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Five Things to Consider When Researching Retirement Questions on the Internet

The internet can be a blessing and it can be a curse. It is a fantastic place to do research on almost anything, but is the information you find current and accurate? Here are five things to consider when doing internet research into retirement questions.

5 Strategies to Reduce RMDs

Nothing lasts forever. This includes tax deferral on your IRAs. Eventually, Uncle Sam is going to want his share and will require funds to come out of these accounts. That is when required minimum distributions (RMDs) must begin. What if you don’t need the money? What if you don’t want a tax hit? Here are five strategies to reduce your RMDs.

IRA Distribution Basics – Taxation of Distributions

Most IRA accounts hold pre-tax contributions and rollover amounts from employer plans. For purposes of this blog, I am going to assume that there are no after-tax amounts held in any IRA, including SEP and SIMPLE IRAs.

10 Things You Must Know about HSAs

As the summer heats up, healthcare remains a hot topic. Will the ACA survive? Will Congressional Republicans succeed in repealing and replacing it? As we reach July these questions remain unanswered. One thing that is clear, however, is that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are playing a significant role in the healthcare deliberations. Proponents advocate expanding these accounts as a way to save on health costs and get a tax break. Opponents argue that HSAs can’t help those who cannot afford to fund them.

Six Things to Know About the Year-End Account Balance Used for RMDs

1. General Rule As a general rule, the account balance used for calculating required minimum distributions (RMDs) is the prior year-end account balance, with no adjustments. For example, if you are calculating an RMD for 2017 you would use the 2016 year-end account balance. If you are calculating a missed RMD for 2014, you would use the 2013 year-end account balance. If you have your first RMD due for 2017 and you take that RMD in March of 2018, you still use the 2016 year-end account balance. As usual with retirement distribution rules, there are some exceptions to the general rule.

Once-Per-Year Rollover Rule – The Exceptions to the Rule

As with most IRA rules, there are exceptions to the once-per-year rollover rule. The rule applies to IRA-to-IRA and Roth IRA-to-Roth IRA 60-day rollovers. Just to be clear, an IRA rollover occurs when a check is issued by the IRA or Roth IRA custodian that is payable to the account owner. The following are the exceptions.

Once-Per-Year Rollover Scenarios – What’s Ok and What’s Not Ok

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, there are many ways it can go wrong. Consider the following two scenarios. One involves multiple distributions and the other involves multiple rollover deposits. One is ok and the other is not.

Quiz Yourself with These IRA Questions!

After you’ve answered the questions below, scroll down to see the answers and see how well you know your stuff!

The High Cost of IRA Mistakes

So you think you don’t need/can’t afford an advisor? Have you considered the cost of making IRA mistakes? Even seemingly simple transactions are subject to rules and restrictions under the tax code. Did you contribute too much by mistake? This mistake cannot be corrected by simply withdrawing the excess amount. There are rules on how to fix the mistake. If you are not thoroughly familiar with the IRA rules, it is all too easy to make a mistake, and mistakes can be very costly.

The 10% Penalty and Converted Funds - Five Things You Need to Know

The Roth IRA rules can be complicated. One area that is especially complex is understanding how the 10% penalty applies to converted Roth IRA funds. Here are five things you need to know if you already have converted funds in your Roth IRA or if you are just trying to decide whether Roth conversion is the right strategy for you.

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