Ray - if it's too hard for you, that's fine. But for some people, it's not too hard. I didn't say it was hard, I said that in real-life keeping track of one small piece of low-importance data over several decades is difficult to pull off. And that even if you do pull it off, the real-world actual cash value of the benefit is trivial.And they'd like the benefit of the tax deferral on the earnings for 10 or 20 or 30 years.Tax deferral is fine, but the tax isn't avoided it's merely deferred. And there are better (and simpler) ways to get an even larger tax benefit.Instead of putting after-tax money into an IRA, put it into an S&P500 index fund, and don't make any withdrawals until you retire.Then the withdrawals will be at capital gains rate instead of ordinary income rate.Even better, if you are in the 15% tax bracket in retirement there are NO capital gains tax (currently, with the Bush tax cut in effect--unless & until they stop renewing that).Oh, and no RMD since it's not in an IRA.