The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

The Limits of ERISA Spousal Protection

A recent federal court case from West Virginia illustrates that the spouse of a 401(k) participant usually has no right to prevent the plan from paying the participant a lump sum distribution. In Gifford v. Burton, a Mr. Gifford (his first name is omitted in the decision) was an optician at Walmart and a participant in the Walmart 401(k) plan. He was married to Sara Gifford, who was his sole beneficiary under the plan. In February 2021, Mr. Gifford received a distribution of all of his 401(k) funds and deposited those funds into an IRA. He then designated his daughter, Emma Gifford, as 90% beneficiary of his IRA and wife Sara as 10% beneficiary.

Required Minimum Distributions and Inherited IRAs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: By law I must withdraw a certain percentage from my retirement accounts to meet the required RMD. And I will have to pay income taxes on that amount. The percentage amount I must withdraw is based on the value of the account as of December 31, 2021 at which time the market was very high.

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?
 

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