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Just a quiet rant.

You wrote:

"While NEXT year you will be able to transfer after-tax monies in a 401k to a traditional IRA, THIS year you may not do so....'

For various reasons I live and work overseas. In that situation, I spend a lot of time with Brits who seem much better represented in overseas communities; a few of them (and the number is growing) are retired. My occasional recounting of the US tax laws and the obligations it imposes upon me into retirement and unto and beyond death, wherever in the world I may be, is an unending source of humor, and mystification, to them.

The humor arises in their eyes from the excruciatingly detailed and constantly changing laws and regs which the IRS imposes upon US citizens worldwide (witness the above, not untypical breakstep between THIS and NEXT year). British expats are free of UK taxation, utterly. My attempts at explanations end when listeners' eyes inevitably glaze over--the complexity that I must keep abreast of and wade through is simply irrelevant to them.

The mystification arises in their point of view from how the land of the free, the home of capitalism, free enterprise, blah, blah, can be so restrictive with regard to what an individual can do with his money.

I must agree.
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