Andy Ives | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Andy Ives

Spouse as IRA Beneficiary

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, typically it is the spouse, and how that spouse treats the inherited IRA dollars is important. While at first glance this appears to be a simple decision, there are multiple variables and options to consider.

Earnings are Earnings Within a Traditional IRA

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 earnings come from appreciation, capital gains, dividends, rents, annuity income, interest, or really any other form of growth. If it happens within the IRA, it is essentially just “earnings.”

Inherited IRAs and 2021 RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

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 9/17. I have done nothing with the money in the core account that it was transferred to. Is there any way for me to reverse this error? Thank you for any assistance.

Checking I.D.’s at the Door – Key Retirement Account Ages and Rules

In most states the legal age for alcohol consumption is 21. And you must actually be 21. When you hand your driver’s license to the bouncer and he shines a little flashlight on your date of birth, it is not good enough to say you will be turning 21 in a couple of months. Unless today is your 21st birthday or later, the bouncer will wave you away, denying access to the premises.

Year-of-Death RMDs

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(RMDs) dies before removing his annual RMD, that year-of-death RMD (or whatever portion remains) must still be withdrawn.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 becomes the responsibility of the beneficiary. If it is not withdrawn before the end of that same calendar year, it is a missed RMD and potentially subject to a 50% penalty. Even if the IRA owner dies late in the year, December 31 remains the deadline for the beneficiary to take the year-of-death RMD.

Qualified Charitable Distributions and the "Mega" QCD Strategy: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: I appreciate all of the information you pass along, both through PBS and now through the American College. In one of your recent presentations, you discussed QCDs and their often-overlooked value. I recommend QCDs to “eligible” clients. Since the adoption of the new age 72 for RMDs, the question I have is this: As I understand the rules, people who are age 70 1/2 or older can do QCDs up to $100,000 annually. But now RMDs don’t start until age 72. Does this create a “split” definition as to who can use QCDs? That is to say, is there a gray area for those in the “gap” for the beginning age for RMD's?

Real Estate in an IRA – Avoiding a “Nuisance Property”

Yes, you are allowed to own real estate in an IRA. Of course, not every IRA custodian will accommodate such an investment, but that doesn’t mean it is forbidden. If you want to own a beach house in your IRA, or a commercial building, or an apartment complex, you have every right to do so.

Aggregating RMDs – What Is (and What is Not) Allowed

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 so he could push back on that custodian.

Backdoor Roth IRAs and Missed RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: I read of a way to move money from an IRA to a Roth without incurring any taxes. You set up an IRA account and make a non-deductible contribution of $6,000, then you convert it into a Roth. Is this legal and possible? Thanks!

Update Your Beneficiary Forms!

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. Typically, the account application will include a space for doing just that. Sometimes a second form may be required when a person wants to change an existing beneficiary.

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