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IRA BLOG

IRS EXTENDS ROLLOVER DEADLINE FOR 2020 RMDS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The IRS has extended the rollover deadline for required minimum distributions (RMDs) taken from IRAs or company plans in 2020. In Notice 2020-51, released on June 23, the IRS said that any unwanted 2020 RMDs can be repaid via rollover to...

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IRS EXPANDS ELIGIBILITY FOR CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DISTRIBUTIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst On June 19, the IRS released additional guidance on coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) from retirement accounts. The new guidance will make many more individuals eligible for these tax-advantaged distributions allowed under the...

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60-DAY ROLLOVERS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Thank you for all the great resources you provide. I have been looking for an answer to my specific situation and have not been able to find a clear answer to what I think is a pretty straight forward situation/fact pattern....

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IRS ALLOWS REMOTE WITNESSING OF SPOUSAL WAIVERS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS has temporarily relaxed the rule that spousal consent to certain retirement plan distributions and loans must be witnessed personally by a notary public or a plan representative. In Notice...

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SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS AND CRDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Under the SECURE Act, if we can assume a Special Needs Trust can qualify for the stretch via the disabled beneficiary, what happens when the special needs trust beneficiary passes? The next named beneficiary (remainder)...

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SECURE ACT’S 10-YEAR RULE BRINGS NEW PLANNING OPPORTUNITIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst By now, most IRA owners have heard the bad news. The SECURE Act eliminates the stretch IRA for the majority of beneficiaries who inherit in 2020 or later. Instead, for most, a 10-year payout rule will apply. Here is how this new rule...

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ROTH CONVERSIONS: PAYING TAXES FROM ANOTHER SOURCE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The King of the Land wanted to send 100,000 of his greatest warriors off to battle. However, he was told that 20,000 of the warriors needed to remain behind to protect the castle. The King of the Land did not like this news. He...

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2020 RMD WAIVERS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I understand that I don’t have to take any RMDs during 2020.  However, is the CARES Act rule that it is an-all-or-nothing for RMDs or can I take a portion of my RMD for 2020 but not all John Answer: Hi John, Since RMDs are...

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SHOULD I TAKE A LUMP SUM BUYOUT?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst As a result of the current economic downturn, we can expect more and more companies to offer lump sum buyouts to employees with defined benefit (DB) plan benefits. A lump sum buyout is a limited opportunity for DB plan participants to...

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3 REASONS TO ROLL OVER YOUR RETIREMENT FUNDS TO AN IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the Corona virus pandemic hit in in the middle of March. With job loss can come questions of what to do with retirement savings such as your 401(k) plan. A rollover to an...

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ONE MORE CARES ACT MISCONCEPTION

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Recovery (CARES) Act continues to cause confusion. In the April 22, 2020 Slott Report, we discussed four misconceptions surrounding the new law. In this article, we add one more: If your employer...

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CONVERSION NIGHTMARES

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst With markets down, many IRA owners are thinking this may be the time for a Roth IRA conversion. Converting when account values are down can be a good bargain. You pay a tax bill on a lower balance now in exchange for potential tax-free...

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CRDS AND ROTH CONVERSIONS – ABUSE OF THE RULES?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) rules for Roth conversions have a gaping hole. An “affected person” (as we have defined in previous blogs), is entitled under the CARES Act to withdraw up to $100,000 from their IRA or...

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IRA PROTECTION AGAINST THE EVIL GENIE IN THE LAMP

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The evil genie in the IRA lamp wants your money. He roars with laughter at the thought of you facing hard times. Given an opportunity, he will line the pockets of creditors with your IRA dollars, and he will serve your remaining...

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CARES ACT EXPANDS HSAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The recently passed CARES Act includes some changes that impact your HSA. These changes will allow you to access more medical services without worrying about your deductible, and also enable you to take more tax-free distributions from...

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IRS ISSUES Q&AS ON CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DISTRIBUTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), certain individuals can take up to $100,000 of distributions from IRAs and company plans during 2020 and receive special tax relief. Those distributions are...

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THE MEGA BACKDOOR ROTH IS USUALLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst For a number of years, the “mega backdoor Roth” strategy has been touted as a way for employees to convert large amounts of after-tax employee contributions to Roth IRAs. Unfortunately, in most cases the strategy won’t work. Here’s why....

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TECHNOLOGY, ROTH CONVERSIONS AND A SQUIRMING SON

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst 77 and sharp - that’s my dad. A voracious reader. Daily crossword puzzles. Curious. Engaged with the community. But he gets a little loose with technology. Comedic evidence suggests he is blissfully unaware if he is having a...

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4 CARES ACT MISCONCEPTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, includes several important retirement-related provisions. Because some of these provisions are confusing, several misconceptions about the new...

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4 CARES ACT MISCONCEPTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, includes several important retirement-related provisions. Because some of these provisions are confusing, several misconceptions about the new...

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QCDS – STILL AVAILABLE IN 2020 AND STILL A GOOD STRATEGY

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst As the coronavirus pandemic has raged on, we have seen devasting images of overwhelmed hospitals and long lines of cars at food banks. If you are fortunate enough to have money to spare, you might be thinking about how you can help....

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RMDS & ROTH IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: I took 25% of my 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) from an inherited IRA on March 15, 2020. Can that be “undone” in accordance with the CARES Act and if so, how?  Thanks. Audrey Answer: Hi Audrey, The CARES Act waives...

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ROLLING OVER AN RMD, PART 2 – “JUST WAIT A MINUTE”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst I grew up in the northeast, where snow squalls sweep across Lake Ontario and cede to blue skies, where 85-degree summer days change to a biting rain at a moment’s notice. The folksy phrase around town was, “If you don’t like the...

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ROLLING OVER AN RMD, PART 2 – “JUST WAIT A MINUTE”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst I grew up in the northeast, where snow squalls sweep across Lake Ontario and cede to blue skies, where 85-degree summer days change to a biting rain at a moment’s notice. The folksy phrase around town was, “If you don’t like the...

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QCDS AND ROTH CONVERSIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi. What are the rules for QCDs now that required minimum distributions (RMDs) have been cancelled for 2020? Thanks for your help. Jerry Answer: Jerry, Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) are unaffected by the CARES...

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NO “FIRST MONEY OUT” RULE FOR 2020

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst On March 27, the massive “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or the “CARES Act,” was signed into law. The CARES Act includes a waiver of required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020. This waiver applies to company...

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ROLLING OVER AN RMD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Like most people’s lives, the retirement world is upside down. This is made evident by a single statement: “Required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be rolled over.” Yes, that is the new normal – at least for this year. RMDs are...

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THE CARES ACT 2020 RMD WAIVER: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: The virus pandemic has prompted legislation that has eliminated the requirement for me to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from my IRA for the year 2020. Am I therefore allowed to do a partial Roth IRA conversion in...

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CARES ACT RELIEF FOR RETIREMENT DISTRIBUTIONS AND PLAN LOANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The recently-enacted “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or CARES Act, includes special tax relief for IRA and company plan withdrawals made in 2020 and for company plan loans. Who gets relief? Both the distribution and...

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CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FOR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, many Americans have been hit hard. Their retirement accounts have also taken a serious blow as markets have plummeted. In these tough times, there is a bit of good news as the government has come...

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BUILDING A SAFETY NET – SMALL BUSINESSES RETIREMENT PLANS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst By their nature, small businesses struggle in the shallows. Now they face a tsunami. However, when the shutters are removed and customers return and the employees are back on the payroll, normal day-to-day concerns will be a...

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SPLITTING IRAS AFTER THE SECURE ACT

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst It’s common for IRA owners to leave their assets to multiple beneficiaries – for example, their children. Before the SECURE Act, it usually made sense to split the IRA into separate accounts either before or after death. That’s because...

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INHERITED IRAS AND QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: A daughter who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is listed as the beneficiary on her father’s Roth IRA.  Does this disease qualify as a “chronic illness” for purposes of the exception to the 10-year rule? Is...

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SELF-CERTIFICATION FOR MISSED 60-DAY ROLLOVERS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a person takes a distribution from his IRA or workplace plan, he has 60 days from the day of receipt to redeposit (i.e., roll over) those dollars into another qualified account. This assumes no other disqualifying rollovers...

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APRIL 15 DEADLINE LOOMS TO CORRECT 2019 EXCESS PLAN DEFERRALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The amount of annual elective deferrals you can make to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is limited by the tax code. If you discover that you’ve over-contributed in 2019, time is of the essence to correct the error. If you don’t act quickly, the...

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QCDS AND THE 10-YEAR RULE: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: My dad was 86 when he died and I inherited half of his IRA, which I elected to stretch.  Am I correct in thinking that since I am not yet 70 ½, I am not allowed to direct qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from this...

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RMD TRIVIA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst True or False?  “It is mathematically impossible for an IRA account owner to have his first required minimum distribution (RMD) be due for the year 2020.” Here’s why this statement is true. First, we are not talking about inherited...

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SEVEN Q&AS ABOUT COMPANY PLAN LOANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Who can offer them? Most company retirement savings plans, such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans, are allowed to (but not required to) offer plan loans. Loans are not allowed from IRAs or SEP and SIMPLE-IRA plans. What is the maximum...

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INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Looking for your help. Husband has an inherited IRA (from his dad prior to the SECURE Act) and was taking RMDs using the single life table. Husband passes away in 2020 and leaves the inherited IRA to his wife who is age...

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10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE SECURE ACT’S 10-YEAR RULE

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The SECURE Act overhauled the rules for beneficiaries of retirement accounts. One significant change it brought is the new 10-year payout rule. Here are ten things you need to know about the new 10-year rule. 1. The 10-year rule...

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CAREFUL CONSIDERATIONS: SPOUSAL ROLLOVER OR INHERITED IRA?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A spouse beneficiary of an IRA faces many decisions. There is great flexibility and many items to consider. For example, how old was my spouse when he or she passed and what impact will that have on my available choices? Do I need...

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TAX RULES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORKPLACE PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Most workplace retirement plans allowing elective deferrals fall into one of these varieties: 401(k) plans for employees of private sector companies. 403(b) plans for employees of tax-exempt employers, public schools and churches. 457(b)...

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SECURE ACT REQUIRES ACTION IF A TRUST IS YOUR IRA BENEFICIARY

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Many IRA owners have named trusts as their IRA beneficiaries. You may be one. Trusts offer control from the grave and can be a smart choice, especially to protect beneficiaries who may be minors, have special needs or simply are not...

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QCDS AND INHERITED ROTH IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Can a QCD be used to pay dues to a charitable organization? Answer: This is an area where we receive a lot of questions. To qualify as a QCD, there cannot be any benefit back to you from the funds that go from your IRA to the...

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INDIANA JONES AND THE 72(T) IDOL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Do you want to access your IRA funds penalty-free, even though you are under age 59 ½ and no exception fits your situation? It can be done. Starting a new business and need capital from your IRA, but don’t want to pay the 10% early...

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SPOUSAL PROTECTION IN COMPANY RETIREMENT PLANS

Ian Berger IRA Analyst One important difference between IRAs and company retirement plans is spousal protection. Except for community property states, spouses of IRA owners do not have any rights to the account. By contrast, many workplace plans must provide spouses...

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MOVING YOUR IRA FUNDS WHILE TAKING RMDS? PROCEED WITH CAUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Are you looking for a better investment for your IRA? Are you thinking about making the move to another IRA custodian or financial advisor? You do have this opportunity. The IRA rules are set up to allow portability. However, if you...

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EDBS IN DETAIL: MINORS, DISABLED AND CHRONICALLY ILL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst For those who inherit IRA accounts in 2020 or later, the SECURE Act permits five groups of people to stretch required minimum distribution (RMD) payments over their life expectancy. As I touched on in a recent Slott Report article...

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THE SECURE ACT AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, Question on the new SECURE Act: Do you know if there were any changes to the payout period if an estate is the beneficiary of an IRA. Is it still a 5-year payout? Or is it now 10? Thanks, appreciate your help. Janet...

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SECURE ACT GIVES 401(K) RELIEF TO PART-TIMERS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Part-time employees in companies with 401(k) plans won a big victory when the SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. Before the SECURE Act, 401(k) plans could exclude employees if they did not work at least 1,000 hours of...

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THE SECURE ACT RUINS A PERFECTLY GOOD QCD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we gradually peel back the layers of this legislative onion called the SECURE Act, more and more discoveries come to light. One revelation is how qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) are potentially affected. Could a QCD...

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2020 LIFE TABLES AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hoping you might be able to offer some guidance. We have a client who has two IRA accounts.  The client is 80 years of age. He wants to convert the full amount in one of his IRA accounts to a Roth. The IRS says that...

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THE STRETCH ON A STRETCHER

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The stretch IRA is on a stretcher and paramedics just loaded it into an ambulance. It is on life support. Prognosis: negative. For most new beneficiaries, the stretch will not survive. The SECURE Act is the perpetrator, and it...

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NO RMD RELIEF FOR THOSE 70 ½ IN 2019 UNDER THE SECURE ACT

Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The SECURE Act is here! Most of new law’s provisions kicked in on January 1, 2020, overhauling many of the rules for retirement accounts that have been with us for decades. One significant change the SECURE Act brings us is the delay in...

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HAPPY NEW YEAR

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The clock is winding down to the ball-dropping in Times Square that will usher in a new year – and a new decade. The Ed Slott and Company team wishes to thank you for supporting The Slott Report and responding to our articles with such...

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ROTH CONTRIBUTIONS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, Hope all is well.  I have a client that received the HEART benefit as her spouse passed away a few years ago.  We immediately moved those dollars into a Roth for her.  My question is, as we are doing some year-end...

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8 DAYS FOR 6 YEAR-END TRANSACTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As of the writing of this Slott Report submission, it is Monday, December 23, 2019. T-minus 8 days before the end of the year, which means IRA owners have a tight window to complete any year-end transactions. Once the calendar...

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HELLO SECURE ACT, GOOD BYE STRETCH IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst With the clock ticking down on 2019, Congress is expected to enact a $1.4 trillion year-end spending bill to keep the government running. Tucked away inside this mammoth piece of legislation is the Setting Every Community Up for...

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FIVE QDRO Q&AS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst 1. What is a QDRO? A QDRO is a “qualified domestic relations order.” In plain English, it is a state court order obtained by divorcing parties that requires an ERISA plan to pay a portion of a participant’s benefit to the non-participant...

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QCDS AND INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: As year-end approaches, I have just exceeded my 2019 RMD, combining total QCD's during the year and my regular monthly IRA withdrawals. If I make additional charitable contributions from my IRA this month, are they still...

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GUNFIGHT AT THE 401(K) CORRAL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When the chips are down, the providers hold all the cards. This is true for both IRAs and workplace plans. Ultimately, the IRA custodian (through its custodial form) and retirement plan sponsor (through the plan document) will...

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Weekly Market Commentary

December 10th, 2019 Chadd Mason, CEO The Cabana Group Yet Again, the Market Focuses on What Matters - Interest Rates and Earnings After a rocky start to last week, U.S. equity markets rebounded and finished higher, led by Friday's 1% bounce in the S&P 500. The...

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HOW THE TOP-HEAVY RULES FOR 401(K) PLANS WORK

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Just like eating too much pumpkin pie with whipped cream isn’t good for your waistline, being a “top-heavy” retirement plan also may not be healthy. Sponsors of certain retirement savings plans must have their plan tested each year to...

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THANKSGIVING PARADE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a river of sights and colors and sound. A snappy marching band flows to an army of volunteers clutching the ropes of a six-story inflatable SpongeBob, swaying in the wind. Flag bearers and...

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ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Jenny earns a salary of $1,000,000. She is single and is not an active participant in a company retirement plan. Jenny can contribute $6,000 to a traditional IRA and deduct the full amount on her taxes. Benny, also unmarried, has a...

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WHY YOU SHOULD NOT CARE ABOUT THE ROTH IRA FIVE-YEAR RULES

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Roth IRAs first arrived over twenty years ago. A lot has changed since 1998. That was the year that Google was founded and an electronic pet called a Furby was one of the most popular Christmas gifts. However, some things haven’t...

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TEN QCD RULES FOR 2019 YOU NEED TO KNOW

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst If you are charitably inclined and have an IRA, you might want to consider doing a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) for 2019. The deadline for a 2019 QCD is fast approaching. It is December 31, 2019 and many custodians have even...

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QCDS AT THE STATE LEVEL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Earlier this month, a tax notification service released information declaring that “North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed legislation allowing an income exclusion for distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to...

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HOW THE 401(K) NONDISCRIMINATION RULES WORK – PART 2

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Many 401(k) plans must pass two annual nondiscrimination tests: the ADP test and the ACP test. The November 11 Slott Report discusses the ADP test. This Slott Report tackles the ACP test and the options available to 401(k) plans that fail...

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By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you participate in a 401(k) plan, you probably know about the annual limit on the amount of your deferrals (for 2019, $19,000, or $25,000 if over age 50). But if you are a high-paid employee, another limit may apply. Welcome to the IRS...

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MODERATION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Hypersensitivity to caffeine - this is my affliction. So much so that I limit myself to one energy drink per week. It must be opened before noon and should be nursed for a minimum of 90 minutes. Any violation could result in me...

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WHO SHOULD BE YOUR IRA BENEFICIARY?

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst IRAs are for saving for retirement. However, as these accounts have grown over the years, many IRA owners still have significant funds in their IRA at their death. This means that estate planning for IRAs is essential. Effective estate...

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