The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Revised IRS Publication Addresses Key Education Savings Accounts, Penalty Exceptions

The IRS just released the updated version of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education (For use in preparing 2012 Returns). It discusses a relatively unknown savings account called a Coverdell Education Savings Account (known as a CESA or ESA). An ESA is set up to pay the qualified education expenses of a child or student, known as a designated beneficiary.

Comparing a Former U.S. President's Pension to YOURS

Prior to 1958, the U.S. did not provide a pension for its former presidents. George Washington retired to Mount Vernon where he resumed his role as a plantation owner/farmer. Abraham Lincoln did not live to collect a pension. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, petitioned Congress for a widow's pension in 1870, five years after Lincoln's death. She was awarded the sum of $3,000 a year.

Slott Report Mailbag: Can I Convert IRA Funds to a Roth IRA as a Beneficiary?

Retirement planning is about time...and it sure does fly. Maximizing your time and planning early (while thinking about how to minimize risk later in life) is quintessential to any successful plan. This week's Slott Report Mailbag examines ages (particularly ages 59 1/2 and age 70 1/2) as they relate to retirement planning.

IRAs and Social Security: Fact or Fiction?

Social Security has been a popular topic of conversation among current and soon-to-be retirees as well as Washington lawmakers as Congress tries to deal with a major deficit issue. Below we talk about some of the ties between IRAs and Social Security as well as some of the misconceptions.

Can Medicaid Take My IRA?

With many Americans living much longer due to advances in medicine, some seniors have asked whether Medicaid can take their IRA to pay for nursing home care, should they require it at some point. The answer to that question is complicated and should be addressed by an elder-care planner. Some general information follows.

Beneficiary Form Review: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

For Valentine’s Day many of us gave or received tokens of love such as flowers, candy, jewelry, or a nice dinner in a restaurant. But now Valentine’s Day is over (much to Hallmark's chagrin). That makes this a good time to think about our beneficiaries. How much do we love them? Do you love your beneficiaries enough to take the time to check up on your beneficiary forms for your retirement accounts? You really should consider doing this because there are plenty of "un-loving" consequences if you don't.

Slott Report Mailbag: When Does an Employee Age 70.5 Have to Take an RMD?

This week's Slott Report Mailbag includes questions about where to put your IRA money, RMD requirements, and excess IRA contributions. Click to read a Q&A with our IRA Technical Expert.

What Happens to Your IRA When the State of YOUR Union Changes?

President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address to the American people last night. With that in mind, we want to take a look at some of the questions that arise when the State of your Union changes. What changes are there to your IRA when you get married? What would happen to your IRA if you got divorced? We explore these questions and more in a short Q-and-A below.

More Tax Deadline Extensions for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Even though Hurricane Sandy occurred in late October 2012, its effects are still being felt. The IRS issued several news releases describing the postponement of certain tax-related deadlines for victims affected by Hurricane Sandy. These postponements also apply to IRA and other retirement plan deadlines. The relief applies to many counties in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

IRS Updates IRS Publication 590 for 2012

The IRS updated Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) For use in preparing 2012 Returns. This publication is a good source of basic information about Traditional and Roth IRAs, simplified employee pension (SEP) plans, and savings incentive match plans for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) IRA plans. Pub 590 contains a section called “What’s New for 2012.” See some of the notable changes below.

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