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Time to Simplify Your Retirement

As you approach your golden years, you may be looking to simplify your life to wring the most out of retirement. It may be time to right size and move from a larger house with an abundance of maintenance to a smaller space that is easier to manage. It may also be time to declutter and organize years of belongings. Make a new start. Retirement accounts should not be overlooked as part of this process. Consolidating these accounts can go a long way towards simplifying life.

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.”

Congress Looks to Eliminate Back-Door Roth Strategies

The House Ways and Means Committee has released a draft of proposed changes to retirement accounts, including adding income limits for conversions and eliminating the back-door Roth conversion strategy. These proposals are designed to raise revenue and are likely, at least in part, a response to recent headlines about large Roth IRAs held by billionaires. Unless otherwise noted, the proposals would be effective for 2022. Here is what this means for your retirement account.

A Syllabus on Penalty-Free IRA Withdrawals for Higher Education Expenses

It’s that time of the year! College bills for the Fall semester are arriving, and you may be thinking of tapping into your retirement savings to help with the costs. If you’re under age 59 ½, be careful. Your withdrawal may be subject to a 10% early distribution penalty unless you are able to take advantage of an exception to that penalty. (Remember that, even if you qualify for the exception to the penalty, distributions from traditional IRAs will be taxable.) Here’s what you need to know about the higher education expense exception:

Marriage Has Its Benefits - 4 IRA Rules Same-Sex Couples Should Know

June is PRIDE Month. This June also marks the sixth anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage. In the wake of this decision, millions of same-sex couples headed to the alter over the past few years. Many of these newlyweds, never expecting to see a day when they would be allowed to marry, may not have paid much attention to the special breaks that married couples receive under the tax code. When it comes to IRA rules, spouses have many advantages, and couples in same-sex marriages are no exception. Here are four special IRA rules for spouses that same-sex couples should know about:

Inherited 401(k) Plans and The RMD Age: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: How can the beneficiaries of an estate roll a 401(k) paid to the estate to a Roth IRA? What steps must be taken? Bob Answer: Bob, Inherited IRAs cannot be converted to inherited Roth IRAs, but inherited 401(k) plans can be converted. This is an anomaly in the rules, but it is allowed. However, if the 401(k) was already paid to the estate, those former plan dollars cannot be rolled back to a traditional IRA or converted.

No IRA Contributions After Death

As we inch toward the extended 2020 tax deadline of May 17, many filers are still laboring over their returns. Some are completing the final return for a loved one lost in what was a brutal year. As is human nature, most taxpayers try to squeeze every last deduction and income-reducing item into their prior-year numbers. While maximizing all available and legal tax-cutting strategies is the proper way to file a return, be aware that not all tax benefits are available to all tax filers, especially after a person has passed away.

Active Participation and IRA Deductibility

This question (or a derivation of it) has been popular as of late: “I only participated in my 401(k) for a couple of months in 2020 before I was laid off. Does that still make me a ‘covered’ employee, and can I contribute to my Traditional IRA?” It seems innocent enough, but there is a heck of lot going on in this little question.

When a “Reverse Rollover” Makes Sense

When we think of rollovers, we normally think of moving funds from a 401(k) (or other company plan) to an IRA. But it sometimes makes sense to consider a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k).

The Government is NOT Planning to Confiscate your IRA

Whenever there is a new administration there is a lot of uncertainty about what the change will mean for retirement accounts. In 2021, this change is happening in the middle of a pandemic that has upended the lives of most Americans and created enormous economic and psychological stress. The result has been more speculation about the future of retirement accounts than usual.

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