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The Slott Report

Roth IRA Distribution Ordering Rules

This may seem like a rudimentary topic, but it is the basics that are often so confusing. A fundamental understanding of Roth IRA distributions is essential for Roth IRA owners. In a blog post from June 8 (“One Roth IRA Bucket”), I created a scenario where a person had five Roth IRAs, a couple of traditional IRAs, and was doing Roth conversions. The point of that exercise was to demonstrate how the IRS knows what dollars within all of a person’s Roth IRAs are contributions, what are conversions, and what are earnings.

Roth Conversions and Designated Beneficiaries: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Hi Mr Slott, I read somewhere but couldn't remember where, if a person needs to withdraw an RMD but doesn't need the money, can he convert this RMD to a Roth IRA? Thanks in advance

Your Age and Your Roth IRA Conversion

Questions on how age affects the decision to convert to a Roth IRA are common. What age is too old to convert? There is no easy answer to this question because there is no magic age when conversion makes the most sense or no longer makes sense at all. Conversion can be the right move at any age.

Caught in a Trap: RMDs from 401(k) Plans in the Year of Retirement

Here’s a common question: An employee retires in or after the year he turns 72 and wants to roll over his 401(k) funds to an IRA. Does an RMD have to be taken before the funds are rolled over?

60-Day Rollovers and Eligible Designated Beneficiaries: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

QUESTION: I have a client where we did a 60-day rollover this past January. The proceeds were put back into the account in less than 60 days. The client has asked me to rollover the 403(b) plan he’s had sitting with his former employer. Is this a second rollover violating the once-per-year rollover rule?

Roth Conversion – Oops!

An advisor called to discuss Roth IRA conversions. His new client made some decisions before speaking with him, and he was trying to untangle her self-inflicted knot. She was 69 years old, a single tax filer, still employed, and had a $1 million traditional IRA. Based on advice from her brother (who is not a financial professional), she had already ripped through Roth conversions of $200,000 for both 2021 and 2022. The brother’s only consideration in making his recommendation was, “The market is down.”

How An ESA Can Help with Back-to-School Expenses

August is winding down and September is just around the corner. That means that it is back to school time! Education can be expensive. This year, with inflation raging, that seems even more true than ever. If you have children looking to further their education, you will need to explore every possible option out there that can help you save. One savings tool that many parents overlook is the Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA).

Eligible Designated Beneficiaries and RMD Aggregation: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Hi, My wife (68) inherited a traditional IRA and a Roth from her sister (71) in 2021. Both accounts have been moved to inherited IRAs. I’m trying to do some tax planning. Can you please confirm the following from my confusing research?

A Retirement Account Scorecard

Here’s a line from one of the manuals we use in our education seminars for advisors: “Missed stretch IRA RMD by an EDB, when the IRA owner dies before the RBD.” An old baseball expression says: “You can’t tell the players without a scoreboard.” In the world of retirement accounts, you can’t understand the rules without knowing the abbreviated terms. Here’s 18 common ones you should know:

Year-of-Death RMD

Lifetime required minimum distributions (RMDs) start in the year when an IRA owner turns 72. (Technically, the “required beginning date” for RMDs is April 1 of the year after a person turns 72.) Once begun, RMDs must be withdrawn annually on a calendar year basis. If you miss an RMD, the penalty is steep – 50% of the amount not taken.
 

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