• By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport We are constantly bombarded with requests to update our information. “Password needs updating.” “Software update for your mobile device.” “Please update your email so our marketing team can continue to fill your inbox with spam.” It is never ending. Most of these update requests are trash. An [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: When will the IRS release final regulations for RMDs on beneficiary IRAs? Kim Answer: Hi Kim, That is a great question. We have been fielding many inquiries about when the final RMD regulations will be released by the IRS. The proposed regulations were released back in [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Maybe you made a Roth IRA contribution for 2021, but your income was too high. Maybe you made a traditional IRA contribution without having any earned income. These are both examples of excess IRA contributions. The bad news is that excess IRA contributions happen can easily and often. The good news[...]

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    By Ian Berger IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: Late in December, 2021, a taxpayer (under age 59 ½) takes a distribution of his (traditional, not Roth) 401(k), and has 20% withheld for Federal tax. Early in January, 2022, the full 100% of the distribution is deposited in a Roth IRA. Does this avoid the 10% penalty for early distribution? Is this reportable as [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport More and more 401(k) plans now offer Roth contributions. At the same time, Americans are changing jobs and receiving 401(k) distributions in record numbers. So, it’s a good time to review the tax rules that apply to Roth 401(k) withdrawals. (The same rules also apply to Roth 403(b) and Roth 457(b) withdrawals.) Roth [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are a common transaction these days, but all guidelines must be followed to ensure the QCD is valid. Recent court cases have exposed the absolute necessity to adhere to the rules…or the donation could be disallowed. For IRA owners who are age 70 ½ and older, [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: I turn 72 in 2023. If I wait to take my first RMD until 4/1/24, do I calculate it using my IRA balance on 12/31/23 or on 12/31/22? I think 12/31/22, but do not want to assume. I can't find a clear answer in Pub 590-B. Tim Answer: Tim, Since you turn 72 next year (2023), that will be [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport According to many recent surveys, the fall months of September and October are overtaking June as the most popular time of year to tie the knot. If your wedding is approaching in the next few months, the last thing you may be thinking about is your retirement account, but when it comes to IRA rules, [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport A recent federal court case from West Virginia illustrates that the spouse of a 401(k) participant usually has no right to prevent the plan from paying the participant a lump sum distribution. In Gifford v. Burton, a Mr. Gifford (his first name is omitted in the decision) was an optician at Walmart and a participant in [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: By law I must withdraw a certain percentage from my retirement accounts to meet the required RMD. And I will have to pay income taxes on that amount. The percentage amount I must withdraw is based on the value of the account as of December 31, 2021 at which time the market was very high. My stocks and mutual [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport This may seem like a rudimentary topic, but it is the basics that are often so confusing. A fundamental understanding of Roth IRA distributions is essential for Roth IRA owners. In a blog post from June 8 (“One Roth IRA Bucket”), I created a scenario where a person had five Roth IRAs, a couple of traditional [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: Hi Mr Slott, I read somewhere but couldn't remember where, if a person needs to withdraw an RMD but doesn't need the money, can he convert this RMD to a Roth IRA? Thanks in advance Answer: This is an area where there is a lot of confusion. An RMD cannot be converted to a Roth IRA. The reason [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Questions on how age affects the decision to convert to a Roth IRA are common. What age is too old to convert? There is no easy answer to this question because there is no magic age when conversion makes the most sense or no longer makes sense at all. Conversion can be the right move at any age. Younger Savers [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Here’s a common question: An employee retires in or after the year he turns 72 and wants to roll over his 401(k) funds to an IRA. Does an RMD have to be taken before the funds are rolled over? What makes this tricky is that required minimum distributions (RMDs) normally don’t need to start until April 1 following [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport QUESTION: I have a client where we did a 60-day rollover this past January. The proceeds were put back into the account in less than 60 days. The client has asked me to rollover the 403(b) plan he’s had sitting with his former employer. Is this a second rollover violating the once-per-year rollover rule? [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport An advisor called to discuss Roth IRA conversions. His new client made some decisions before speaking with him, and he was trying to untangle her self-inflicted knot. She was 69 years old, a single tax filer, still employed, and had a $1 million traditional IRA. Based on advice from her brother (who is not a [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport August is winding down and September is just around the corner. That means that it is back to school time! Education can be expensive. This year, with inflation raging, that seems even more true than ever. If you have children looking to further their education, you will need to explore every [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: Hi, My wife (68) inherited a traditional IRA and a Roth from her sister (71) in 2021. Both accounts have been moved to inherited IRAs. I’m trying to do some tax planning. Can you please confirm the following from my confusing research? As an “eligible designated [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Here’s a line from one of the manuals we use in our education seminars for advisors: “Missed stretch IRA RMD by an EDB, when the IRA owner dies before the RBD.” An old baseball expression says: “You can’t tell the players without a scoreboard.” In the world of retirement accounts, you can’t understand the [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Lifetime required minimum distributions (RMDs) start in the year when an IRA owner turns 72. (Technically, the “required beginning date” for RMDs is April 1 of the year after a person turns 72.) Once begun, RMDs must be withdrawn annually on a calendar year basis. If you miss an RMD, the penalty is steep – [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: When converting an IRA to a Roth IRA, do the investments (stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc.) have to be sold or can they be transferred directly from the IRA into the new Roth account? Answer: There is no requirement that investments be sold before a Roth conversion. If the same custodian will be holding the [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Are you nearing retirement age and not looking forward to taking unwanted required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your retirement account? You may be looking for a strategy to delay those distributions. The “still working” exception allows RMDs to be delayed. Will this exception help you? Here [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If a retirement account transaction becomes a taxable distribution, you probably know you will owe taxes and possibly the 10% early distribution penalty (if under age 59 ½) on the distribution. But what you may not know is there might be an unexpected surprise. On top of the additional taxes and 10% penalty, you might also [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: My husband is the sole beneficiary of a Traditional IRA owned by his cousin, who recently  passed away. From my research, I believe my husband fits the exception criteria of "eligible designated beneficiary" in that he is not more than 10 years younger than the deceased (he is 9 years younger…he [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Each week the Ed Slott team answers questions from financial advisors across the country. Sometimes we see a pattern in repeating questions, sometimes the questions are relatively basic, and sometimes they are real stumpers. We never know what the next phone call or email will bring. Recently, we’ve fielded a [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Many Americans are still working long beyond what has traditionally been retirement age. This may be a choice or a necessity. If this is your situation, you may be keeping funds in your employer plan well into your seventies and maybe even later. This can bring big benefits. You can still make [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Can an RMD from an inherited IRA be taken out of your own traditional IRA? Jack Answer: Hi Jack, Aggregation of required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be complicated and we get a lot of questions on this topic. You can aggregate RMDs and take the total amount from one IRA in some cases. For example, if you have[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When moving retirement money from IRA to IRA, or from a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k) to an IRA, there are essentially three methods to relocate those dollars. Two of them are similar, and the third opens all kinds of potential problems. Knowing how to properly move retirement dollars is imperative to produce the desired outcome. Direct [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I have just read as many questions and answers as I could on The Slott Report and am still very confused.  Simply put, I am over 80 years old, and I have had a Roth and a traditional IRA for many years.  My daughter is the sole beneficiary of those IRAs and is in her 50s. Will my daughter have to take an annual RMD from both my Roth and traditional [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Back in 2020 when COVID first became our new reality, Congress enacted the CARES Act. The CARES Act allowed qualified individuals who were affected by COVID to take penalty-free distributions from their retirement accounts of up to $100,000. The taxation on these distributions could have been paid in 2020 or spread over three years. [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Like most everything else these days, the price for receiving an IRS private letter ruling (PLR) has recently gone up. A person will request a PLR to receive the IRS’s blessing that a specific tax transaction won’t violate the tax code or IRS regulations. A PLR is specific to the particular tax situation of the person requesting it. This means that PLRs [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Is there a required minimum distribution (RMD) on a self-directed IRA? Answer: A “self-directed IRA” is nothing more than an IRA that invests in unconventional items that not all custodians will handle – like maybe crypto currency, real estate, or a hard-to-value assets. Otherwise, self-directed IRAs follow the same rules as [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Conduit IRAs, sometimes called “rollover IRAs,” typically contained only money rolled over from a company plan - and subsequent earnings on those dollars. But a 2001 tax law (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) opened all sorts of rollovers and plan portability. So, for the most part, a person could commingle his IRA [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a way for you to move funds out of your IRA to a qualifying charity income-tax free. If you are thinking this might be a good strategy for you, here are 4 QCD rules that may surprise you. 1. You must be age 70 ½ or older. IRA owners who are age 70½ and over are eligible to do a QCD. [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Proposals to boost IRA and workplace plan savings are advancing, but they are not law yet. Several actions must occur before the proposals become law. On March 29, the House passed the “Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022.” Now, two different Senate committees are taking up the subject. On June 14, a Senate committee (Health, Education, Labor and [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Dear Sirs: I inherited a regular IRA upon my mother's death in 2015. I am now 75 years old and have been taking required distributions since then. She was taking distributions herself when she died. My question is: may I close out this IRA now by taking out the entire balance and paying taxes on it? Thanks. Patrick[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD Director of Retirement Education Should I Accept a Lump Sum Buyout Offer? With economic uncertainty increasing, more companies with defined benefit (DB) pension plans will likely attempt to improve their bottom line by offering lump sum buyouts. A lump sum buyout is a limited opportunity for DB plan participants to elect a one-time cash payment in exchange for giving up [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I am 66 and would like to convert one of my IRAs to a Roth, but I am not sure if any of my old IRA accounts have any after-tax contributions. I have no records, so I assume they are all pre-tax but I am not sure. If I convert and pay taxes, does the IRS contact me regarding after-tax contributions if I ever made them? Thanks Mary Answer:[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Over the past couple of months I have been tasked with the unfortunate responsibility of helping my mother sort through her financial affairs after the death of her spouse. My dad passed in March, and it has been a steady stream of questions, conference calls with her financial advisor and one important decision after another. Of course, this doesn’t [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner Director of Retirement Education You may have heard how converting to a Roth IRA is a great move for younger people. This is no surprise. A younger person who converts has two big factors working in her favor. She may pay taxes on a smaller IRA balance, and she has many years to accrue tax-free earnings in her Roth IRA. But what about older people? It is a mistake to write off[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, I’m 66 Years old. Less than a year ago I converted into my Roth from my traditional IRA with the intention of parking it there until I could finalize the details of a summer house purchase. I know I have taxes to pay on the conversion. However, now that I wish to use the money and remove it from the Roth, am I going to be subject[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The 72(t) rules (”series of substantially equal periodic payments”) allow a person to tap retirement dollars before 59½ without a 10% early distribution penalty. However, to gain this early access, you must commit to a plan of withdrawals according to the strict guidelines set forth in the Tax Code. For example, some basic requirements dictate that:[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner Director of Retirement Education Question: Ed, My mother passed away in May 2019, and I inherited her IRA.  She had not completed her RMD for 2019, so I did that. In 2020, I began my RMDs based on the Single Life Table for Inherited IRAs. Since I inherited prior to January 1, 2020, does anything in the SECURE Act apply to my inherited IRA? Will I be able to continue [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner Director of Retirement Education If you inherit an IRA, especially if it is a larger one, you may be afraid of being stuck with the five-year distribution rule. If this rule applies, your IRA must be entirely emptied in five years, which can be a serious tax hit. Under the tax rules, if you are named as the beneficiary on the IRA beneficiary designation form, you will not [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Those of you who participate in 401(k) plans or certain 403(b) plans should see something new on your next quarterly statement for the period ending June 30, 2022. For the first time, the statements must include illustrations of the monthly payments you would receive if your current plan account balance was used to purchase an annuity. This new requirement is [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Good Day, I have a client (age 65) who inherited a traditional IRA from her mother in 2020. I know that she must empty the account by 12/31/30. She is not an eligible designated beneficiary (EDB). I’m trying to calculate the 2022 RMD. I have used several online calculators, and none calculates an RMD amount. They all say that no distributions are[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst SCENARIO: John owns multiple Roth IRAs. He believes it is necessary to maintain all these accounts to keep things properly organized and to track his 5-year conversion clocks. He has contributed to Roth IRA #1 for over a decade. He did a partial Roth conversion from a traditional IRA many years ago (to Roth IRA #2). Since that first conversion, John did[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education You can have too much of a good thing. While saving for retirement with an IRA is a good strategy, there are limits.  When a contribution is not permitted in an IRA, it is an excess contribution and needs to be fixed. Here are 5 ways an excess IRA contribution can happen to you: 1. Exceeding the Annual IRA Contribution Limit You [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: As we did 2 years ago, will we be able to skip taking a 2022 required minimum distribution (RMD) without penalties? Answer: Sorry, but RMDs are in full effect for 2022. The CARES Act waived RMDs in 2020, but that was a one-time deal. RMDs were back in play for 2021, and are still required for 2022 as well. Question: Good [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Usually, rollovers involving 401(k) accounts and IRAs involve moving dollars from a plan to an IRA. But sometimes it makes sense to instead do a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k). Let’s get some bad news out of the way: Although 401(k)s (and other company plans) are required to allow rollovers out of the plan, they are not required to allow [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I am 79 and make SEP-IRA withdrawals annually as required. I also have several regular (non-IRA) accounts. One fund I own throws off tremendous taxable capital gains every year. Is there any way I can move it into an IRA account without selling it first in a taxable transaction? Thanks. Answer: There are several [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Why is it so important to know how the once-per-year rollover rule works? Well, that is because trouble with the once-per year rule is the kind of trouble no one wants! An IRA owner who violates this rule is looking at some serious tax consequences. One Rollover a Year for an IRA owner If an IRA owner for whatever reason elects not to[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi, I am age 50 and am targeting retirement at age 55. My current employer is selling the division I work for, and I see the potential that I could be laid off at, say, 52. If this were to happen, could I join a new employer with a 401(k) plan, roll my old 401(k) over to the new plan, and then take a distribution (both the rolled-over funds and [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Employees leaving their jobs are often surprised to discover they aren’t entitled to the full balance of their company plan account. The reason is that some plans impose a vesting rule on certain types of contributions. What do the vesting rules mean? They tell you how much of your plan benefit you actually own and cannot be taken away from you. If you’re [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Last week in Kansas City, the Ed Slott team hosted our first in-person training program for members of our Elite Advisor Group since late 2019. While we managed to stay in contact with everyone via virtual meetings for the last two years, it was good to again see people face-to-face. The conversations were lively and interaction among the members during [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: I have a 401(k) that I'd like to use a portion for a QCD. I understand that QCD's have to be from an IRA. Can I move a portion to an IRA for the QCD? How will this affect my RMD from my 401(k)? Federal tax implications? Thank you! Answer: You are correct that QCDs can only be done from an IRA, so you would have to roll over money from [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The real estate market is red hot right now. This can be especially challenging for first time home buyers. IRA savings are intended to be used for your retirement. However, if you are like many others, your IRA may be your biggest asset. You may need your IRA funds to make home ownership happen and there is a special break in the tax code [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Just when we thought we understood the new IRS regulations on required minimum distributions (RMDs), here comes more uncertainty. As we have reported, the IRS threw everyone a curveball with its interpretation of the 10-year payout rule under the SECURE Act in its proposed regulations issued on February 23. For most non-spouse beneficiaries, the SECURE Act [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I am 75 years old and contributing to my company’s 401(K) plan. I have not taken an RMD from my 401(K) utilizing the “still-working exception.” I just retired on April 30, 2022. My question is: Do I have to take an RMD from my 401(K) for the current year 2022, or am I allowed to wait until next April 2023 to commence [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) continue to gain popularity, and with that popularity comes more questions. Here are a dozen QCD facts that will keep you on the straight-and-narrow with your QCD transactions: 1. QCDs are capped at $100,000 per person per year, and they only apply to IRA owners (which includes inherited IRAs) if the IRA [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Recently, Fidelity investments made headlines by announcing that it would allow retirement savers to put Bitcoin in their 401(k)s. Cryptocurrency has been all over the news, and you may be wondering if it would be a good investment for your IRA. Here is what you need to know. What is crypto? A good place to start is by learning exactly [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: I’m 68 years old. I would like to start IRA withdrawals. What are the rules for withdrawing before my RMDs are required at age 72? Thanks, Bob Answer: Bob, There are no limitations to withdrawing your IRA before RMDs begin. As a 68-year-old, you have full access to your IRA whenever you want it, penalty free. Assuming all [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst There are three types of company savings plans: 401(k) plans if you work for a for-profit company; 403(b) plans if you work for a tax-exempt employer, a public school or a church; and 457(b) plans if you work for a state or local government. (This article doesn’t cover the Thrift Savings Plan for federal government workers and the military, or [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst For those who have 401(k)s or other employee retirement plans (but not SEP or SIMPLE plans), the required beginning date (RBD) for when required minimum distributions (RMDs) are to begin is the same as for IRA owners – April 1 of the year after a person turns 72. However, if the plan allows for the “still-working exception,” the RBD can potentially[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello, I’m learning a lot from Ed Slott’s latest book, “The New Retirement Savings Time Bomb,” but I do have a question on 401(k) Roth IRA conversions. I’m recently retired with a company 401(k). I’m leaning towards keeping the 401(k) (rather than rolling it into my IRA). Is it possible to do an annual direct conversion (partial) from [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education For IRA-to-IRA or Roth-to-Roth 60-day rollovers, the same property received is the property that must be rolled over. These rules also apply to SIMPLE and SEP IRAs. You cannot receive a distribution of cash and then roll over shares of stock purchased with the cash or shares that you currently own. If cash is distributed from an IRA, then [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Tax Day 2022 seems like an appropriate time to review a sometimes-overlooked way to get extra dollars into your IRA or company savings plan. Folks age 50 or older are allowed to make “catch-up” contributions with no strings attached. These extra contributions allow you to build up your savings while enjoying an immediate tax break (if making pre-tax [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, Client (72) has recently inherited a “Beneficiary IRA” account. My question is for next year:  Can she use qualified charitable distributions for her beneficiary IRA? Thank you, Kathy Answer: Hi Kathy, Yes, this would work. Beneficiaries can take qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The deadline for filing your 2021 tax return is this Monday, April 18. It is extended through the weekend because IRS offices in Washington DC are closed on Friday, April 15, in observance of the locally recognized Emancipation Day. As such, this buys all of us a couple of extra days to complete our returns. For procrastinators, or for those who simply [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The SECURE Act was signed into law in late December of 2019. This new law upended the rules for retirement accounts. With it came many questions, and IRS guidance was eagerly anticipated. Finally, on February 23, the IRS released new proposed regulations that incorporate all the changes brought about by the SECURE Act. Since then, we have [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: I have a non-spousal inherited IRA account.  Once I take out my RMD for the year, am I able to take out excess funds and roll those into a Roth account? Thank you. Answer: Inherited IRA accounts do not follow all the same rules nor do they have all the same benefits as your own IRA. For one, inherited IRA dollars are not [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst A bill designed to increase savings in IRAs and company plans has passed the House of Representatives, but it’s not yet law. The bill is officially called the “Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022,” but many are calling it “SECURE 2.0” since it’s seen as an expansion  of the original SECURE Act from 2019. On March 29, the House passed the bill[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The new SECURE Act regulations, released in late February, created a firestorm of confusion and complexity. We have addressed concerns in recent Slott Report articles and will continue to do so as issues arise. However, as of now, one question has emerged as the most popular: How do beneficiaries handle “missed” 2021 RMDs within the 10-year payout [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi, I have a client that needs funds for a short period of time, so he plans to use the 60-day rollover rule to borrow money from his IRA and return it within 60 days. He has a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. He is under the impression he can do a 60-day rollover for each account. My understanding is that he can only do one 60-day rollover [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Most IRA distributions will be taxable. However, if you have ever made nondeductible contributions to your IRA or rolled over after-tax funds from your company plan to your IRA, then the rules can get a little bit tricky. You will need to understand the pro-rata rule. The pro-rate rule is a rule that almost always determines the [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst When you file for bankruptcy, one thing you usually don’t have to worry about is protecting your IRA funds from creditors. That’s because, in just about every case, all of your IRA (and Roth IRA) monies are off limits. Under the federal bankruptcy law, IRA assets up to a certain dollar limit cannot be reached by creditors. That dollar limit is indexed every[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I established a Roth IRA in 2011 and needed to withdraw $ 30,000 in 2021 to pay for my daughter’s first year of college tuition. I am under 59 1/12 and the 1099-R has a code of J meaning early distribution and no known exception. Will my distribution, therefore, be fully taxable and will I have to pay the 10% early withdrawal [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Here we go again. In my March 14 Slott Report entry (“Monitoring Concurrent Life Expectancies? – SMH”), I railed against the IRS for a seemingly pointless rule in the new SECURE Act regulations directed at elderly IRA beneficiaries. (Subsequently, I saw other commentary criticizing that same rule as “nasty” and “mean spirited.”) In [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It may be hard to believe it but the countdown to the 2021 tax filing deadline is on. The deadline is April 18, 2022, for most filers. That is really only a few weeks away. Time is running out. Is your IRA ready? Making a 2021 IRA Contribution April 18, 2022 is the deadline for making a 2021 IRA contribution. This is true even if [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hey Ed- Long time reader and listener of yours…and have bought a few copies of your latest book to share with clients! Prior to us being involved, my client made a Backdoor Roth contribution in 2021. He did this despite his income being below the threshold limits. Also, he had existing IRA balances. Is there anything he can do? Are [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With many 401(k) (and 403(b) and 457(b) plans) offering multiple participant accounts, your plan statement is probably more complicated than ever. Here’s a brief primer to help you understand what each account represents: Pre-tax deferral account. All retirement savings plans allow for pre-tax deferrals. You make these contributions from before-tax pay. Both[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst I am usually patient with the IRS. I understand the massive workload they have, and there are tax cheats lurking around every corner. The IRS does its best to ensure no loopholes exist for bad actors to circumvent tax laws to avoid paying their fair share. However, when it comes to some of the guidance in the recently released SECURE Act regulations, my [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Ed, I read your 2/28/22 Slott Report on the updated SECURE Act information for non-eligible designated beneficiaries (non-EDBs) that requires annual RMDs to continue if the original owner was taking them prior to his death and also requires the account to be emptied by the end of year 10. Since the Roth IRA does not have RMDs, is it correct to [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Roth IRAs have always been a great retirement savings tool. While pre-tax retirement accounts allow tax deferred savings, a Roth IRA promises tax-free benefits. They allow you to receive years of earnings in retirement without tax consequences. Those tax-free distributions also have the side benefit of not increasing stealth taxes such as [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The part of the new IRS SECURE Act regulations causing the most reaction is the one requiring annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) for some IRA or workplace plan beneficiaries subject to the 10-year payment rule. Under the SECURE Act, IRA or plan beneficiaries who are not “eligible designated beneficiaries” (EDBs) are subject to the 10-year rule. [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello. I was reading the 2/28/22 edition of the Slott Report and noticed the section titled “Beneficiaries Hit w/Annual RMDs and the 10-Year Rule.” It was my understanding that starting 1/1/20, most non-spouse beneficiaries would have 10 years from the year of death to distribute the IRA, with no RMDs required. Will [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The 275 pages of proposed SECURE Act regulations, released by the IRS on February 23, are chock full of little details. Each of these tidbits will have some impact on particular IRA owners and retirement account participants. One such new rule pertains to the age of majority. When is a minor child recognized as an adult? Existing IRS guidance deferred[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On February 23, 2022, the IRS released the long-awaited proposed SECURE Act regulations. The new regulations clock in at 275 pages and offer guidance on many SECURE Act rules. They also include a few surprises. Here are some highlights. Eligible Designated Beneficiaries The SECURE Act did away with the stretch IRA for most [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: If an 80-year-old converts his IRA to a Roth account and dies the following year, when can the beneficiaries begin withdrawing money tax-free from the Roth?  Do the beneficiaries have to wait for the expiration of the 5-year period following the conversion? Thank you for your response. George Answer: George, Since the IRA [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The amount of annual pre-tax deferrals and Roth contributions you can make to a 401(k) plan is limited by the tax code. If you exceeded that limit in 2021, time is of the essence to correct the error. If you don’t act quickly, the tax consequences can be serious. For 2021, you were limited to $19,500 in pre-tax deferrals and Roth contributions (plus an [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The federal ERISA law gives spouses of plan participants in ERISA-covered plans certain rights to the participant’s account. There are two types of ERISA financial protection for spouses. Spouses of IRA owners usually don’t have similar rights. The first type of protection applies to all ERISA plans. Those plans must automatically treat a married [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I am 66 years old and live on Social Security and other retirement income. Additionally, I have about a half million dollars in pre-tax 457(b) funds that I do not need for current expenses. Are these funds in the pre-tax retirement accounts eligible for Roth conversion? Can I withdraw funds from the 457(b) account and deposit them in a Roth IRA? [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The pandemic has upended the workforce. Many workers lost jobs. Some workers resigned by choice. Others were forced to leave jobs due to childcare issues. If you are not working outside the home, you may believe you are ineligible to make an IRA contribution. You may think that because IRA contributions are based on taxable compensation, if[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Towards the end of each year, the IRS announces cost-of-living increases for several retirement-related dollar limits that will become effective for the next year. For example, last November, the IRS said that the limit on employee pre-tax deferrals and Roth contributions in company plans would increase to $20,500 for 2022. You may have also seen that the IRS [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I turn 72 this year. I am getting notices from my many IRA custodians that they want a waiver on file if I am NOT using my account for the RMD (i.e., I am taking it somewhere else). They make it sound like if I do not contact them, that they will automatically cut me a check for the required RMD amount. How can that [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst For IRA owners and retirement plan participants who are under age 59 ½, taking a distribution from a retirement account is typically off limits. The distribution will most likely be taxable, and there is a good chance that a 10% penalty will also apply. However, sometimes life gets in the way and a withdrawal needs to be made. Before shaking out your[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education If you are under age 59 ½ and you converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you will need to watch out for the five-year rule for penalty-free distributions of converted funds. Not understanding how the rule works can result in unexpected penalties when you withdraw your Roth IRA funds. If you make annual tax year contributions to [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The “Martin Scenario”: Martin, age 40, has never done an IRA rollover before. He took a distribution from his traditional IRA in December 2021 for $10,000 and deposited it into his checking account. Martin took another distribution from his IRA in January 2022 for $50,000. He also deposited this into the same checking account. Trivia Question [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: My question relates to an IRA withdrawal that is then deposited as a Roth conversion. Will this withdrawal count as a once-per-year IRA rollover? Thanks in advance for your wonderful advice. Regards, Peter Answer:  Hi Peter, Thanks for the kind words. Roth conversions are not subject to the once-per-year rollover rule. Only [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The rollover rules can be especially challenging at the end of the calendar year. If you took a distribution from your IRA at end of 2021 and are considering a rollover in 2022, here is what you need to know. First, it is important to understand that it is possible to roll over a distribution from last year. Sometimes IRA owners have [...]

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