate you.
For instance, if you are unaware that you have only 60 days to put money back into an IRA when transferring accounts, that's your problem, per the IRS. Plus, a rule change that took effect on Jan. 1, 2015, limits the number of 60-day rollovers to 1 per year for all of a taxpayer's IRAs in aggregate. (There is no limit to the number of trustee-to-trustee transfers you can do.)
"There were a couple of cases (recently) ... where the people went for a special IRS ruling to see if they could get more time because they thought that the custodian, the bank, should have told them about the 60-day rule. (The IRS) ruled that no, that is not the custodian's responsibility," says Slott.
The 60-day rule is a little tricky if you don't know about it, and many individuals have no reason to be well-acquainted with the tax laws around retirement accounts. Not all financial professionals are experts, either.
"The average financial adviser is trained to sell investments; they are trained as salesmen. They are not trained on the intricacies of the tax rules," Slott says.