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The Slott Report

What Does Change in Political Leadership Mean to Your Retirement?

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said (10,000 times)? The election of Donald Trump to be our next President shocked the pollsters, the American public and, by all accounts, even the President-elect himself. Reactions are obviously divided, to say the least, but one thing that has united most retirees, regardless of the side of the aisle that they sit on, is the question, “What does this mean for me?”

Roth IRA Reconversions

The deadline of October 15th has passed for recharacterizing Roth conversions done in 2015. (You have until October 15, 2017 to recharacterize your 2016 Roth conversions.) Now that you have recharacterized a 2015 conversion, what comes next? Can you reconvert those funds? The answer is yes, after a waiting period.

RMDs When You are No Longer “Still Working”

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are fact of life for most retirement account owners once they reach age 70 ½. However, if you fit the definition of “still-working” you catch break and can delay your RMDs. What happens when you finally decide to throw in the towel and begin your well-earned retirement? Well, RMDs must start and that’s when things can get a little complicated. You will want to proceed with caution because a missed RMD is a costly mistake. There is a 50% penalty on an RMD that is not taken. That is not the way you want to start your golden years!

To Marry Or Not To Marry—That Is The Question

Another historic event for Same Sex Marriages happened on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. That is when the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations amending the definitions of “marriage” and “husband and wife” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision which legalized same-sex marriage, and the Windsor v. U.S. decision, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Roth Conversion Taxes and Trust as A Beneficiary for a 403b

This week's Slott Report Mailbag looks at taxes associated with converting a Traditional IRA into a Roth; we also have a 2-part question regarding a living trust as the designated beneficiary on a 403b Plan -- that living trust then designated her children as equal beneficiaries.

5 Reasons to Delay Social Security Benefits

As many know, you may not need to start taking Social Security at age 62; you can start any time after that until age 70. After 70, there's no point in waiting longer because your Social Security benefits won't increase moving forward. If you don't have an immediate need for the money and you're healthy enough to anticpate a long retirement, waiting will increase the size of the Social Security checks you'll eventually receive. Long-term, you may come out ahead.

What If You Were Told You Are Not Part of An Employer Retirement Plan But You Really Were?

I like to ask clients “If what you thought to be true turned out not to be true, when would you want to know? Since the beginning of mankind, people have been told things that turned out not to be true. The World is Flat. Radio has no future (Lord Kelvin 1897). The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad. (Advice from a president of Michigan Savings bank to Henry Ford’s lawyer. Horace Rackham). What if you were told you are not part of an employer retirement plan but you really were? What could be the implications?

Bene Missed First RMD

What happens when a beneficiary misses their first RMD? IRS answered this question recently in Information Letter 2016-0071 in response to an inquiry. The question was if the 5-year rule was automatically required when a non-spouse beneficiary named on the beneficiary form missed their first required minimum distribution (RMD) in the year after the death of a Roth IRA owner. As unbelievable as it may seem, IRS had never before directly addressed the issue of a beneficiary missing their first RMD.

Using Your IRA to Buy Your First Home

Your IRA savings are intended to be used for your retirement. However, if you are like many others, your IRA may be your biggest asset. If you are looking to become a home owner, you may need your IRA funds to make that happen and there is a special break in the tax code that can help you.

Without A Living Beneficiary, Does The IRA Go to The Estate?

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers a couple questions regarding beneficiaries of an IRA.

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