The Slott Report | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

The Slott Report

Your 3 Question Mid-Year IRA Checkup

So, you make your way into the financial "doctor's" office, armed with all of your bank and retirement account statements. What should you expect from the meeting - what burning questions should you and your financial team have the answers to? I examine the mandatory 3 questions that must be asked and answered below.

Choosing a Direct IRA Rollover Avoids 20% Withholding on Plan Distributions

If you're receiving a distribution from your employer's retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, you have the choice to roll over those funds tax-free to an IRA. There are two ways to do that. Click below to hear more about each choice.

How Many Beneficiaries Are There With a Trust?

You name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA. How many beneficiaries are there of the IRA? One. You name a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA. The trust beneficiaries are your six children. How many beneficiaries are there of the IRA? One – the trust. That’s right. There is only one beneficiary. The children do not get to split the IRA. They do not get to use their own life expectancies, they all have to use the age of the oldest trust beneficiary. They do not get to choose whether to take stretch distributions or take their entire share in one lump sum. They are not the beneficiaries – the trust is the beneficiary.

Can an IRA Used For College By Rolled Over to a Traditional IRA?

ed slott IRA questions
This week's Slott Report Mailbag talks about an "educational" IRA (a popular topic during graduation season), how to value non-spouse inherited IRAs and whether a retired individual can go through with a Roth conversion. Click to read this week's Q&A with our IRA Technical Expert.

How a Military Member's Life Insurance Policy Can Benefit a Beneficiary's Retirement

This past Monday, our nation celebrated Memorial Day, a day dedicated to honoring the brave men and women who have lost their lives while serving in our Armed Forces. While no financial benefit can ever console or adequately compensate the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, when a member of the Armed Forces dies, his or her loved ones are often the beneficiaries of a Service member’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) policy. Click for more details about this policy and how it affects the families of those who served their country.

Trying to Avoid IRA Transfer Fees Can Be Costly

If you’re thinking about moving your IRA funds to a different IRA custodian, generally the better way to do it is by transferring the funds directly to another financial institution. IRA-to-IRA transfers are often called direct transfers or trustee-to-trustee transfers. In a direct transfer between IRAs, you don’t have use or control of the IRA money while it’s being moved between two financial institutions. A benefit of using direct transfers between IRAs is that transfers do not have to follow the IRA 60-day rollover rules.

The Importance of Taking RMDs on Time with Taxes, Penalties Looming

There are several ways you can end up with a missed required distribution and a pile of penalties and tax-time confusion. We detail each of them below.

Ed Slott Analyzes EBRI Study: Roth IRAs Growing TWICE as Fast as Traditional IRAs

In lieu of today's Slott Report Mailbag, we wanted to share an important study from EBRI on IRAs and Roth IRAs. Ed Slott was contacted and extensively interviewed on the report's findings. Below, we will break down the important numbers as well as Ed's detailed analysis on what it all means in the retirement planning landscape.

Use the Right Value for IRA Annuity RMDs and Conversions

IRA valuation is critical when determining your required minimum distributions (RMDs), which are based on the prior year-end fair market value (FMV) of IRA assets. It is also critical for Roth conversions, because the resulting tax bill is based on the FMV of your IRA assets on the date of your conversion. Valuing certain deferred annuities owned inside your IRA can be tricky, though. We explain in more detail below.

Roth IRA Conversion Week: Social Analysis and Final Thoughts

Our Roth Conversion Week detailed many facets of the Roth conversion conversation ("Is a Roth conversion right for me?"), the advantages and disadvantages of conversions into Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s and finally, the Top 10 Roth conversion mistakes you should avoid.

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