The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Roth IRA 5-Year Rules and Beneficiary Planning Options Highlight Slott Report Mailbag

The unofficial end of summer comes with the Labor Day weekend...where did time go? Time does in fact fly, which makes planning for your future today more important. After all, tomorrow will be here before we know it. This week's Slott Report Mailbag includes questions (and our answers) on the Roth IRA 5-year rules and the best ways to leave an inheritance to younger beneficiaries.

What You Need to Know About Inherited Roth IRAs

When a Roth IRA owner dies, the money belongs to the beneficiary. Although Roth IRA owners never have to take minimum distributions during their lifetime, the beneficiary must take distributions after the Roth IRA owner dies. Roth IRA beneficiaries have the same after-death stretch opportunity as if they inherited a traditional IRA. There are two options for you as the beneficiary of a Roth IRA, which we explain below.

Naming Contingent Beneficiaries of Your IRA is a Good Idea

Almost all IRA owners will name a primary beneficiary of their IRA; usually some person who will receive your IRA assets after you die, such as your wife or husband or children. Virtually all IRA custodians will also allow you to name a contingent beneficiary.

IRAtv: Ed Slott's IRA Rollover Steps to Success

Ed Slott, America's IRA Expert, details the IRA rollover rules and procedures so you can avoid needless taxes and penalties on your rollovers from employer plans (401(k)s for example) to IRAs or from one IRA to another IRA. Ed Slott takes you through the steps to IRA rollover success! View this IRAtv video below.

How Important Is Your Beneficiary Form? THIS Important!

Let's assume you have an IRA or retirement plan or annuity or even life insurance. All of those things have a beneficiary form. They do not pass through your will and they are not probate assets as long as you have completed or updated the beneficiary form.

Roth IRA Rollover Rule, 10% Penalty Exception and Roth IRA Conversion Questions Highlight Mailbag

Can you believe summer is almost over? Yet, The Slott Report Mailbag was full of pertinent IRA and retirement planning questions from consumers who are trying to make the right decisions as the dog days rapidly turn into fall. This week's installment includes questions (and our answers) on the 60-day deadline on Roth IRA rollovers, 10% penalty exceptions and Roth IRA conversions.

Back to School: Educational Expense Exception to the 10% Penalty (Part 4 of 4)

Can you believe it? We're now 7 full months into 2012 already. And while there's more fun in the sun to be had before summer comes to an end, August has traditionally signaled the start of the back to school season. With that in mind, we thought we'd spend a little time talking about the educational expense exception to the 10% penalty.

Leaving Retirement Money to Stepchildren

Many of you have stepchildren. It's perfectly fine to name stepchildren as the beneficiary of your retirement funds. However, care must be taken when naming them as the beneficiary.

The Retirement Savings "High Life"

In retirement, "you can have your beer and drink it too." Our friends at have put together a great infograph that details how a little saving today can benefit you in the long run. Believe it or not, if you save $1 a day from the time you are 25 until you are 70, you will have enough money for to pay for a stack of beer twice as high as the world's tallest building (and enough to fill a 2-million-ounce mug). See this infograph below to marvel in the savings majesty.

Paying the Tuition Bill with Retirement Assets

A friend of mine, who was paying college tuition for twins, once said to me that you should borrow for college expenses because you cannot borrow to pay retirement expenses. While this is true, the reality is that sometimes we may have to look at funding some of our children's higher education expenses from whatever assets we can find, including our retirement accounts.

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