Financial Freedom is Available to Those
Who Learn
About it and Work For it

“Third-party posts from Ed Slott’s IRA Blog:”

IRA BLOG

72(T) DON’TS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The 72(t) rules (”series of substantially equal periodic payments”) allow a person to tap retirement dollars before 59½ without a 10% early distribution penalty. However, to gain this early access, you must commit to a plan of...

read more

WHEN THE FIVE-YEAR RULE APPLIES

By Sarah Brenner Director of Retirement Education If you inherit an IRA, especially if it is a larger one, you may be afraid of being stuck with the five-year distribution rule. If this rule applies, your IRA must be entirely emptied in five years, which can be a...

read more

ONE ROTH IRA BUCKET

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst SCENARIO: John owns multiple Roth IRAs. He believes it is necessary to maintain all these accounts to keep things properly organized and to track his 5-year conversion clocks. He has contributed to Roth IRA #1 for over a decade. He...

read more

5 WAYS AN EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTION CAN HAPPEN

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education You can have too much of a good thing. While saving for retirement with an IRA is a good strategy, there are limits.  When a contribution is not permitted in an IRA, it is an excess contribution and needs to be...

read more

WHEN A “REVERSE ROLLOVER” MAKES SENSE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Usually, rollovers involving 401(k) accounts and IRAs involve moving dollars from a plan to an IRA. But sometimes it makes sense to instead do a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k). Let’s get some bad news out of the way:...

read more

WATCH OUT FOR THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Why is it so important to know how the once-per-year rollover rule works? Well, that is because trouble with the once-per year rule is the kind of trouble no one wants! An IRA owner who violates this rule is...

read more

HOW THE VESTING RULES WORK FOR COMPANY RETIREMENT PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Employees leaving their jobs are often surprised to discover they aren’t entitled to the full balance of their company plan account. The reason is that some plans impose a vesting rule on certain types of contributions. What do the...

read more

HOW YOUR IRA CAN HELP IF YOU ARE A FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The real estate market is red hot right now. This can be especially challenging for first time home buyers. IRA savings are intended to be used for your retirement. However, if you are like many others, your IRA...

read more

A DOZEN QCD FACTS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) continue to gain popularity, and with that popularity comes more questions. Here are a dozen QCD facts that will keep you on the straight-and-narrow with your QCD transactions: 1. QCDs are...

read more

INVESTING YOUR IRA IN CRYPTO

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Recently, Fidelity investments made headlines by announcing that it would allow retirement savers to put Bitcoin in their 401(k)s. Cryptocurrency has been all over the news, and you may be wondering if it would be...

read more

401(K), 403(B), 457(B): DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst There are three types of company savings plans: 401(k) plans if you work for a for-profit company; 403(b) plans if you work for a tax-exempt employer, a public school or a church; and 457(b) plans if you work for a state or local...

read more

FIRST DOLLARS OUT RULE AND THE STILL-WORKING EXCEPTION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst For those who have 401(k)s or other employee retirement plans (but not SEP or SIMPLE plans), the required beginning date (RBD) for when required minimum distributions (RMDs) are to begin is the same as for IRA owners – April 1 of...

read more

UNDERSTANDING THE SAME PROPERTY RULE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education For IRA-to-IRA or Roth-to-Roth 60-day rollovers, the same property received is the property that must be rolled over. These rules also apply to SIMPLE and SEP IRAs. You cannot receive a distribution of cash and...

read more

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CATCH-UP CONTRIBUTIONS!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Tax Day 2022 seems like an appropriate time to review a sometimes-overlooked way to get extra dollars into your IRA or company savings plan. Folks age 50 or older are allowed to make “catch-up” contributions with no strings attached....

read more

LAST-MINUTE IRA TAX DEADLINES & RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The deadline for filing your 2021 tax return is this Monday, April 18. It is extended through the weekend because IRS offices in Washington DC are closed on Friday, April 15, in observance of the locally recognized Emancipation...

read more

5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE NEW SECURE ACT REGULATIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The SECURE Act was signed into law in late December of 2019. This new law upended the rules for retirement accounts. With it came many questions, and IRS guidance was eagerly anticipated. Finally, on February 23,...

read more

INHERITED IRAS AND SEP ACCOUNTS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: I have a non-spousal inherited IRA account.  Once I take out my RMD for the year, am I able to take out excess funds and roll those into a Roth account? Thank you. Answer: Inherited IRA accounts do not follow all the same...

read more

HOUSE PASSES SECURE 2.0 BILL, BUT IT’S NOT LAW YET

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst A bill designed to increase savings in IRAs and company plans has passed the House of Representatives, but it’s not yet law. The bill is officially called the “Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022,” but many are calling it “SECURE...

read more

THE 3 EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRO-RATA RULE THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Most IRA distributions will be taxable. However, if you have ever made nondeductible contributions to your IRA or rolled over after-tax funds from your company plan to your IRA, then the rules can get a little bit...

read more

$1,512,350 IS THE NEW $1,362,800

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst When you file for bankruptcy, one thing you usually don’t have to worry about is protecting your IRA funds from creditors. That’s because, in just about every case, all of your IRA (and Roth IRA) monies are off limits. Under the federal...

read more

NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR 2021 IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It may be hard to believe it but the countdown to the 2021 tax filing deadline is on. The deadline is April 18, 2022, for most filers. That is really only a few weeks away. Time is running out. Is your IRA ready?...

read more

DECIPHERING YOUR 401(K) STATEMENT

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With many 401(k) (and 403(b) and 457(b) plans) offering multiple participant accounts, your plan statement is probably more complicated than ever. Here’s a brief primer to help you understand what each account represents: Pre-tax deferral...

read more

“MONITORING CONCURRENT LIFE EXPECTANCIES?” – SMH

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst I am usually patient with the IRS. I understand the massive workload they have, and there are tax cheats lurking around every corner. The IRS does its best to ensure no loopholes exist for bad actors to circumvent tax laws to avoid...

read more

SECURE ACT REGS BRING NEW ROTH IRA ADVANTAGE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Roth IRAs have always been a great retirement savings tool. While pre-tax retirement accounts allow tax deferred savings, a Roth IRA promises tax-free benefits. They allow you to receive years of earnings in...

read more

THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL PART OF THE NEW IRS REGULATIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The part of the new IRS SECURE Act regulations causing the most reaction is the one requiring annual required minimum distributions (RMDs) for some IRA or workplace plan beneficiaries subject to the 10-year payment rule. Under the SECURE...

read more

AGE OF MAJORITY AND THE NEW SECURE ACT REGULATIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The 275 pages of proposed SECURE Act regulations, released by the IRS on February 23, are chock full of little details. Each of these tidbits will have some impact on particular IRA owners and retirement account participants. One...

read more

SECURE ACT REGULATIONS ARE HERE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On February 23, 2022, the IRS released the long-awaited proposed SECURE Act regulations. The new regulations clock in at 275 pages and offer guidance on many SECURE Act rules. They also include a few surprises....

read more

ACT NOW TO CLEAN UP 2021 EXCESS 401(K) DEFERRALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The amount of annual pre-tax deferrals and Roth contributions you can make to a 401(k) plan is limited by the tax code. If you exceeded that limit in 2021, time is of the essence to correct the error. If you don’t act quickly, the tax...

read more

WHAT PROTECTION DO SPOUSES GET IN COMPANY PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The federal ERISA law gives spouses of plan participants in ERISA-covered plans certain rights to the participant’s account. There are two types of ERISA financial protection for spouses. Spouses of IRA owners usually don’t have similar...

read more

MAKING A SPOUSAL IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The pandemic has upended the workforce. Many workers lost jobs. Some workers resigned by choice. Others were forced to leave jobs due to childcare issues. If you are not working outside the home, you may believe...

read more

HOW DOES THE IRS COMPENSATION LIMIT WORK?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Towards the end of each year, the IRS announces cost-of-living increases for several retirement-related dollar limits that will become effective for the next year. For example, last November, the IRS said that the limit on employee...

read more

ROTH CONVERSIONS & RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I turn 72 this year. I am getting notices from my many IRA custodians that they want a waiver on file if I am NOT using my account for the RMD (i.e., I am taking it somewhere else). They make it sound...

read more

10% PENALTY EXCEPTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst For IRA owners and retirement plan participants who are under age 59 ½, taking a distribution from a retirement account is typically off limits. The distribution will most likely be taxable, and there is a good chance that a 10%...

read more

WATCH OUT FOR THE FIVE-YEAR RULE ON CONVERTED ROTH FUNDS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education If you are under age 59 ½ and you converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you will need to watch out for the five-year rule for penalty-free distributions of converted funds. Not understanding how the rule...

read more

ROLLOVER TRIVIA: 5 Q&AS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The “Martin Scenario”: Martin, age 40, has never done an IRA rollover before. He took a distribution from his traditional IRA in December 2021 for $10,000 and deposited it into his checking account. Martin took another distribution...

read more

ROLLING OVER LAST YEAR’S IRA DISTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The rollover rules can be especially challenging at the end of the calendar year. If you took a distribution from your IRA at end of 2021 and are considering a rollover in 2022, here is what you need to know....

read more

GREAT NEWS FOR 72(T) PAYMENTS!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst 72(t) payments have suddenly become a better deal for IRA owners and company plan participants. Also known as “substantially equal periodic payments,” 72(t) payments are advantageous because they are exempt from the 10% early distribution...

read more

ONE IRA ROLLOVER PER YEAR – BASED ON DISTRIBUTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A person is allowed only one IRA-to-IRA or Roth-IRA-to-Roth-IRA 60-day rollover per year. This 12-month period is a full 12 months – it is not a calendar year. Accordingly, we refer to this as the “once-per-year rule.” For example,...

read more

WHAT TO DO IF YOU MISSED YOUR 2021 RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Did you take your RMD from your IRA for 2021? Hopefully, the answer is yes because for most IRA owners and beneficiaries the deadline for taking a 2021 RMD was December 31, 2021. There is an exception. If you...

read more

YOUR FIRST RMD AND SEP IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi, I turn 72 this year and have to take my first required minimum distribution (RMD). I am also in the process of converting most of my IRA into a Roth IRA. I know I have to take my RMD first before the conversion. Since...

read more

QCD REMINDERS AND PITFALLS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Less than two weeks into the new year seems like a good time to provide a few reminders and warnings when it comes to Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs). As a quick refresher, remember these QCD facts: Only available to IRA...

read more

NEW 2022 IRS LIFE EXPECTANCY TABLES AVAILABLE HERE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has released new life expectancy tables for calculating required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2022. The most commonly used tables are the Uniform Lifetime and the Single Life Expectancy Tables.  The...

read more

HITTING THE RESET BUTTON FOR 2022 RMDS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Welcome to 2022! One of the big changes in the retirement account world this year will be the calculation of required minimum distributions (RMDs). RMDs for IRA owners and plan participants are calculated using life expectancies from IRS...

read more

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst In 2021, the Slott Report produced roughly 100 diverse retirement-related articles and answered approximately 100 reader questions in our weekly Mailbag. We do our best to present topical IRA and retirement plan issues in the most...

read more

WHAT 2022 MAY MEAN FOR YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Pop the champagne! It is almost time to turn the page on the calendar to a new year. What will 2022 mean for your retirement accounts? All signs point to a very busy year ahead. Here is what we may expect for...

read more

5 IRA RULES FOR WHICH WE ARE THANKFUL IN 2021

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Thanksgiving 2021 is upon us. This is the time of the year when we gather together and express our gratitude. When it comes to our retirement accounts, we often complain about the negatives. There are restrictions...

read more

A LOOK BACK AT A “NORMAL” 2021

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst As 2021 draws to a close, many of us will naturally look back and try to make some sense of the past year. On the whole, it would be hard to classify 2021 as an “uneventful” year. But in the world of IRAs and workplace plans, it actually...

read more

YEAR-END ESTIMATED TAX “LIFE HACK”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A “life hack” is any trick, shortcut or simple and clever technique for accomplishing a familiar task more easily and efficiently, in all walks of life. For example, tie a colorful ribbon to your luggage to make it more easily...

read more

ILLIQUID ASSETS AND RMDS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Tis the season. Yes, it is the holiday season, and it is also the season to take RMDs. RMDs are back for 2021 after being waived by the CARES Act for 2020. With the return of RMDs come questions. One question we...

read more

EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRO-RATA RULE – WAYS TO “ISOLATE BASIS”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst My November 29 Slott Report entry was titled “The Pro-Rata Rule Explained – You are Not Getting Taxed Twice.” I closed that article by stating there are exceptions to the pro-rata rule and ways to clean up an IRA that contains a...

read more

PROCEED WITH CAUTION WHEN INVESTING YOUR IRA IN GOLD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education In volatile times like these, when inflation is looming, retirement savers may look to invest their IRAs in gold. Advertisements on the internet and cable tv make it look easy, but that is not the full story. The...

read more

12/31/21 DEADLINE MAY LOOM FOR STARTING NEW SOLO 401(K) PLAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Are you considering opening up a new solo 401(k) and looking to maximize your 2021 contribution? If so, you may need to act quickly. There is a December 31, 2021 deadline for establishing a new plan if you want to make 2021 elective...

read more

RMD RULES AND ROTH CONVERSIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Can someone take an in-service withdrawal from their 401(k) and directly transfer it to their IRA, then take a QCD from the IRA to satisfy the RMD amount attributed to the 401(k)? I am 72 years old and I...

read more

RESTORATIVE PAYMENTS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we careen into the holiday season, there remains a deceitful underbelly of dirtbags operating their typical scams. Giant inflatable Christmas decorations in front of your home or a menorah in the window will not dissuade...

read more

BIGGER 401(K) CONTRIBUTIONS COMING IN 2022

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has released the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement accounts for 2022. As expected, due to inflation in the economy, many of the dollar limit restrictions on retirement accounts will increase...

read more

THE 401(K) HARDSHIP WITHDRAWAL RULES IN A NUTSHELL

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The September 29, 2021 Slott Report summarized the rules for taking non-hardship withdrawals from 401(k) plans. This article will focus on the hardship withdrawal rules. Most company savings plans allow you to pull out your funds to take...

read more

CLARIFYING SOME ROTH CONVERSION MISCONCEPTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As Roth IRA conversions become more popular, questions and misconceptions abound. In no particular order, here are a dozen Roth IRA conversion facts to be aware of: 1. Anyone with an IRA can do a Roth conversion. There are no...

read more

ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO DO A SPOUSAL ROLLOVER

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst As discussed in the October 18 Slott Report, spousal beneficiaries of IRAs can take advantage of certain payout rules that aren’t available to non-spouse beneficiaries. For example, a surviving spouse who remains a beneficiary can defer...

read more

PERSEVERE, CHARLIE BROWN!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Charlie Brown, wearing a ghost costume full of too many eye holes cut in all the wrong spots, famously peered into his trick-or-treat bag and said, “I got a rock.” One of the best parts of Halloween remains. It is the moment at the...

read more

RETIREMENT PLANNING FOR THE SELF EMPLOYED

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Not everyone has a boss. In an economy upended by COVID, individuals, sometimes by choice and sometimes not, are striking out on their own and starting new businesses or becoming part of the gig economy. A critical...

read more

ARE YOUR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS PROTECTED FROM CREDITORS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One question that continues to come up is whether company retirement plan dollars are protected from creditors. This becomes an issue if you are forced to declare bankruptcy or you owe money after a legal action is brought against you. If...

read more

SPOUSE AS IRA BENEFICIARY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a married IRA owner dies, the surviving spouse is oftentimes the beneficiary. Of course, there are instances where a trust might be named as IRA beneficiary, or the children or a charity or someone else is listed. Regardless,...

read more

Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group (Ed Slott Group) is a membership organization owned by Ed Slott and Company, LLC. Qualifying criteria for membership includes completing specified educational courses offered by Ed Slott Group. Ed Slott Group membership requirements include the payment of annual dues. Logos and/or trademarks are property of their respective owners and no endorsement of (Crissman Crombie) or (Crombie Financial Group, LLC) is stated or implied. Ed Slott Group and Ed Slott and Company, LLC are not affiliated with Crombie Financial Group, LLC.

For the detailed requirements of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group, please visit: https://www.irahelp.com/EliteGroup