“Third-party posts from Ed Slott’s IRA Blog:”

IRA BLOG

LAST WEEK IN LA JOLLA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Last week in La Jolla, California, the Ed Slott team hosted another incredibly successful 2-day advisor training program. Nearly 200 financial professionals from across the country chose to join us...

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GHOST VS. 5-YEAR: THE CALENDAR DICTATES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Ever since the SECURE Act created a 10-year payout rule for most IRA beneficiaries, that topic has garnered the bulk of conversation. This is understandable. Not only was the 10-year rule a brand-new...

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Weekly Market Commentary

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport We’re getting lots of questions about the SECURE 2.0 change that allows annuitized IRA annuities to be aggregated with non-annuity IRA funds for required minimum distribution (RMD) purposes. This change...

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ROTH IRA FOR A TEENAGER – AN ASTRONOMICAL RESULT?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   The mailman delivered my son’s 2023 W-2 the other day. I was curious what he earned last year as a lifeguard at our community pool, so I opened the envelope. Box 1, “Wages, tips, other...

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NEW ROTH PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE IN 2024

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport When the bell dropped in Times Square last Sunday night, a bunch of new provisions from the SECURE 2.0 legislation kicked in. This article will focus on the Roth-related changes that are effective in 2024....

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TWO HOLIDAY LISTS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The SECURE 2.0 Act contained over 90 sections and included numerous IRA and retirement account changes. Additionally, the legislation incorporated staggered effective dates over multiple years. Here...

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SECURE 2.0 RELAXS RETROACTIVE SOLO 401(K) RULES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Thinking of opening up a new solo 401(k) plan for 2023? Thanks to SECURE 2.0, you don’t have to rush to get it done by year end. A solo 401(k) is an excellent retirement savings vehicle for self-employed...

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BAD SANTA & THE GRINCH OFFER HORRIBLE IRA ADVICE – PART 2

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The investment advisory firm of Bad Santa & the Grinch continues to disseminate misinformation and lousy, no good, rotten-to-the-core IRA advice. As we saw in “Bad Santa & The Grinch Offer...

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CONGRESS MAKES SIMPLE IRA PLANS LESS SIMPLE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport SIMPLE IRA plans are a popular retirement savings option for small businesses. The plans are available for companies with 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in pay from the company in the...

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DEADLINE TO TAKE YOUR 2023 RMD IS ALMOST HERE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport It is December. The halls are decked, and Starbucks holiday cups are everywhere. The end of the year is not far away. That means the deadline is near for taking a required minimum...

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BAD SANTA & THE GRINCH OFFER HORRIBLE IRA ADVICE – PART 1

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If the Grinch and Bad Santa both passed their FINRA Series 7 exam and decided to open an investment advisory firm, I’m pretty sure they would combine forces to intentionally deliver some of the WORST...

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4 IRA TAX BREAKS FOR WHICH WE GIVE THANKS IN 2023

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Thanksgiving is almost here! This is a time for us to gather together and express our gratitude for all the good things in our lives. When it comes to our retirement accounts, we...

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STILL-TIME-LEFT TO-DO LIST

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Year-end to-do lists are commonplace. The problem is, they always seem to get published in mid-to-late December. I can almost hear the collective “thanks for nothing” comment from readers as the...

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RMDS WHEN YOUR IRA INVESTMENTS ARE NOT LIQUID

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport You may have noticed grocery stores stocking up for Thanksgiving, and festive lights and displays going up everywhere. Yes, it is the holiday season, but it is also the season to...

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THE FIVE-YEAR RULE AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAIBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Question: In 2020 and 2021, when I was over 65 years old, I converted some of my IRA into a Roth IRA.  Does the five-year rule still apply to me, or can I now draw out all of the...

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ONE BENEFICIARY, THREE IRAS, THREE DIFFERENT PAYOUT RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport An advisor called and said his 75-year-old client had just passed away. He had questions about the payout rules applicable to the three IRAs the client left behind: a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, and...

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SECURE 2.0’S BIGGEST MESS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Of the 92 provisions in the SECURE 2.0 legislation, signed into law last December, by far the most challenging is section 327.  Section 327 changes the distribution rules for spouse beneficiaries of...

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IRA CONTRIBUTION LIMIT RAISED TO $7,000 FOR 2024

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   The IRS has released cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for 2024. Many IRA limits will increase next year. Higher IRA Contributions The limit on annual contributions to an IRA...

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ROTH IRA DISTRIBUTION ORDERING RULES – KEEP IT SIMPLE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport Within the 400-page Ed Slott advisor training manual, we include a basic chart that outlines the Roth IRA distribution ordering rules and the availability of those specific dollars. When presenting...

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COMMON CONFUSIONS WITH THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The once-per-year IRA rollover rule sounds pretty easy to understand. You may only do one IRA-to-IRA (or Roth IRA-to-Roth IRA rollover) per year (365 days). However, this rule is...

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IRA MID-TERM EXAM

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The Investment Company Institute (ICI) is an association representing mutual fund companies and similar investment companies. Each year, ICI conducts a survey of the prevalence of IRAs in American...

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HOW TO LOSE AN INHERITED IRA AND GAIN A BIG TAX BILL

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   Did you inherit an IRA from someone who is NOT your spouse? This is not uncommon. Maybe you inherited from a sibling or a parent or a friend. If this is your situation,...

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“WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT?” – THE PROBLEM WITH LEGALESE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport My biggest gripe with legislation is the same complaint held by most – the bulk of it is written in legalese – i.e., difficult-to-understand language. I am no idiot, but sometimes I sure feel dumb...

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SECURE 2.0 ALLOWS QCDS TO CGAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport SECURE 2.0 expands qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) by allowing a one-time only QCD of up to $50,000 to a split-interest entity. As a result of this new rule, there is now a...

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TOP 10 IRA “POPULAR CONFUSIONS”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The Ed Slott team answers thousands of IRA and work plan questions annually - emails, phone calls, in-person conversations, webinars, Q&A programs and texts. We accommodate all members of the Ed...

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BEWARE OF INVESTING IRAS IN NFTS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If you are thinking of buying an NFT (non-fungible token) with your IRA funds, you may want to reconsider. In Notice 2023-27, the IRS said that NFTs associated with “collectibles” are prohibited IRA...

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“MID-AIR” ROTH CONVERSIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport If ever I was traveling from Los Angeles to Atlanta, I would choose a direct flight with no layovers. I want the most efficient route to my destination. Point A to Point B. Take off, land. Assuming...

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MORE ON THE ROTH CATCH-UP CONTRIBUTIONS DELAY

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The August 28, 2023 Slott Report summarized IRS Notice 2023-62, where the IRS delayed the effective date of the SECURE 2.0 rule requiring catch-up contributions by higher-paid older employees to be made on...

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IRA BENEFICIARY PAYOUT RULES – THE MADNESS CONTINUES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport   The lunacy of IRA beneficiary payout rules continues to boggle the mind. As I guide advisors through the options available to their clients, various nuances present one unique scenario after...

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3-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS – MISSED RMDS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport When an IRA or retirement plan owner reaches a particular age, that account owner typically must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs.) The RMD is calculated based on the year-end...

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RMD RELIEF? NO THANK YOU!

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on X: @theslottreport The IRS unleashed massive confusion last year. To the surprise of many, it released proposed SECURE Act regulations requiring beneficiaries (on some occasions) to take required...

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ANOMALIES AND EXCEPTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on X: @theslottreport As already-complicated IRA rules spiral further into an abyss of confusion, it comes as no surprise that irregularities exist. Up is down and left is right. Green means stop, red means throw your...

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INHERITED IRAS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: Greetings, If I have the beneficiaries on my IRA listed as my wife (50%) and two children over 21 (50%), is my wife still able to move her half of the IRA into her existing IRA when I...

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HELP A YOUNG PERSON USE SUMMER EARNINGS TO START A ROTH IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Is your child or grandchild working hard this summer? A summer job can be a valuable experience for a young person. Whether it is making smoothies, serving tables, or being a...

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Q&AS ON RECENT IRS RMD RELIEF

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport On July 17, we reported that the IRS had issued required minimum distribution (RMD) relief in two situations. First, the Service excused 2023 RMDs for certain IRA (and plan) beneficiaries subject to...

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TRUST AS IRA BENEFICIARY – A POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC PROBLEM

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport We say in our training manuals that “the SECURE Act obliterates IRA trust planning.” That’s an aggressive word – “obliterates” – but it is accurate. We also shout from the mountain top that...

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5 WAYS EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTIONS HAPPEN

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport   You can have too much of a good thing. While it is a good strategy to contribute to an IRA, some contributions are not allowed. When a contribution is not permitted in...

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WHY YOU SHOULD NOT ROLL OVER YOUR COMPANY FUNDS TO AN IRA

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport In her June 28, 2023 Slott Report post, Sarah Brenner discussed several reasons why it pays to roll over your retirement plan savings to an IRA. Another option is to keep your funds in the plan. Keep...

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WHY YOU SHOULD ROLL OVER YOUR RETIREMENT FUNDS TO AN IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If you are like most American workers, you will change jobs many times during your lifetime. With a job change, you will have a decision to make. What should you do with the...

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DEATH OF AN IRA BENEFICIARY – BEFORE CLAIMING THE ACCOUNT

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport   When an IRA owner dies, we look to the beneficiary form to determine who should receive the IRA funds. After death, there is a transition process as assets are moved into an inherited...

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THE TWO TYPES OF 457(B) PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Some of you are aware that there are two types of section 457(b) retirement plans – governmental plans for state and local municipal workers, and “top hat” plans for highly-paid and managerial...

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NUA AND SILVER IN YOUR IRA: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport   Question: I have a large amount of stock from a previous employer in my 401(k).  I had been reinvesting the dividends for the last 23 years since I left the company.  I no longer want to...

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IF THE IRS ASK QUESTIONS, CAN YOUR ACTIONS BE JUSTIFIED?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport A couple of years ago I was asked what the tax consequences are when a Roth IRA is split in divorce. After a pause, I answered honestly: “I have no idea…but will find out.” In fact, there is no...

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FIVE QDRO Q&AS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Although the U.S. divorce rate is in a steady decline, it’s still one of the highest in the world. And with divorces often come QDROs – “qualified domestic relations orders.” A QDRO is a state court...

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SPOUSAL ROLLOVERS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Probably the biggest advantage that a spouse beneficiary of an IRA has over other beneficiaries is the ability to do a spousal rollover. Only a spouse beneficiary can do a...

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ALAR – THE “AT LEAST AS RAPIDLY” RULE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport For deaths in 2020 or later, we know that a non-eligible designated beneficiary (NEDB) of an IRA is subject to the 10-year rule. Meaning, the account must be emptied by the end of the tenth...

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IRS DELAYS EFFECTIVE DATE OF IRA SELF-CORRECTION PROGRAM

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport It looks like IRA owners will probably have to wait awhile to take advantage of a new program that allows them to self-correct IRA errors that previously couldn’t be fixed. In Notice 2023-43, the IRS...

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POISON IVY: IRA SCENARIOS TO AVOID

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport I got into some poison ivy and am suffering the consequences. It takes a few days for the welts to appear, but they are in full bloom. While I did take precautions before starting my yardwork...

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HSA BENEFITS THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport   You have likely heard of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and you may even understand the basics of how an HSA works. These accounts are really not too complicated. If...

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INHERITED ROTH IRA: RMDS OR NO?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport QUESTION: Do required minimum distributions (RMDs) apply to inherited Roth IRAs? ANSWER: It depends on who the beneficiary is. Owners of traditional IRAs must start taking RMDs when they reach...

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MANDATORY ROTH CATCH-UP CONTRIBUTIONS REQUIRED FOR 2024

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport   One of the more controversial provisions of the new SECURE 2.0 law concerns 401(k) catch-up contributions. Most 401(k) plans – as well as 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans – permit employees...

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CONVERSION AS A GIFT TO YOUR BENEFICIARIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Do you have an IRA you are thinking about converting to a Roth IRA? There are many benefits to converting. You trade an immediate tax bill for the promise of tax-free earnings...

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HOW THE RETIREMENT PLAN COMPENSATION LIMIT WORKS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport It’s certainly not a bad problem to have. But employees with very high compensation cannot have their retirement plan benefits based on all of their pay. Instead, the tax code allows only compensation...

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THE 5-YEAR RULE FOR CONVERTED ROTH IRA FUNDS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education If you recently converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA and you under 59 ½, you will want to know about the five-year rule for penalty-free distributions of converted funds from your Roth IRA. Many people are...

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5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT OPEN A ROTH IRA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport In my April 12 Slott Report entry (“5 Reasons to Open a Roth IRA Immediately!”), I included a handful of points as to why it was imperative to open a Roth IRA, especially before the tax filing...

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DO SPOUSES HAVE ANY RIGHTS TO RETIREMENT PLAN ACCOUNTS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport One important way that IRAs differ from company retirement plans is with respect to spousal financial rights. Most married IRA owners do not need spousal consent before designating a beneficiary other...

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ROTH IRA VS. ROTH 401(K)

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport More 401(k) plans are starting to offer Roth options. If you now have this option, you may be wondering what the difference is between a Roth IRA and a Roth 401(k). Which...

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5 REASONS TO OPEN A ROTH IRA IMMEDIATELY!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Time is running out! The tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 18. Why is this important? Because that is the last day an IRA can be opened and/or funded for the previous year. Even if a...

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IRS SIGNALS THAT IT WILL STILL WAIVE MISSED RMD PENALTIES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Despite the reduction in the penalty for missing required minimum distributions (RMDs) in the new SECURE 2.0 law, it looks like you will still be able to get the IRS to waive the penalty altogether....

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5 HSA RULES YOU NEED TO KNOW

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are rapidly growing in both size and in number. These accounts offer deductible contributions and tax-free distributions for qualified medical expenses. An HSA can be a valuable tool not only for paying for medical expenses but also for...

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VESTING IN COMPANY PLANS AND NEW IRS FORFEITURE RULES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport When you leave your job and aren’t fully vested in your company plan account, the plan will forfeit your unvested portion. Recently, the IRS issued new guidance clarifying the forfeiture rules....

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3 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR 2022 IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Tax season is in full swing. That means that the 2022 tax-filing deadline is not far away. Are you considering making a 2022 IRA contribution? Time is quickly running out. Here...

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BLOODY MARY AND A 401(K)

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Spring break. Warm breezes and ocean waves and fancy cocktails are top of mind. The aroma of coconut suntan lotion entwined with barbecue smoke floats on salty air. And when morning light...

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CAN I REACH MY 401(K) FUNDS WHILE STILL WORKING?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport We continue to get questions about the ability of employees to withdraw from 401(k) plans while still working. The tax code includes certain restrictions on these in-service withdrawals. Plans must...

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3 TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR 2022 IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Tax season is in full swing. That means that the 2022 tax-filing deadline is not far away. Are you considering making a 2022 IRA contribution? Time is quickly running out. Here...

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THE INTERNET SAID SO

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport People on TikTok create investment advice videos? And I’m supposed to trust whatever this talking head is telling me? No chance. Of course, the person on TikTok could hold a number of higher...

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SECURE 2.0 GLITCHES AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Considering that it made 92 new IRA and retirement plan changes and is 357 pages long, it’s not surprising that the new SECURE 2.0 law has several unintended drafting errors and lots of unresolved...

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NAMING A MINOR AS YOUR IRA BENEFICIARY

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If you want to leave your IRA to an adult, you simply name that person on the IRA beneficiary form. Unfortunately, when it comes to minors, it is not that easy. When a minor...

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RBD – PROACTIVE SALLY AND OBLIVIOUS JERRY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Last week the Ed Slott team hosted another highly successful and sold-out 2-day advisor training program at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Over 250 financial professionals from across the...

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SECURE 2.0 ELIMINATES PENALTY ON NIA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport SECURE 2.0 is a mammoth piece of legislation that contains over 90 provisions that affect retirement accounts. While many of these provisions are not game changers, they still...

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EDBS HAVE A CHOICE: STRETCH VS. 10-YEAR

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport By now, most are aware the SECURE Act created a new class of beneficiaries called “eligible designated beneficiaries” (EDBs). This group includes surviving spouses, minor children of the...

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5 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN MAKING A 2022 ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Tax season is upon us. This is the time when you might be thinking about contributing to a retirement account. You may be interested in the Roth IRA, which offers the promise...

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AGE 50 EXCEPTION QUESTION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport When IRA or retirement plan assets are withdrawn prior to age 59 ½, an early distribution penalty of 10% applies - in addition to any taxes owed on the distribution. However, there are...

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SECURE 2.0 MODIFIES RULES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport The SECURE Act changed the game for inherited IRAs. For most beneficiaries, the stretch IRA is gone and has been replaced by the 10-year payout rule. However, the SECURE Act carved out some rules...

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SECURE 2.0 CHANGES ALREADY IN EFFECT

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport The SECURE 2.0 Act, enacted into law on December 29, 2022, makes over 90 changes to the IRA and employer plan tax rules. If that isn’t enough, many of these provisions aren’t immediately effective and...

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ROTH-O-MANIA!

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport SECURE 2.0 is now the law of the land and one thing is very clear. Roth-O-Mania is here! In their quest for more revenue, Congress has created more options to save with Roth accounts. These...

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529 PLANS AND ROTH IRAS: TODAY'S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: Hello Ed, I have a question concerning Secure 2.0 pertaining to transferring “leftover” 529 plan account balances into a Roth IRA, beginning 2024. If I have no income in 2024, can I...

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SECURE 2.0 ELIMINATES RMDS ON ROTH PLAN DOLLARS IN 2024

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If a person has a Traditional IRA and is of the age when lifetime required minimum distributions (RMDs) apply, then that person must withdraw a portion of that account annually. The amount to...

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SECURE 2.0 ALLOWS ROLLOVERS OF 529 FUNDS TO ROTH IRAS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport We’re getting a lot of questions about the SECURE 2.0 provision allowing tax-free rollovers from 529 plans to Roth IRAs. Although this new rollover opportunity sounds exciting, there are a number of...

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QCDS AND 60-DAY ROLLOVERS: TODAY'S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: I am confused regarding the requirements for making a qualified charitable distribution. Is it necessary for the donation to be sent directly from the financial...

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WHO CAN DELAY THEIR RMD UNDER SECURE 2.0?

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport One of the provisions of the recently passed SECURE 2.0 that has gotten the most attentions is the one that allows some retirement account owners to delay their required...

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RMDS UNDER SECURE ACT 2.0: TODAY'S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: On reading your SECURE 2.0 information, a revised RMD (required minimum distribution) to age 73 was mentioned. Prior to this new legislation, 72 was the RMD age. If this is in effect now in...

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SECURE 2.0 CHANGES THAT APPLY TO WORKPLACE PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport In our December 28 and January 2 Slott Report articles, we focused mostly on the provisions of the new SECURE 2.0 law that apply to IRAs. But many of the law’s changes are directed towards workplace...

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TOP TAKEAWAYS FROM SECURE 2.0 FOR 2023

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport The year 2023 has arrived. It is a new year, and we have new rules for retirement accounts thanks to SECURE 2.0 which Congress passed in the waning days of last year. SECURE...

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RANDOM REAL-LIFE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Each day we receive dozens of retirement-related questions from advisor members of the Ed Slott Elite IRA Advisor Group. Conversations range from incredibly complex to obscure to, “I just need...

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! CONGRESS GIFTS SECURE 2.0

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport This holiday season Congress has given us SECURE 2.0. With no time to spare to avoid a government shutdown, they passed the $1.7 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of...

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CONGRESS CONSIDERS SPENDING BILL THAT INCLUDES SECURE 2.0

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport As you may have read, Congress is considering passage of a $1.65 trillion spending bill that contains a number of retirement savings plan provisions. As of this morning (December 21), the bill has not...

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10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport A repair man is currently fixing the sliding glass door on the back of my house. The track is worn and the rollers need replacing. No small task. The doors weigh a ton, you need one of those...

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4 IRA TASKS TO GET DONE BY YEAR END 2022

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport The year 2022 is coming to a close. The holidays season is upon us. That means that the clock is ticking on year-end IRA deadlines. Be sure to get the following four...

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BIG INCREASE IN MANY 2023 RETIREMENT PLAN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport The IRS has announced the retirement contribution limits for 2023. Because many of these limits are tied to inflation, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of the limits had a big jump. Here’s a...

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AUTOMATIC WAIVER OF 50% PENALTY FOR MISSED YEAR-OF-DEATH RMD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport At this time of year, financial articles typically cover festive topics with creative holiday metaphors. “Stuff Your Stocking with These Year-End Retirement Tips” or, “Stay Off Santa’s Naughty...

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TAKE OUR RMD QUIZ

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If you have an IRA, you should know that the funds that are in the account can’t stay there forever. The rules say that you must begin to take required minimum distributions...

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A REFRESHER COURSE ON MULTIPLE PLAN CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport As you’ve probably heard, the IRS has announced the IRA and workplace plan contribution limits for 2023. Because most of those limits are tied to inflation, many increased substantially. Among the big...

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IRA RULES THAT WE GIVE THANKS FOR IN 2022

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport It is a Thanksgiving tradition here at the Slott Report to take a moment to give thanks for the IRA rules that are helpful to retirement savers. We know there are many times...

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DEADLINE FOR OPENING UP A NEW SOLO 401(K) PLAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport A solo 401(k) plan is a great retirement savings vehicle for self-employed business owners with no employees (other than their spouse). But if you’re considering a new solo 401(k), be aware that...

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NUA – TRIGGER ACTIVATORS!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The goal of the net unrealized appreciation (NUA) tax strategy is to enable a person to pay taxes on the appreciation of company stock formerly in a work plan at long term capital gain rates as opposed to ordinary income rates. The...

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IRA TRANSACTIONS THAT CAN BE MISSED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Not every IRA transaction is easily identifiable. Some require a little legwork to reveal or report what occurred. Some transactions are not even labeled on official IRS tax forms and can go...

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THE REQUIRED BEGINNING DATE IS NOW A “REALLY BIG DEAL”

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport When it comes to IRAs and workplace plans, the concept of the “required  beginning date” (RBD) is a “really big deal” again. The RBD is the first date you’re required to start required minimum...

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A TAX-FREE ROTH IRA DISTRIBUTION IN 5 EASY STEPS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Roth IRAs offer a trade-off where you pay taxes now on your contribution (or conversion) in exchange for tax-free earnings later. Don’t miss out on tax-free Roth IRA...

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING ON 2022 CONVERSIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Fall is in full swing now with football, foliage, and pumpkin spice everything. The holiday season is just around the corner. Before we know it, the year 2022 will come to an...

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RMDS AND ROTH IRA 5-YEAR RULE: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport QUESTION: Iturn 72 next month.  Can I take part of my RMD this year and the balance before April of next year? Howard ANSWER: Howard, Happy early birthday! Since you turn 72 this year, 2022 is...

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THE LAS VEGAS CONFERENCE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport The Ed Slott team hosted a highly successful training program for members of Ed Slott's Elite IRA Advisor Group℠ and Ed Slott's Master Elite Advisor Group℠ last week in Las Vegas. Over 300...

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IRA ROLLOVERS AND 2021 RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: Can an IRA to Roth IRA rollover be spread out over two transactions to soften the upfront tax hit? Answer: When a conversion is done, any taxes owed would be owed in...

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A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF THE RBD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport SECURE Act regulations shoved the required beginning date (RBD) to the front of the stage. No longer can the RBD hide from the bright lights. What was once somewhat of a minor date in people’s...

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IRS PROVIDES SOME RELIEF FOR VICTIMS OF HURRICANE IAN

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If you are a victim of Hurricane Ian, you may be eligible for some relief when it comes to your retirement accounts. The IRS has postponed certain tax deadlines for individuals...

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RMDS AND INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: I must take an RMD this year, based on 12/31/2021 account values. My current account values are much less than those of 12/31/2021. This is typical, I’m sure. Is there any chance...

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“UPDATE NEEDED” – TOP 5 IRA ITEMS TO CONSIDER

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...

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IRS REGULATIONS AND QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

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...

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HOW ARE ROTH 401(K) DISTRIBUTIONS TAXED?

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...

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QCDS AND THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY FOR A CWA

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...

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3 IRA RULES TO KNOW BEFORE YOU WALK DOWN THE AISLE

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...

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THE LIMITS OF ERISA SPOUSAL PROTECTION

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....

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ROTH IRA DISTRIBUTION ORDERING RULES

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...

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YOUR AGE AND YOUR ROTH IRA CONVERSION

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...

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ROTH CONVERSION – OOPS!

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...

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HOW AN ESA CAN HELP WITH BACK-TO-SCHOOL EXPENSES

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...

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A RETIREMENT ACCOUNT SCORECARD

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...

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YEAR-OF-DEATH RMD

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...

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STILL-WORKING EXCEPTION

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...

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THE UNPLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE ACCURACY-RELATED PENALTY

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...

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RMDS & ROTH CONVERSIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

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...

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INHERITED IRA Q&AS

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...

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FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PLAN ROLLOVER AND YOUR RMD

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...

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DIRECT TRANSFERS, DIRECT ROLLOVERS, AND 60-DAY ROLLOVERS

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...

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REPAYING A CRD

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...

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SIDESTEPPING THE NEW IRS PRIVATE LETTER RULING FEES

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...

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CONDUIT IRA – IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

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...

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4 QCD RULES THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

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...

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SENATE COMMITTEES TAKE UP RETIREMENT SAVINGS PROPOSALS

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...

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INHERITED IRAS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

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...

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SHOULD I ACCEPT A LUMP SUM BUYOUT OFFER?

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...

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DEATH OF A SPOUSE, DEATH OF DAD

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...

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TOO OLD TO CONVERT? THINK AGAIN

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...

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72(T) DON’TS

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...

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WHEN THE FIVE-YEAR RULE APPLIES

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...

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ONE ROTH IRA BUCKET

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...

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5 WAYS AN EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTION CAN HAPPEN

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...

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WHEN A “REVERSE ROLLOVER” MAKES SENSE

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:...

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WATCH OUT FOR THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE

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...

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HOW THE VESTING RULES WORK FOR COMPANY RETIREMENT PLANS

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...

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HOW YOUR IRA CAN HELP IF YOU ARE A FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER

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...

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A DOZEN QCD FACTS

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...

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INVESTING YOUR IRA IN CRYPTO

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...

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401(K), 403(B), 457(B): DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

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...

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FIRST DOLLARS OUT RULE AND THE STILL-WORKING EXCEPTION

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...

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UNDERSTANDING THE SAME PROPERTY RULE

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...

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TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CATCH-UP CONTRIBUTIONS!

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....

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LAST-MINUTE IRA TAX DEADLINES & RULES

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...

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5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE NEW SECURE ACT REGULATIONS

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,...

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HOUSE PASSES SECURE 2.0 BILL, BUT IT’S NOT LAW YET

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...

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THE 3 EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRO-RATA RULE THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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...

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$1,512,350 IS THE NEW $1,362,800

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...

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NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR 2021 IRA CONTRIBUTION

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?...

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DECIPHERING YOUR 401(K) STATEMENT

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...

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“MONITORING CONCURRENT LIFE EXPECTANCIES?” – SMH

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...

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SECURE ACT REGS BRING NEW ROTH IRA ADVANTAGE

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...

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THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PART OF THE NEW IRS REGULATIONS

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...

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AGE OF MAJORITY AND THE NEW SECURE ACT REGULATIONS

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...

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SECURE ACT REGULATIONS ARE HERE

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....

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ACT NOW TO CLEAN UP 2021 EXCESS 401(K) DEFERRALS

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...

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WHAT PROTECTION DO SPOUSES GET IN COMPANY PLANS?

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...

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MAKING A SPOUSAL IRA CONTRIBUTION

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...

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HOW DOES THE IRS COMPENSATION LIMIT WORK?

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...

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ROTH CONVERSIONS & RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

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...

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10% PENALTY EXCEPTIONS

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%...

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WATCH OUT FOR THE FIVE-YEAR RULE ON CONVERTED ROTH FUNDS

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...

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ROLLOVER TRIVIA: 5 Q&AS

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...

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ROLLING OVER LAST YEAR’S IRA DISTRIBUTION

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....

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GREAT NEWS FOR 72(T) PAYMENTS!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst 72(t) payments have suddenly become a better deal for IRA owners and company plan participants. Also known as “substantially equal periodic payments,” 72(t) payments are advantageous because they are exempt from the 10% early distribution...

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ONE IRA ROLLOVER PER YEAR – BASED ON DISTRIBUTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A person is allowed only one IRA-to-IRA or Roth-IRA-to-Roth-IRA 60-day rollover per year. This 12-month period is a full 12 months – it is not a calendar year. Accordingly, we refer to this as the “once-per-year rule.” For example,...

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISSED YOUR 2021 RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Did you take your RMD from your IRA for 2021? Hopefully, the answer is yes because for most IRA owners and beneficiaries the deadline for taking a 2021 RMD was December 31, 2021. There is an exception. If you...

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YOUR FIRST RMD AND SEP IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi, I turn 72 this year and have to take my first required minimum distribution (RMD). I am also in the process of converting most of my IRA into a Roth IRA. I know I have to take my RMD first before the conversion. Since...

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QCD REMINDERS AND PITFALLS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Less than two weeks into the new year seems like a good time to provide a few reminders and warnings when it comes to Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs). As a quick refresher, remember these QCD facts: Only available to IRA...

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NEW 2022 IRS LIFE EXPECTANCY TABLES AVAILABLE HERE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has released new life expectancy tables for calculating required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2022. The most commonly used tables are the Uniform Lifetime and the Single Life Expectancy Tables.  The...

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HITTING THE RESET BUTTON FOR 2022 RMDS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Welcome to 2022! One of the big changes in the retirement account world this year will be the calculation of required minimum distributions (RMDs). RMDs for IRA owners and plan participants are calculated using life expectancies from IRS...

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst In 2021, the Slott Report produced roughly 100 diverse retirement-related articles and answered approximately 100 reader questions in our weekly Mailbag. We do our best to present topical IRA and retirement plan issues in the most...

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WHAT 2022 MAY MEAN FOR YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Pop the champagne! It is almost time to turn the page on the calendar to a new year. What will 2022 mean for your retirement accounts? All signs point to a very busy year ahead. Here is what we may expect for...

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5 IRA RULES FOR WHICH WE ARE THANKFUL IN 2021

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Thanksgiving 2021 is upon us. This is the time of the year when we gather together and express our gratitude. When it comes to our retirement accounts, we often complain about the negatives. There are restrictions...

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A LOOK BACK AT A “NORMAL” 2021

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst As 2021 draws to a close, many of us will naturally look back and try to make some sense of the past year. On the whole, it would be hard to classify 2021 as an “uneventful” year. But in the world of IRAs and workplace plans, it actually...

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YEAR-END ESTIMATED TAX “LIFE HACK”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A “life hack” is any trick, shortcut or simple and clever technique for accomplishing a familiar task more easily and efficiently, in all walks of life. For example, tie a colorful ribbon to your luggage to make it more easily...

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ILLIQUID ASSETS AND RMDS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Tis the season. Yes, it is the holiday season, and it is also the season to take RMDs. RMDs are back for 2021 after being waived by the CARES Act for 2020. With the return of RMDs come questions. One question we...

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PROCEED WITH CAUTION WHEN INVESTING YOUR IRA IN GOLD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education In volatile times like these, when inflation is looming, retirement savers may look to invest their IRAs in gold. Advertisements on the internet and cable tv make it look easy, but that is not the full story. The...

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RESTORATIVE PAYMENTS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we careen into the holiday season, there remains a deceitful underbelly of dirtbags operating their typical scams. Giant inflatable Christmas decorations in front of your home or a menorah in the window will not dissuade...

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BIGGER 401(K) CONTRIBUTIONS COMING IN 2022

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has released the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement accounts for 2022. As expected, due to inflation in the economy, many of the dollar limit restrictions on retirement accounts will increase...

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THE 401(K) HARDSHIP WITHDRAWAL RULES IN A NUTSHELL

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The September 29, 2021 Slott Report summarized the rules for taking non-hardship withdrawals from 401(k) plans. This article will focus on the hardship withdrawal rules. Most company savings plans allow you to pull out your funds to take...

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CLARIFYING SOME ROTH CONVERSION MISCONCEPTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As Roth IRA conversions become more popular, questions and misconceptions abound. In no particular order, here are a dozen Roth IRA conversion facts to be aware of: 1. Anyone with an IRA can do a Roth conversion. There are no...

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ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO DO A SPOUSAL ROLLOVER

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst As discussed in the October 18 Slott Report, spousal beneficiaries of IRAs can take advantage of certain payout rules that aren’t available to non-spouse beneficiaries. For example, a surviving spouse who remains a beneficiary can defer...

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PERSEVERE, CHARLIE BROWN!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Charlie Brown, wearing a ghost costume full of too many eye holes cut in all the wrong spots, famously peered into his trick-or-treat bag and said, “I got a rock.” One of the best parts of Halloween remains. It is the moment at the...

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RETIREMENT PLANNING FOR THE SELF EMPLOYED

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Not everyone has a boss. In an economy upended by COVID, individuals, sometimes by choice and sometimes not, are striking out on their own and starting new businesses or becoming part of the gig economy. A critical...

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ARE YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS PROTECTED FROM CREDITORS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One question that continues to come up is whether company retirement plan dollars are protected from creditors. This becomes an issue if you are forced to declare bankruptcy or you owe money after a legal action is brought against you. If...

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SPOUSE AS IRA BENEFICIARY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a married IRA owner dies, the surviving spouse is oftentimes the beneficiary. Of course, there are instances where a trust might be named as IRA beneficiary, or the children or a charity or someone else is listed. Regardless,...

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TIME TO SIMPLIFY YOUR RETIREMENT

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education As you approach your golden years, you may be looking to simplify your life to wring the most out of retirement. It may be time to right size and move from a larger house with an abundance of maintenance to a...

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A POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE “MEGA IRA” RESTRICTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Build Back Better Act of 2021, recently passed by the House Ways and Means Committee, includes a number of retirement plan provisions.  They were summarized in the September 22, 2021 Slott Report. Two of those provisions are targeted...

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EARNINGS ARE EARNINGS WITHIN A TRADITIONAL IRA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When it comes to taxes and the 10% early distribution penalty, do not allow the underlying investments within a Traditional IRA to confuse what is applicable. Earnings within an IRA are just earnings. It does not matter if those...

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WHAT THE NEW TAX PROPOSALS MEAN FOR ROTH CONVERSIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It’s hard to keep up with the news out of Washington these days! We have been getting a ton of questions on how the new tax proposals recently passed by the House Ways and Means Committee would impact Roth...

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INHERITED IRAS AND 2021 RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Good morning, I have an inherited IRA. I took a manual withdrawal from it in late August. I thought I had deleted my auto withdrawal on the custodian’s website. I just noticed today that another distribution was taken on...

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RESTRICTIONS ON 401(K) IN-SERVICE WITHDRAWALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Congress designed 401(k) plans as retirement savings vehicles – not as checking accounts. So, there are restrictions on when employees can make “in-service withdrawals” (i.e., withdrawals  while still working). It’s important to remember...

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CONGRESS LOOKS TO ELIMINATE BACK-DOOR ROTH STRATEGIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The House Ways and Means Committee has released a draft of proposed changes to retirement accounts, including adding income limits for conversions and eliminating the back-door Roth conversion strategy. These...

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FIXING A 60-DAY ROLLOVER ERROR

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Are you moving assets between IRAs or from a company plan to an IRA (or vice-versa)? You should know that using a direct transfer is a much better idea than doing a 60-day rollover. Direct transfers avoid all of the possible issues which...

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YEAR-OF-DEATH RMDS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When an IRA owner taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) dies before removing his annual RMD, that year-of-death RMD (or whatever portion remains) must still be withdrawn. Upon passing, the year-of-death RMD immediately...

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RETIREMENT ACCOUNT RELIEF FOR DISASTER VICTIMS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education President Biden has declared September to be National Preparedness Month. The goal is to encourage Americans to be more prepared for natural disasters. Unfortunately, from flooding on the east coast to fires on the...

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STRATEGIES WHEN YOUR IRA CONTRIBUTION CANNOT BE DEDUCTED

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The other day an advisor called us with an issue that comes up frequently, especially in these tumultuous times. His client had made an IRA contribution for 2021 and was planning on deducting that contribution....

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THE MEGA BACKDOOR ROTH IRA STRATEGY AND SOLO 401(K) PLANS

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the August 16, 2021 Slott Report, we showed that someone participating in a 401(k) plan through a “regular” job could also establish a solo 401(k) plan through a side job and potentially contribute up to $58,000 this year in after-tax...

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AGGREGATING RMDS – WHAT IS (AND WHAT IS NOT) ALLOWED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Recently, I had a conversation with an advisor who wanted a second opinion. He disagreed with how a 401(k) custodian was handling his client’s required minimum distribution (RMD). To arm himself with facts, the advisor contacted us...

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10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ESAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It’s back to school time! Any parent will tell you that education can be expensive. You cannot afford to miss out on any possible option out there that may help you save. One savings tool that you might overlook is...

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MAKING SENSE OF THE 401(K) MULTIPLE PLAN LIMITS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We continue to get lots of questions about the company savings plan contribution limits. There are actually two different contribution limits – the “deferral limit” and the “overall limit.” This makes things very confusing, especially if...

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UPDATE YOUR BENEFICIARY FORMS!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Regardless of whether you open an IRA, participate in a 401(k) plan, buy a life insurance policy, or start a college saving plan for a child, there is a critical detail which should never be overlooked: naming a beneficiary....

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YOUR QCD QUESTIONS ANSWERED

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. This can be a great strategy for those who are charitably inclined and looking to save...

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5 HSA BENEFITS THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations You may be familiar with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). These accounts have been around now for a while. They work with high deductible health insurance and are known for their triple tax benefits. Contributions...

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10 NUA Q&AS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst 1. What is the NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) tax break? It is the opportunity to pay tax at long-term capital gains rates on the appreciation of company stock held within a company plan vs. paying ordinary income rates on that...

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5 TAKEAWAYS FROM ED SLOTT’S INSTANT IRA SUCCESS WORKSHOP

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On July 15 and 16, financial advisors from around the country gathered virtually for Ed Slott and Company’s Instant IRA Success workshop. We took a deep dive into the rules governing retirement accounts and engaged...

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CAN EDBS SPLIT INHERITED IRAS?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A surviving spouse has a number of options regarding how to deal with IRAs inherited from his or her deceased spouse. The age of both the deceased and surviving spouse will most often dictate the decision as to how to proceed....

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HOW YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR RMD

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education When you contribute to a traditional IRA you make a deal with Uncle Sam. You can get a tax deduction and tax deferral on any earnings in your IRA. However, eventually the government is going to want its share and will...

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5 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT THE AGE-55 RULE

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The pandemic has upended the workplace and caused many people to rethink their career path. For some older workers this may mean considering early retirement. For those workers, access to retirement savings can be...

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CLARIFYING THE ROLLOVER/TRANSFERS RULES WHEN AN RMD IS DUE

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport In the June 16, 2021 Slott Report, we discussed how an in-service distribution made in the year of separation from service can inadvertently create an excess IRA contribution if that distribution is...

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RMDS, THE STILL-WORKING EXCEPTION, AND THE BEST-LAID PLANS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A required minimum distribution (RMD) from a 401(k) (or other employer plan) must be taken prior to rolling remaining plan dollars to an IRA. An RMD cannot be rolled over, so it must be withdrawn before any rollover is completed....

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IRS RECTIFIES MISTAKEN INTERPRETATION OF 10-YEAR PAYOUT RULE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst On April 14, we reported that the IRS was apparently interpreting the SECURE Act's 10-year payout rule in a surprising way – to require annual required minimum distributions (RMDs). Now, the IRS has made it clear (without actually saying...

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10-YEAR RULE: BENEFICIARY PLANNING “LOOPHOLE” CLOSED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With the passage of the SECURE Act, once common IRA beneficiary planning strategies have been upended. For example, no longer can just anyone stretch payments on an inherited IRA. You must qualify as an “eligible designated...

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SECURE ACT REGULATIONS EXPECTED “SOON”

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It has been well over a year since the SECURE Act became a reality, transforming the rules for inherited IRAs and doing away with the stretch IRA for most beneficiaries. While the SECURE Act statute gave us...

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HOW THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE IS MISUNDERSTOOD

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One of the cardinal sins you can commit with an IRA rollover is to run afoul of the IRS “once-per-year” rollover rule. Violating that rule triggers a taxable distribution and the 10% early distribution penalty if you are under age 59 ½....

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EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTIONS – GAMING THE SYSTEM?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst An IRA owner can contribute only so much to a Traditional and/or Roth IRA annually. The IRA owner must also have earned income. The contribution limit for 2021 is $6,000, with a catch-up provision of another $1,000 for those age 50...

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SPECIAL RULES FOR SPOUSE IRA BENEFICIARIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The SECURE Act may have upended the rules for inherited IRAs, but the rules for spouse beneficiaries remain as advantageous as ever. In fact, naming a spouse as an IRA beneficiary is a better option than ever...

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HOW DO RMDS WORK IN DB PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Rules governing defined benefit (DB) plans are typically more complicated than defined contribution (DC) plan rules. But required minimum distributions (RMDs) are one area where the DB plan requirements are easier to understand. If you’re...

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NO IRA CONTRIBUTIONS AFTER DEATH

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we inch toward the extended 2020 tax deadline of May 17, many filers are still laboring over their returns. Some are completing the final return for a loved one lost in what was a brutal year. As is human nature, most taxpayers...

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE SON OF SECURE?

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On May 5, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021. According to lawmakers, the proposal is designed to pick up where the SECURE Act of 2019 left off and...

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THE ROTH CONVERSION CONVERSATION: A MUST-HAVE!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When visiting the doctor, does he or she ask foundational questions to help determine your medical condition? Of course. “How are you feeling?” “Are you a smoker?” “What hurts?” Does the doctor take some basic measurements –...

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2020 IRA CONTRIBUTION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 17

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Good news for retirement savers! There is more time to make your 2020 IRA contribution. On March 17, 2020, the IRS extended the 2020 federal income tax-filing deadline to May 17, 2021. The extension also extends...

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THE IRS MAY BE COMING AFTER YOUR SOLO 401(K) PLAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you sponsor a solo 401(k) plan, beware! The IRS recently announced that it is targeting several employer plan areas for stepped-up auditing. One of those areas is solo 401(k) plans. The fact that solo plans made the list is a signal...

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ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AND IRA DEDUCTIBILITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst This question (or a derivation of it) has been popular as of late: “I only participated in my 401(k) for a couple of months in 2020 before I was laid off. Does that still make me a ‘covered’ employee, and can I contribute to my...

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MAKING A 2020 ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has delayed the deadline for filing federal income taxes until May 17, 2021. This also extends the deadline for making a 2020 Roth IRA contribution. A Roth IRA offers the promise of tax-free withdrawals in...

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IRA RUMORS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With all the recent changes to IRAs under the SECURE Act [i.e., required minimum distribution (RMD) age raised to 72, new rules for beneficiaries, etc.], combined with the CARES Act waiver of RMDs last year, it comes as no surprise...

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WHO MUST TAKE THE YEAR-OF-DEATH RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Required minimum distributions (RMDs) were waived for 2020 but they are back now for 2021. This includes the RMD for the year of death of the IRA owner. The rules for this RMD can be tricky. One question that comes...

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5 QUESTIONS WITH GEORGE NICHOLS OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE

George Nichols III is the 10th President and Chief Executive Officer in The American College of Financial Services’ storied history. He continues to take motivation from founder Solomon Huebner’s pioneering vision in 1927, while empowering The College to usher in the...

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EIGHT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DC AND DB PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Fewer and fewer workers are participating in defined benefit pension (DB) plans these days. The high cost of maintaining those plans has led many employers to terminate existing plans and dissuaded many others from setting up new plans in...

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HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR 2021 RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The CARES Act waived required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020, but they are back for 2021. The return of RMDs for this year has raised questions about how these distributions should be calculated. Here is...

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CAN I STILL OPEN UP A NEW SOLO 401(K) FOR 2020?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We’ve been getting a number of questions lately about whether it’s too late to set up a new solo 401(k) plan for 2020. The answer is “sort of.” Business owners with no employees (other than a spouse) can contribute to a solo 401(k) plan....

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HOUSE RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Casinos have house rules. These rules dictate what patrons can and cannot do. They are often written down, posted, and there is no debating the validity of said guidelines. House rules govern...

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DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS RETIREMENT SAVINGS TAX BREAK

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport For those just starting out, saving for retirement can be challenging. For young workers, paying the rent and buying the week’s groceries may take priority and there is only so...

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RETIREMENT ACCOUNT ALPHABET SOUP

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst For an area as highly regulated as IRAs and company plans, it’s not surprising that there’s a ton of abbreviated terms to keep track of. Here’s 18 common ones that you should know: CARES Act. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic...

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ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTIONS AND YOUR TAX RETURN

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Have you contributed to a Roth IRA for 2020? If you have not, you still have some time. The deadline for making a prior year contribution is the tax-filing deadline, not including any extensions you might have. For...

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WHEN A “REVERSE ROLLOVER” MAKES SENSE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst When we think of rollovers, we normally think of moving funds from a 401(k) (or other company plan) to an IRA. But it sometimes makes sense to consider a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k). Unfortunately, although 401(k) plans...

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THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT PLANNING TO CONFISCATE YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Whenever there is a new administration there is a lot of uncertainty about what the change will mean for retirement accounts. In 2021, this change is happening in the middle of a pandemic that has upended the lives...

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RMDS AND ROLLOVERS – A DANGEROUS BLEND

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst It is early 2021 and two ingredients mix again: retirement money in motion, and required minimum distributions (RMDs). This may not appear to be a dangerous concoction, but when improperly combined, the results can be a bitter...

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3 TIPS TO AVOID TAX PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SEP

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) is a popular choice for many small employers. Although these plans are in fact designed to be less complex than other types of retirement plans, there are many ways to go wrong...

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FOUR UNEXPLAINED TAX CODE MYSTERIES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Internal Revenue Code is over 4,000 pages of often unintelligible tax jargon. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the law contains more than its share of baffling and inconsistent provisions. Here are four examples pertaining to...

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“COMPENSATION” FOR IRA ELIGIBILITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Here we go again…barreling headlong into another tax season. This year will be like no other. With all the crazy that was 2020, many tax filers will discover some new and interesting items on their tax returns. For example – did...

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ROLLING OVER A 2020 DISTRIBUTION IN 2021

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The rules for rolling over IRA distributions can be complicated at any time of the year. They are especially challenging at the end of the calendar year. Surprisingly, sometimes IRA owners have doubts as to whether...

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AFTER CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DISTRIBUTIONS – NOW WHAT?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) are no more. Millions of Americans took advantage of the opportunity to make penalty-free withdrawals from their IRAs and 401(k) plans in 2020. But unless Congress resurrects them, CRDs are no...

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RECHARACTERIZING AN IRA CONTRIBUTION – STILL IN THE TOOLBOX!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we enter tax season and consider last year’s transactions, it bears repeating: Roth IRA contributions can be recharacterized, Roth conversions cannot. A Roth IRA contribution can be recharacterized (changed) to a Traditional IRA...

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THE “LOOK BACK” – CONSIDERING A TAX YEAR IN ITS ENTIRETY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst We are just a few days into the new year, and many people are anxious to get their full IRA contributions in for 2021. However, a common question is, “It’s only the first week of the year and I haven’t received a paycheck yet. Can...

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2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A new year brings a fresh start, and after 2020, we need that more than ever. You probably have a few resolutions for 2021. When making your list of goals for the new year, don’t overlook your IRA. Here are a few...

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst From The Slott Report, December 30, 2019: “2020 promises to be an exciting year in the IRA and savings plan worlds, as the full ramifications of the new SECURE Act begin to take shape. Beyond that, the IRS will likely finalize the new...

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BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Ah, the end of the year. Snow is drifting, music plays quietly in the background. Ma in her kerchief, Papa in his cap, just settling down for a long winter’s nap… Nope. No time for that. ‘Tis the season of BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Did you...

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HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM THE SLOTT REPORT

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education We at the Slott Report would like to wish all our readers a happy and safe holiday season. 2020 has been a year like no other. Thank you for taking your valuable time to read the Slott Report during this...

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE SECURE ACT!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One year ago from yesterday (December 20, 2019), President Trump signed into law the SECURE Act. At that time, virtually no one had heard of the coronavirus and certainly very few (if any) could have foreseen the global pandemic that’s...

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AFTER-TAX ROTH CONVERSION: TRICK QUESTION?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Bob is 40 years old. He is a single tax filer, participates in a 401(k) at work, and makes a healthy annual salary of $160,000. Bob has consistently contributed $5,000 each year to his Traditional IRA for 5 years ($25,000 total)....

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2020 YEAR-END RETIREMENT ACCOUNT TO-DO LIST

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The end of 2020 is almost here. With the end of the year come certain retirement account deadlines. Here are 5 items you should have on your 2020 year-end retirement plan to-do list: 1. Do a 2020 conversion If you...

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BE CAREFUL ABOUT USING YOUR IRA FOR A SHORT-TERM LOAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Thinking of using your IRA as a “short-term loan” to raise some extra cash for the holidays?  What could go wrong? Well, actually, two major things could go wrong. And either could lead to serious tax headaches. Let’s say Chloe started...

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DUBIOUS MULTI-LAYERED CRD TAX STRATEGY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Recently we became aware of a multi-layered tax strategy that we think is a bridge too far when it comes to Coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs). In fact, it may even be outright tax fraud. As most readers are aware, the CARES...

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10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE CONVERTING IN 2020

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The clock is ticking if you are considering converting your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2020. More IRA owners are making this move this year as historically low tax rates and COVID-related income losses have...

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CAUTION: FOUR TAX BREAK DEADLINES RAPIDLY APPROACHING

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Thanksgiving is behind us, and the end of the year will be here soon. (Many of us are truly thankful for that!)  This is a good time to remind you of certain tax breaks that will expire before we turn over the calendar to 2021. Many of...

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BACK TO THE RIGHT SIDE UP

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst We have collectively crawled into the hollow of a 2020 tree and found ourselves in the Upside Down. (That is a “Stranger Things” reference, for the uninitiated.) The SECURE Act turned beneficiary options upside down. The CARES Act...

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WHAT LIMITS APPLY IF I PARTICIPATE IN TWO COMPANY PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We continue to get questions about the limits that apply for folks who participate in multiple company savings plans at the same time or who switch jobs in the middle of the year. What’s confusing is that there are two limits – the...

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MILITARY BENEFITS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With Veterans Day being just last week, an overview of two military retirement benefits felt like an all-important and appropriate topic of discussion. One benefit pertains to a penalty exception for accessing retirement dollars...

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CRDS ARE STILL AVAILABLE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The year 2020 has been a challenging one. With coronavirus cases rising in most of the country and economic relief stalled in Congress, many individuals may be looking to find funds to pay urgent bills. One...

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MORE ON AFTER-TAX PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The October 19, 2020 Slott Report article, "Don't Overlook After-Tax Contributions!," explained how after-tax contributions in company plans work and discussed the dollar limits on them. This article will explain how distributions of...

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IRA TRICK-OR-TREAT!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Trick-or-treating in the time of a pandemic is a challenge. Social distancing while handing out candy requires some creativity. The Slott Report has elected to place a big bowl of random treats in front of our house for the kids to...

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THE GHOST RULE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As Halloween approaches and the leaves change color, families gather ‘round weekend campfires, roast marshmallows, and share spooky stories. Watchful owls hoot in the dark. In the distance, a wolf howls at the moon. A rustle in the...

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IMPORTANT TRUST DEADLINE APPROACHES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations For trusts that inherited an IRA in 2019, an important deadline is approaching. October 31, 2020 is the due date to provide required trust documentation to the IRA custodian to ensure that the longest payout...

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INHERITED IRAS AND QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Sir, I inherited an IRA from my sister two years ago. She was collecting RMDs at 78. My question involves collecting my sister’s RMD. Does the 10-year withdrawal go into effect now or do I use the table under my age, which is...

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AM I ENTITLED TO ERISA CREDITOR PROTECTION?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With the recent economic downturn, you may be more concerned than ever about keeping retirement plan funds safe from creditors. If you participate in a plan covered by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you can...

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IRAS, LIFE INSURANCE & PIZZA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Many years ago, my wife and I went to lunch at a pizza joint in a strip mall. The friendly gray-haired host in sensible shoes (whom I pegged for mid-to-late 60’s), tucked two menus under her arm, grabbed a couple sets of silverware...

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BENEFICIARY FORM BASICS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst An argument could be made that the easiest financial document to complete is the IRA beneficiary form. Yet somehow this basic information consistently gets overlooked, mishandled, lost or fouled up. It’s not rocket science. Don’t...

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WHAT’S A TOP HAT PLAN?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Think of a top hat, and you’ll likely conjure up images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt or the temporarily-deceased Mr. Peanut or Rich Uncle Moneybags from Monopoly. But a “top hat plan” is also the informal name of a type of section 457(b)...

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8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR INHERITED IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A significant percentage of IRA assets will ultimately go to nonspouse beneficiaries. When these beneficiaries inherit the funds, special rules kick in. Inherited IRAs are not like other IRA accounts. Here is what...

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SECURE ACT: “WE DON’T KNOW YET”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Gradually, the IRS is clarifying sections of the SECURE Act that require further guidance. In Notice 2020-68, released September 2, the IRS addressed a number of items in a Q&A format. For example, “Is a financial institution...

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IRS ISSUES GUIDANCE ON CERTAIN SECURE ACT CHANGES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In Notice 2020-68, issued September 2, 2020, the IRS gave limited guidance on certain retirement provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (the “SECURE Act”). The SECURE Act was signed into law on...

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PENALTY-FREE IRA DISTRIBUTIONS FOR FIRST-HOME PURCHASE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe even because of it, real estate markets in many areas of the country are busy right now. If you are considering jumping in, and if this is your first home purchase, coming up...

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PERILS OF THE 60-DAY ROLLOVER

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As sure as the sun will rise, someone will take a distribution from his IRA tomorrow. And as sure as the moon will set, someone will fail to roll over his IRA distribution within 60 days. And as sure as the wind will blow, so too...

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RELIEF BEYOND AUGUST 31 FOR RMD REPAYMENTS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Some of you may have received an RMD (required minimum distribution) from an IRA or employer plan earlier this year that you don’t want to keep. Since the CARES Act waived RMDs for 2020, “RMDs” received in 2020 are technically not RMDs...

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TAPPING AN ESA FOR VIRTUAL SCHOOL EXPENSES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The upcoming school year for many students is going to look like nothing we have ever seen before. For many, computers and related technology will become an indispensable part of academic life. This means that...

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“DOLLAR COST AVERAGE” YOUR ROTH CONVERSION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Dollar cost averaging is a tried-and-true investment strategy that has existed for decades. Using this technique, an investor divides up their entire amount to be invested and makes smaller periodic purchases over a desired time....

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RETURNING UNWANTED RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Client has a Thrift Savings Plan and took RMDs in January, February and March of 2020. Client then rolled the balance of the TSP into an IRA. Question is whether or not he can “repay” those RMDs to the IRA under Notice...

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3 RMD REPAYMENT REMEDIES ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL AUGUST 31

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education We are in the dog days of summer and this year is a crazy and unsettling time. The last thing on your mind may be your IRA. However, you should be aware that an important deadline is quickly approaching. If you...

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STOP NAMING TRUSTS AS IRA BENEFICIARIES!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Yes, trusts can play an instrumental role in estate planning. Yes, special needs trusts are invaluable to those with disabled or chronically ill family members. Trusts are essential for minors and for those who may struggle with...

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THE CARES ACT AND 2020 RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I can't find the answer to this question anywhere, so I thought I'd go straight to the experts. Does the CARES Act waive the requirement for a surviving spouse to distribute the RMD in 2020 prior to re-registering the IRA in the...

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STRETCH IRA LIVES ON FOR SOME BENEFICIARIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Last year the SECURE Act became law and eliminated the stretch IRA for millions of IRA beneficiaries. However, for some IRA beneficiaries the stretch lives on. For most beneficiaries, the stretch is now replaced...

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ROLLOVERS AND INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I have a very simple ROTH IRA question. I borrowed money from my ROTH IRA with the intention of paying it all back in 60 days. To avoid any penalty, must I make one repayment of all the money I borrowed?...

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DEATH DURING A ROLLOVER

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A financial advisor contacted me about her client who had recently passed away. The advisor was legitimately concerned about a rollover check received by the now-deceased individual. It had not been deposited into his IRA prior to...

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TAX RULES FOR ROTH 401(K) DISTRIBUTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With more 401(k) plans offering Roth contributions and more folks taking distributions from their plans, now’s a good time to review the tax rules governing Roth 401(k) distributions. Qualified distributions. If your Roth 401(k)...

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