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

IRA BLOG

4 SEP IRA PLAN RULES THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Are you a small business owner or a sole proprietor? If so, you may use a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA plan to save for retirement. These plans are a popular choice for small businesses because they are inexpensive and easier...

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THE HOUSE WITH TWO FRONT DOORS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A little house on Easy Street has one front door. It is a traditional IRA. There is a sign above the lone entry point the reads, “To All Those That Enter, Thy Earnings Will be Taxable.” It does not matter if the money that enters...

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ROLLING OVER YOUR PLAN? PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO YOUR RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Whether by choice or necessity, many Americans are still working long beyond what has traditionally been retirement age. If you are a member of this group, you may be keeping funds in your employer plan well into your seventies and...

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IRA CONTRIBUTIONS, ROLLOVERS & UPDATED BANKRUPTCY CAP

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Edward was born in 1950. Traditional IRA accounts would not be established until the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In 1975, Edward and many other Americans took full advantage of this tax-deferred savings...

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DIRECT TRANSFER (OR ROLLOVER) – THE BEST WAY TO GO!

By Jeremy Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst I’m sure you’ve heard countless advisors mention that a direct transfer (or direct rollover) is the best way to move funds between IRAs or qualified retirement plans. But do you understand why? There are a number of reasons, and in...

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REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: I have a question about avoiding RMDs for a still-working 72 year old in a 401k plan.  Suppose they don’t have to take 401k RMDs due to the still-working exemption from RMDs.  Let’s say the person knows they will retire next...

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5 IRA CONTRIBUTION RULES THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst It’s that time of year again. Tax season is upon us. This is now the time when many individuals consider funding their IRAs. Contributing to an IRA may seem pretty straight forward and in many ways it is! But there can be twists. Here...

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THE DISCLAIMER

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A disclaimer is an interesting tool. It is a denial or disavowal of legal claim, or a formal refusal to accept an interest in something. “Release” and “waiver” are good synonyms. Oftentimes a disclaimer statement is used by a...

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OPTIONS AND PITFALLS FOR NON-SPOUSE BENEFICIARIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Much attention is paid to the favorable options available when spouses are named as IRA beneficiaries. However, a significant portion of IRA assets will end up being inherited by individuals who are not a spouse of the decedent. Many...

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IVAN SEEKS ADVICE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Ivan is an inventor at heart, but he is stuck in an office at a job he does not particularly care for. Ivan constantly daydreams about starting his own company and improving everyday life with his inventions. For 20 years Ivan...

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“GAP ANALYSIS”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst There are many gaps. Generation gap, stop-gap, The Gap Band. In baseball you can hit into the gap. Football linemen have an A-gap, B-gap and C-gap to concern themselves with. Of course, there is the Cumberland Gap. And there is a...

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NUA AND EMPLOYER 401(K) PLANS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: If I convert Trad IRA funds to a Roth IRA, does the ratio of After-Tax Contribution to Total IRA holdings include 401k holdings or only IRA holdings. I am a recently retired pilot and want to make Trad to Roth IRA conversions...

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10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE REQUIRED BEGINNING DATE FOR IRAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst If you have an IRA, you may have heard the term “required beginning date” or “RBD.” This is an important date that every IRA owner should understand. The significance of the RBD is not limited to IRA owners. It is a critical date for...

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RMDS AND SPOUSAL BENEFICIARIES: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Jeremy Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello Ed, I have an elderly client in his 80’s, not in the best of health. He has named his spouse (also in her 80’s) along with his 4 children as primary beneficiaries of his IRA. That said, I know the 4 children will...

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SO YOU WANT TO THROW A 401(K) HOUSE PARTY?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When it comes to 401(k) plans, I feel like the Johnny Cash lyric…“I’ve been everywhere, man.” I’ve wholesaled record keeping platforms to financial advisors and sold direct to business owners. I’ve taught novice investors about...

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INVESTING IRA MONEY IN REAL ESTATE

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst So, you want to invest your IRA money in real estate? Every so often we get this question from advisors wondering what they should look out for. Under the tax code, real estate is a permissible investment for IRAs. However, that...

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RMDS & QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Client passed in the middle of December 2018, but did not take her RMD.  We are setting up beneficiary IRA accounts.  We will be moving assets over to the beneficiary IRA accounts and then the beneficiary will take the...

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CORRECTING EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTIONS WITHOUT PENALTY

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Not all contributions to IRAs belong there. When a contribution is not permitted in an IRA, it is an excess contribution and needs to be fixed. The bad news is that excess contributions happen easily and often. The good news is that if...

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DISABILITY – A HIGH HURDLE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst There are a number of ways an individual can avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty from their IRA or employer work plan. Some exceptions apply specifically to IRAs (i.e. higher education; first-time home buyer, etc.) and others...

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SO, YOU MISSED A REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTION…

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst Mistakes happen, and when dealing with complicated rules like the U.S. tax code, they aren’t exactly uncommon. Thankfully, the IRS has numerous ways various mistakes can be corrected, and one of the most lenient processes is for...

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KONMARI YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Marie Kondo is a decluttering and tidying expert from Japan. She has a new show on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, that is a huge hit. Thrift shops around the country are reporting a large influx of donations as Americans...

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PROHIBITED TRANSACTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst If I decide to climb on the roof of my house and try to ride a unicycle while blindfolded, it is not illegal. Dangerous, yes, but not in violation of any laws. If I elect to randomly jump off a bridge under the guidance of the...

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INHERITED IRAS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Dear Ed, Thanks for all your work on the retirement frontier.  I have a question…we have married clients who are age 70 (he) and 62 (she).  Both clients have IRAs.  The 62-year-old client just passed away.  I know that the...

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DEEMED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A word we don’t see much in daily conversation is “deem.” I imagine a sweeping proclamation made by an authority figure from an ivory tower: “It is deemed that the third day of the standard workweek shall henceforth be called...

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6 RULES FOR TAX-FREE ROTH IRA DISTRIBUTIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Roth IRAs offer a trade-off. You decide to pay taxes now on your contribution (or conversion) in exchange for tax-free earnings down the road. Don’t miss out on Roth IRA benefits by making mistakes when you take a distribution. Here...

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RMDS & ROTH CONVERSIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi Mr. Slott: I turn 70 ½ years old this year (D.O.B. 5-28-49) and must commence RMDs for an IRA total asset value as of 12/31/2018.  When do I have to report this RMD on my tax return - before or no later than...

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EASY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR RETIREMENT

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst When it comes to tax law and retirement planning, there are two things I like to talk about at the beginning of a new year: (1) some of most important rulings issued and laws passed in the prior year; and (2) the steps you can...

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ROTH IRAS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst Question: I am 64 and opened my only Roth IRA over 5 yrs ago. I originally contributed $32.5K ($6.5K for 5 yrs) to this Roth IRA but now find it at $22.5K in value. Can I close this account and take a $10K capital loss? Kaptain Kurt...

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Happy holidays from Slott Report! We would like to wish all of our readers and their families a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year! Thank you for taking your valuable time to read the Slott Report in 2018. Throughout the year...

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HSA CONTRIBUTIONS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello IRAHelp, I have a copy of Your Complete Retirement Planning Road Map and find it to be an extremely useful resource.  I have uncertainty regarding optimum means for funding a Health Savings Account (HSA).  I am 61.  In...

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IRS EASES SOME OF THE RESTRICTIONS ON HARDSHIP DISTRIBUTIONS

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst In mid-November 2018, the IRS issued proposed regulations altering some of the rules governing hardship distributions from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Most of the rules weren’t new; instead the IRS adopted changes that were issued...

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WIDGET JERRY MEETS THE PRO-RATA RULE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Jerry sells widgets for the ACME Widget Company. Jerry is a hard-working employee who participates in the ACME Widget Company 401(k) Plan. Jerry also contributes annually to an IRA account at a local bank. The widget business is a...

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ILLIQUID ASSETS AND IRA RMDS

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst I get the same question every year at year end. “My client has an illiquid IRA and can’t take his RMD. Can we just write a note to IRS explaining the problem?” Every year my answer is the same. “NO.” What is an RMD? It is...

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IRA CONTRIBUTIONS & QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Mr. Slott, My spouse turned 70 on June 27th, 2018, so in December 2018 she will be 70 ½. She would like to complete a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). Does the QCD need to be dated from December 27 to December 31,...

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POST DEATH PLANNING FOR IRAS WITH MULTIPLE BENEFICIARIES

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst One piece of advice we commonly reiterate is, when you inherit an IRA or other retirement plan asset, touch nothing! That’s because many transactions cannot be undone, and the IRS rarely grants relief simply because the taxpayer...

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THE GRINCH RECOMMENDS 3 IRA TAX SCHEMES…THAT DON’T WORK!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst It turns out the Grinch stirs up a blizzard of trouble beyond stealing Christmas trees and presents from the innocent Whos down in Whoville. That candy cane he slipped out of Cindy Lou’s fingers? Child’s play. The breadcrumb he...

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REVOCATION-ON-DIVORCE – IT MATTERS WHERE YOU LIVE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Twenty-six states have adopted revocation-on-divorce statutes similar to each other, and these statutes are impacting court decisions. Example #1: The U.S. Supreme Court, in an 8 – 1 ruling just this past June, concluded that life...

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TRADITIONAL AND ROTH – RELATED, BUT NOT TWINS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Tim and Robert are identical twins. They wear the same clothes. They have similar hair styles. They have similar jobs and similar incomes. Tim and Robert are both concerned about taxes, and they agree that saving money for the...

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING! WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THESE 5 IRA RULES

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Thanksgiving is only a few days away. This is a time when we gather together and express our gratitude for all the good things in our lives. When it comes to our retirement accounts, we too often complain about the negatives, such as...

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401(K) AND IRA RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: I am 70 ½ and still working in 2018.  If I work part time (still employed) in 2019, can I delay my 401K RMD until 2020? Best regards, Will Answer: Will, If you are still employed by the company that is offering the 401(k)...

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RETIREMENT ENHANCEMENT AND SAVINGS ACT OF 2018 – RESA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst There is a 131-page bill currently working its way through the U.S. legislature. The proposal would amend the Internal Revenue Code and encourage retirement savings. While the “Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018,” or...

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ROLLING OVER YOUR IRA? BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The road to retirement is long. Along the way you may need to move the funds in your IRA. When that time comes, you will want to be sure that everything is done correctly. Moving your retirement funds can be tricky and the consequences...

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GLIDE PATH TO A LANDING POINT

By Andy Ives CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst  Assisting business owners with the establishment of a new 401K plan brings a multitude of questions.  From plan design to investment options to employee education, everything is in play. One common topic of discussion is the plan’s...

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YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE MORE TO YOUR IRA FOR 2019

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Good news for retirement savers! The IRA contribution limit, which was $5,500 for 2018, will rise to $6,000 for 2019. If you are over age 50 in 2019, you will be able to save even more. The limit for those who are age 50 or over in...

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EMPLOYMENT TAXES AND 401(K)/403(B)/457(B) CONTRIBUTIONS

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst Most defined contribution company retirement plans are going to consist of at least two components: the contributions the employer makes to the plan and the deferrals from salary the employee makes into the plan. Plans do not...

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TRACKING BASIS WITH IRS FORM 8606

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst Like other accounts, distributions from IRAs of basis comes out tax-free. In this setting, basis would include both nondeductible IRA contributions and after-tax funds rolled over from company plans. While after-tax funds in an...

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TAKING DISASTER RECOVERY FUNDS FROM RETIREMENT PLANS

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017, Congress passed special legislation allowing expanded access to retirement plan funds for individuals affected by those storms.  Congress also previously enacted that sort of legislation...

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A NOT SO SIMPLE DISCUSSION ON SIMPLE IRAS

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst SIMPLE IRAs are popular retirement vehicles for small businesses. They are relatively cheap to adopt and are easy to understand and administer. However, that doesn’t mean problems do not arise. Routinely, we see issues involving...

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COMBINING INHERITED IRAS AND THEIR RMDS

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst IRA owners can clearly combine the accounts they own and they can combine the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from multiple IRAs and take them from any one or combination of their IRAs. But what are the rules for inherited IRAs? An...

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SIMPLE INHERITED IRA SCREW-UP RESULTS IN A $9,000 TAX BILL

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst Legal training is less about memorization and more about understanding how to break down complex problems. With that mind, I often suggest that people understand the law and not try to memorize it. Why was it enacted and what is...

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WHY IRA BENEFICIARIES SHOULD NAME THEIR OWN BENEFICIARIES

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst I just had a call from an advisor with a “complicated” scenario. “Ralph” died and left his IRA to his spouse “Alice.” Ralph was 62 in the year he died. Alice did nothing with the IRA. It remained an inherited IRA and there were no...

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ARE CHANGES COMING TO THE IRA RULES?

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst After last year’s passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which overhauled the tax code, you might think Congress would be done with tax legislation for a while. That is not the case. While Republican efforts to unleash as second round...

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ROTH IRAS AND THE 5-YEAR RULES

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst We constantly see questions regarding the distribution rules for Roth IRAs. Personally, I’ve always thought that the failure to understand these rules prevents many from truly appreciating the benefits of these accounts....

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TRUSTS AND BENEFICIARIES: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi Read your column in the Chicago Tribune and have learned a lot.  I have a question I don't think you have addressed. I have multiple Roth IRA's that I converted years ago, paid the taxes and they are continuing to...

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7 TAX-FREE HSA DISTRIBUTIONS THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst You may understand the basics of how an HSA works. The fundamental premise is not so complicated. If you have a qualifying high deductible health plan you may contribute to an HSA. Then, you can take tax-free distributions to pay for...

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HOW TO MAKE REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS WORK FOR YOU

By Jim Glass, JD IRA Analyst As summer ends and fall approaches, so does the season for taking required minimum distributions (RMDs). There is a 50% penalty for failing to take an RMD, so don't miss one. But don't just take an RMD, plan ahead now to make it work for...

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“SEE-THROUGH” TRUSTS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst You may ask if you should leave your IRA to a trust. This can be a complicated question. Trusts can be complex and retirement accounts are not like other assets. How a Trust Beneficiary Can Get the Stretch If you are thinking a trust...

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TIME TO ROLLOVER YOUR EMPLOYER PLAN? KNOW YOUR OPTIONS!

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst For years we saw and heard the commercials – rollover your 401(k) to an IRA. They suggested that this was the only option – and the best option – for you. But it was not the only option; and it might not be the best option for you. Here...

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ROTH IRAS & 72(T) PAYMENTS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Jim Glass, JD IRA Analyst Question: Mr. Slott, My 45 year old daughter’s financial advisor has recommended for her NOT to put retirement contributions into a Roth IRA! His reason being that by paying taxes up front for a Roth, there is less money to grow!  Also,...

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BE SURE YOUR IRA BENEFICIARIES ARE DESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES

By Jim Glass, JD IRA Analyst IRAs have beneficiaries and "designated beneficiaries," and it is important to know the difference. If you wish your heirs to have the opportunity to take full advantage of "stretch" IRAs, and to avoid other possibly costly mistakes, be...

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TAKE YOUR RMD LIKE A ROCK STAR

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Even rock stars get older. Although it may seem hard to believe, both Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame and rock legend and reality tv star Ozzy Osborne celebrate their 70th birthdays in 2018. Steven...

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MY FIRST RMD

By Beverly DeVeny IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Both my husband and I turn 70 this year but only one of us has a required minimum distribution (RMD) from our retirement accounts. Here is why. RMDs begin in the year you turn 70 ½, not 70. He turned...

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THE COST OF MEDICARE PREMIUMS AND YOUR IRA

IRA distributions and Roth IRA conversions can affect the size the Medicare premiums you pay. Here's how, and what to do about it. Means Testing Medicare Medicare consists of four "parts."  Part A, which covers hospital costs, is paid for by the government. But the...

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THE PRO-RATA FORMULA AND INHERITED IRAS

Do you have after-tax dollars in your IRA? This could be from making nondeductible contributions to your IRA or rolling over after-tax funds from your company plan to your IRA. If so, you will want to know about the pro-rata rule. The pro-rata rule is a rule that...

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7 WAYS AN EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTION CAN HAPPEN TO YOU

Not all contributions to IRAs belong there. When a contribution is not permitted in an IRA, it is an excess contribution and needs to be fixed. Some excess contributions are easy to understand. Others may be a bit trickier to grasp. Here are 7 ways an excess IRA...

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CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO A ROTH IRA?

Contributing to a Roth IRA is generally considered to be a good idea. But not everyone is eligible to make an annual contribution. We have seen several cases recently of individuals who contributed for many years until they discovered they were not eligible to make...

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CAN YOU LOSE AN IRA TO MEDICAID?

As Americans live longer, more are eventually coming to need long-term nursing home care.  The cost of this can be devastating to a family. Nursing home care now costs an average of over $85,000 per year, and much more than that in some parts of the country. Medicaid...

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