The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Inherited IRAs and RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: I have read your updates and shared information regarding the SECURE bill that is in the Senate currently. The information discusses the non-spouse beneficiaries of IRAs will need to take distributions over 10 years as a lifetime stretch will not be an option anymore. Do you have any information on existing Inherited IRAs that are already in the stretch phase? My wife inherited an IRA in 2007 and we are stretching it over her lifetime. Does the bill grandfather existing and focus on future inherited IRAs? I realize we will not know the final answer until the bill is passed by both chambers and signed by the President, but wondered if you had any preliminary information.


When driving your car, most of the time you’re going forward. But sometimes, like when you back into a parking spot in anticipation of beating the traffic after a sporting event or concert, you must shift gears to reverse. So it is with rollovers between 401(k) plans (or other employer plans) and IRA’s. Most of the time you’ll be considering a rollover from the 401(k) plan to an IRA. But sometimes it makes sense to consider a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k).


With the year half over, it’s prime time to huddle, refocus your team and commit to reaching your 2019 goals—for your clients and your advisory business. Here are 7 strategies advisors can leverage now to notch a win for clients in the 2019 retirement planning game: 1. Analyze the Film: Review 2018 Tax Returns The 2018 tax season is now over for most taxpayers, and it has been a learning experience for many. This is the first time both advisors and clients will know the actual effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Review clients’ 2018 returns and use these results to plan for 2019. Assess the effect of the Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction on 2018 tax returns to plan for 2019 results. Did retirement plan contributions affect the client’s QBI deduction or their tax bracket?


‘Tis the season for bee stings and mosquito bites. Just like those summer irritations, 401(k) plan loans have their own annoying rules that can make them risky transactions. Fortunately, a provision of the 2017 tax reform law applied a little hydrocortisone to help relieve the itch. One advantage that 401(k) plans have over IRA’s is that 401(k)’s (as well as many other employer-sponsored plans) can allow participants to borrow against their accounts. 401(k) plans are not required to allow loans, but most do.

Happy 4th of July! - 4 IRA Tips to Share at Your Barbecue

Happy 4th of July to all the loyal readers of the Slott Report! This summer holiday is a time for barbeques. This is a time when all ages come together to celebrate. Families will gather to grill hot dogs, roast marshmallows and watch fireworks. If the conversation around the grill should happen to turn to retirement savings, here are 4 IRA tips, one for each generation of guests, to share while you celebrate: It’s never too early to start to save. Here is a tip to share with younger guests who might be just starting their careers. With student loans and the high cost of housing, the last thing on a millennial’s mind is saving for retirement. However, when it comes to retirement, young people have a huge advantage – time.

Caution! No Rollover for Nonspouse Beneficiaries

Did you inherit an IRA from someone who is NOT your spouse? This is not uncommon. Maybe you inherited from a sibling or a parent or a friend. If this is your situation, you will want to proceed with caution. For nonspouse beneficiaries a wrong move can result in disastrous consequences. So, take your time and do it right. Step one is to carefully explore your options. What are a nonspouse beneficiary’s options when it comes to the inherited IRA? Under the tax code, nonspouse beneficiaries can take advantage of the “stretch” IRA. This means you can set up a properly titled inherited IRA and then take required minimum distributions (RMD)s based on your life expectancy.

Roth Contributions and Employer Retirement Plans: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: Your advice, articles, publications and books I’ve purchased over the years have been great and most informative. Great job! My question is with regards to NUA – I retired recently (age 66) and had a company 401(k) to which I contributed over the years and will likely not make any withdrawals until required RMD’s. Within the company 401(k) plan I invested in selected bond funds, stock funds, small cap, a value fund, target funds, mid cap funds, international funds and our company stock fund option. (Some of the company stock I purchased and some was a company gift over the years).

Don’t Fear the 5-Year Rule

Prior to 2002, a default option for paying out required minimum distributions from an inherited IRA to a beneficiary was the 5-year rule. If the IRA owner died before their required beginning date and an election was not made in a timely manner, the account had to be closed by December 31 of the 5th year following the year of death. In 2002, new regulations issued by the IRS changed the default payout to the life expectancy of the designated beneficiary. The 5-year requirement for most beneficiaries was eliminated.

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Roth IRAs are a wonderful way to save for retirement. A person can sock away $6,000 a year (plus another $1,000 if they are age 50 or older) and the earnings will grow tax free. Plus, most custodians allow Roth IRA dollars to be invested in an incredibly wide array of options – mutual funds, stocks, ETFs - a veritable smorgasbords of choices. Can’t beat that with a stick! Did I mention that Roth IRAs have no required minimum distributions at age 70 ½? (Put that in the “pro-Roth” column.) What about age restrictions on who can contribute? You’re telling me that anyone can contribute to a Roth IRA as long as they have earned income and do not exceed certain income limits?

Roth IRA Rollovers and Contributions: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: I set up a Roth outside my employee retirement plan. I retired on 10-01-2018. I set up an automatic contribution to my Roth IRA from my checking account and, up to this day, still continue to contribute to the Roth IRA . Shall I opt out since I’m retired now? Your advice is deeply appreciated. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Ester Answer: Hi Ester, Contributing to a Roth IRA in addition to your employer plan is a great way to increase your retirement savings.

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