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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.

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.

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.

Important Ages in Retirement Planning

Catch-up contributions for most retirement plans and IRAs can be made beginning in the year you are going to turn age 50. The only plan that does not allow catch-up contributions is the SEP IRA. The following are the catch-up limit amounts.

Three Ways to Decimate a Retirement Account in a Flash

If you want to move your retirement account from one institution to another, you can do it one of two ways; directly or indirectly. Moving your account directly is the preferred way because it avoids a lot of headaches, but for various reasons, sometimes people choose to use the indirect method.

Have You Faced This Dilemma with Spousal Contributions? This Week’s Q&A

This week's Slott Report Mailbag looks into IRA beneficiaries, Roth IRAs, and spousal contributions.

State and City-Run IRA Plans Are Not Going Away

On April 13, President Trump signed into law legislation that blocked Obama-era Department of Labor (DOL) regulations encouraging the establishment of IRA plans run by cities and municipalities. On May 17, he signed similar legislation applying to state-run IRAs. While these new developments may make the road ahead for both city and state run IRA plans more difficult, these plans are not going away.


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