Article Library

Category: IRAs

IRA And Retirement Plan Changes In The CARES Act

Bob Carlson, Forbes, 03.28.2020

While there is no point in taking distributions from tax-advantaged savings unless you need to, the relief package just passed by Congress – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – loosens a lot of the restrictions and penalties associated with doing so in 2020.

Roth Strategy After The Secure Act: Calculate Your Benefit

William Baldwin, Forbes, 02.04.2020

A useful calculator for estimating potential Roth conversion benefits.

The Secure Act Includes 1 Critical Tax Change ‘That Will Send Estate Planners Reeling’

Bill Bischoff, Marketwatch.com, 01.01.2020

The new SECURE Act has changed some rules around retirement plans. Good aspects are 1) an increase in the required minimum distribution age to 72 from 70½ years, and 2) the lifting of age limits on making contributions to traditional IRAs. The big negative is the curtailing of the stretch IRA strategy – by which descendants had been able to withdraw inherited IRA funds over their lifespans – which is now truncated to 10 years, with a few exceptions.

Before moving all your IRA money to a Roth, consider these lost tax benefits

Sarah O’Brien, CNBC, 10.07.2019

Roth conversions can be a great tool to reduce your lifetime tax burden. But they require long-term forecasting of life events and future earnings, as well as realism about future tax rates.

Protecting Retirement Accounts from Creditors

Rachel L. Sheedy, Kiplinger, 09.03.2019

Fees, investment options, contribution rules, and credit protection levels all factor into whether or not you should roll your employer plan into an IRA. With regard to credit protection, federal law provides generous bankruptcy protection for both 401Ks and IRAs, but individual states determine general creditor protection. In NC, general creditor protection is very strong, with both IRAs and Roth IRAs exempt property for judgments, except for inherited IRAs. In GA only IRAs are protected (not Roths), and then only to the extent necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent. Protections in CA are weaker still.

The Stretch IRA Is About To Snap Under the Secure Act

Lewis Braham, Barron’s, 07.06.2019

Changes could be on the way for the Stretch IRA strategy.

Andy Ives, CFP, Ed Slott & Company, 04.10.19

Rules around IRAs can be arcane. Check carefully before you act because the consequences for mistakes can be severe.

Can I Use a Roth IRA to Pay for College?

Karen Wallace, CFP, Morningstar, 03.21.19

Generally we discourage clients from raiding their Roth IRAs—their most precious category of retirement savings—to pay for college tuition. However, if you must, here are some pitfalls to avoid.

Here’s Why You May Want to Reconsider Doing That Backdoor Roth IRA Conversion

Anthony P. Curatola, MarketWatch.com, 04.23.19

Tread carefully when considering backdoor Roth conversions.

Jeffrey Levine, Ed Slott & Company, 07.29.15

You might be surprised to learn that 401(k) funds rolled into an IRA receive the same unlimited bankruptcy creditor protection that they did in the 401(k). However, non-bankruptcy creditor protection tends to be state-specific.

Opinion: Is it worth it to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth?

John Yeigh, MarketWatch.com, 03.25.2019

Roth conversions can make a lot of sense—in the right set of investor circumstances—particularly given tax rates will have to rise at some point to address our unsustainable fiscal trajectory.

6 Rules for Tax-Free Roth IRA Distributions

Sarah Brenner, JD, Ed Slott & Company, 01.07.19

Roth IRA distributions are not particularly straight forward. Issues can crop up if you don’t pay close attention to the 59 ½ age and 5 year rules, as well as the ordering of funds amongst contributions, conversions, and earnings.

​​How the new tax law creates a ‘perfect storm’ for Roth IRA conversions

Bill Bischoff, MarketWatch.com., 03.30.2018

The following is a reminder about how now lower marginal income tax rates, combined with the ability to convert traditional IRAs to Roth status, are a powerful option for investors with the right circumstances. A temporary dip in taxable income combined with a bear market decline in the value of a traditional IRA would provide an ideal opportunity to convert. Each investor and their advisor should carefully assess whether this is a suitable strategy before proceeding. 

Spousal IRAs: What are They and Who Can Contribute to One?

Beverly DeVeny, Ed Slott & Co., 03.21.2018

Don’t let the spousal IRA slip by for another year! Do it before the 2017 tax filing due date of April 17th. Below is a succinct summary of the rules for making contributions to spousal IRAs. 

Can You Lose an IRA to Medicaid?

Jim Glass, Ed Slott & Company, 07.16.18

Nursing home care is delivered via state Medicaid systems (NOT Medicare) and can deplete the assets of families very quickly if no planning has been conducted. This is a very complex area, and can vary by state, so you need to consult with an estate attorney who is an expert in state Medicaid rules. However, the article that follows is a great two page introduction to this retirement risk. Pay particular attention to the 5 year rule—a critical make or break aspect of Medicaid planning.