Although retirement plans can be administrative nightmares, well-designed, well-run versions can accomplish important corporate and personal financial goals, not the least of which are attractive tax savings. If you want to know more about the topic, invest $19.95 in a remarkably comprehensive cassette tape called Solving the Retirement Puzzle (Retirement Planning Associates, 800-546-5406). The tape isn't flashy. But Daniel Maul of Retirement Planning, based in Kirkland, Wash., quickly sketches out the advantages of an alphabet-soup collection of retirement plans, including 401(k)s, simplified employee pensions (SEPs), and salary-reduction SEPs. After 90 minutes you'll probably know more about your corporate options than you would after a high-priced consultation with an accountant or a lawyer. (Maul even suggests free IRS forms you can order for more information.)

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