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The Ghost Rule

As Halloween approaches and the leaves change color, families gather ‘round weekend campfires, roast marshmallows, and share spooky stories. Watchful owls hoot in the dark. In the distance, a wolf howls at the moon. A rustle in the bushes. A twig snaps. What was that?!? A dad in a flannel shirt shines a flashlight under his chin, his features glowing red. He scans the anxious little faces, awash in flickering firelight, and tells a tale about the Ghost Rule. Once upon a time, a kindly little man had an IRA account. He did not care much for tax or estate planning. He did not care to fill out forms, as he did not care much for details. He cared only to sit on his front porch and rock in his chair and watch the world go by.

Stretch IRA Lives on For Some Beneficiaries

Last year the SECURE Act became law and eliminated the stretch IRA for millions of IRA beneficiaries. However, for some IRA beneficiaries the stretch lives on. For most beneficiaries, the stretch is now replaced with a ten-year payout period. Beginning for deaths in 2020, the ten-year rule will apply to designated beneficiaries who are not eligible designated beneficiaries under the SECURE Act. Eligible designated beneficiaries include spouses, minor children of the IRA owner, chronically ill and disabled individuals and beneficiaries who are not more than ten years younger than the IRA owner.

Stuck with the Five-Year Rule? Think Again

If you inherit an IRA, especially if it is a larger one, you may be afraid of being stuck with the five-year distribution rule. If this rule applies, your IRA must be entirely emptied in five years which can be a serious tax hit. Fortunately, you are much less likely to be stuck with the five-year rule than you may think.

Is Your IRA Haunted?

It’s Halloween season! This is the time for ghosts, witches, and trick or treating. What does Halloween have to do with your IRA? You might be surprised to hear that your IRA may be haunted. How can that be? Believe it or not, actions you take, or don’t take, can haunt your beneficiaries for years down the road.

Are You Over 70.5 Years Old and Still Working? Understand Your Options With RMDs: This Week’s Q&A

This week's Slott Report Mailbag examines RMDs when you are still working past 70.5 years old and inheriting multiple IRAs.

How Your Inherited IRA is Taxed

Have you inherited an IRA? What type of IRA is it? Your answer will matter a lot when it comes to your tax bill. Inheriting a traditional IRA will have very different tax consequences than inheriting a Roth IRA.

7 Things Your IRA Custodian Won’t Tell You

It is important to know what your IRA custodian will tell you and what they will not or cannot tell you. The I in IRA stands for individual and many times it is up to the individual to know things or keep track of them.

Community Property and Your IRA: What You Need to Know

What do you get when community property mixes with your IRA? You will discover that the results can be confusing. Here are some facts every IRA owner should know.

Will I Pay Tax When I Convert to AND Distribute Funds from a Roth IRA?

It's time for another edition of The Slott Report Mailbag, where we answer consumer questions on situations involving Roth conversions and the pro-rata rule, whether you need earned income to contribute to a Roth IRA and certain Roth IRA tax scenarios (reminder: Tax Day is Monday!)

What Are The Spousal Roth IRA Beneficiary Rules?

It's time for another edition of The Slott Report Mailbag, where we answer consumer questions on required minimum distribution (RMD) procedures with IRA annuities, The Roth conversion conversation and the Roth IRA beneficiary rules for spouses.

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