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

IRA BLOG

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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TIME TO SIMPLIFY YOUR RETIREMENT

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education As you approach your golden years, you may be looking to simplify your life to wring the most out of retirement. It may be time to right size and move from a larger house with an abundance of maintenance to a...

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A POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE “MEGA IRA” RESTRICTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Build Back Better Act of 2021, recently passed by the House Ways and Means Committee, includes a number of retirement plan provisions.  They were summarized in the September 22, 2021 Slott Report. Two of those provisions are targeted...

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EARNINGS ARE EARNINGS WITHIN A TRADITIONAL IRA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When it comes to taxes and the 10% early distribution penalty, do not allow the underlying investments within a Traditional IRA to confuse what is applicable. Earnings within an IRA are just earnings. It does not matter if those...

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WHAT THE NEW TAX PROPOSALS MEAN FOR ROTH CONVERSIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It’s hard to keep up with the news out of Washington these days! We have been getting a ton of questions on how the new tax proposals recently passed by the House Ways and Means Committee would impact Roth...

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INHERITED IRAS AND 2021 RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Good morning, I have an inherited IRA. I took a manual withdrawal from it in late August. I thought I had deleted my auto withdrawal on the custodian’s website. I just noticed today that another distribution was taken on...

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RESTRICTIONS ON 401(K) IN-SERVICE WITHDRAWALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Congress designed 401(k) plans as retirement savings vehicles – not as checking accounts. So, there are restrictions on when employees can make “in-service withdrawals” (i.e., withdrawals  while still working). It’s important to remember...

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CONGRESS LOOKS TO ELIMINATE BACK-DOOR ROTH STRATEGIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The House Ways and Means Committee has released a draft of proposed changes to retirement accounts, including adding income limits for conversions and eliminating the back-door Roth conversion strategy. These...

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FIXING A 60-DAY ROLLOVER ERROR

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Are you moving assets between IRAs or from a company plan to an IRA (or vice-versa)? You should know that using a direct transfer is a much better idea than doing a 60-day rollover. Direct transfers avoid all of the possible issues which...

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YEAR-OF-DEATH RMDS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When an IRA owner taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) dies before removing his annual RMD, that year-of-death RMD (or whatever portion remains) must still be withdrawn. Upon passing, the year-of-death RMD immediately...

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RETIREMENT ACCOUNT RELIEF FOR DISASTER VICTIMS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education President Biden has declared September to be National Preparedness Month. The goal is to encourage Americans to be more prepared for natural disasters. Unfortunately, from flooding on the east coast to fires on the...

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HOW DO REVOCATION-ON-DIVORCE LAWS WORK WITH ERISA PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst What if you have an IRA with your spouse as primary beneficiary, get divorced without changing your beneficiary and then die? Who inherits your IRA benefits. If you live in one of the 26 states (as of June 2018) that have...

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THE MEGA BACKDOOR ROTH IRA STRATEGY AND SOLO 401(K) PLANS

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the August 16, 2021 Slott Report, we showed that someone participating in a 401(k) plan through a “regular” job could also establish a solo 401(k) plan through a side job and potentially contribute up to $58,000 this year in after-tax...

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AGGREGATING RMDS – WHAT IS (AND WHAT IS NOT) ALLOWED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Recently, I had a conversation with an advisor who wanted a second opinion. He disagreed with how a 401(k) custodian was handling his client’s required minimum distribution (RMD). To arm himself with facts, the advisor contacted us...

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10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ESAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It’s back to school time! Any parent will tell you that education can be expensive. You cannot afford to miss out on any possible option out there that may help you save. One savings tool that you might overlook is...

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MAKING SENSE OF THE 401(K) MULTIPLE PLAN LIMITS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We continue to get lots of questions about the company savings plan contribution limits. There are actually two different contribution limits – the “deferral limit” and the “overall limit.” This makes things very confusing, especially if...

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UPDATE YOUR BENEFICIARY FORMS!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Regardless of whether you open an IRA, participate in a 401(k) plan, buy a life insurance policy, or start a college saving plan for a child, there is a critical detail which should never be overlooked: naming a beneficiary....

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YOUR QCD QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a way for you to move funds out of your IRA to a qualifying charity income tax free. This can be a great strategy for those who are charitably inclined and looking to save...

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401(K) PLANS & IRA CUSTODIANS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations Question: If you are an employee who participates in a 401(k) who retires at age 73, do you have to take an RMD in the year you retire, or can you take your RMD by April 1 of the year following retirement? If you...

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5 HSA BENEFITS THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations You may be familiar with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). These accounts have been around now for a while. They work with high deductible health insurance and are known for their triple tax benefits. Contributions...

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10 NUA Q&AS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst 1. What is the NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) tax break? It is the opportunity to pay tax at long-term capital gains rates on the appreciation of company stock held within a company plan vs. paying ordinary income rates on that...

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5 TAKEAWAYS FROM ED SLOTT’S INSTANT IRA SUCCESS WORKSHOP

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On July 15 and 16, financial advisors from around the country gathered virtually for Ed Slott and Company’s Instant IRA Success workshop. We took a deep dive into the rules governing retirement accounts and engaged...

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HOW DO THE RMD RULES WORK WHEN A PENSION PLAN LUMP SUM IS PAID?

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the May 17, 2021 Slott Report, we discussed the rules governing required minimum distributions (RMDs) from defined benefit (DB) plans, also known as “pension plans.” We said that DB plan payments usually have no problem satisfying the RMD...

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CAN EDBS SPLIT INHERITED IRAS?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A surviving spouse has a number of options regarding how to deal with IRAs inherited from his or her deceased spouse. The age of both the deceased and surviving spouse will most often dictate the decision as to how to proceed....

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HOW YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR RMD

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education When you contribute to a traditional IRA you make a deal with Uncle Sam. You can get a tax deduction and tax deferral on any earnings in your IRA. However, eventually the government is going to want its share and will...

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5 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT THE AGE-55 RULE

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The pandemic has upended the workplace and caused many people to rethink their career path. For some older workers this may mean considering early retirement. For those workers, access to retirement savings can be...

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MORE ON AFTER-TAX PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The October 19, 2020 Slott Report article, "Don't Overlook After-Tax Contributions!," explained how after-tax contributions in company plans work and discussed the dollar limits on them. This article will explain how distributions of...

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IRA TRICK-OR-TREAT!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Trick-or-treating in the time of a pandemic is a challenge. Social distancing while handing out candy requires some creativity. The Slott Report has elected to place a big bowl of random treats in front of our house for the kids to...

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IRA ROLLOVERS AND DEDUCTIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, If an individual has a solo 401(k), is this considered a "retirement plan at work" that would limit the deductibility of IRA contributions? Thanks! Susan Answer: Hi Susan, Being an active...

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IRA ROLLOVERS AND DEDUCTIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, If an individual has a solo 401(k), is this considered a "retirement plan at work" that would limit the deductibility of IRA contributions? Thanks! Susan Answer: Hi Susan, Being an active...

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DON’T OVERLOOK AFTER-TAX PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With the popularity of Roth 401(k) contributions, after-tax employee contributions have gotten short shrift. But, if your plan offers them, after-tax contributions are worth considering because they can significantly boost your retirement...

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THE GHOST RULE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As Halloween approaches and the leaves change color, families gather ‘round weekend campfires, roast marshmallows, and share spooky stories. Watchful owls hoot in the dark. In the distance, a wolf howls at the moon. A rustle in the...

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IMPORTANT TRUST DEADLINE APPROACHES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations For trusts that inherited an IRA in 2019, an important deadline is approaching. October 31, 2020 is the due date to provide required trust documentation to the IRA custodian to ensure that the longest payout...

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INHERITED IRAS AND QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Sir, I inherited an IRA from my sister two years ago. She was collecting RMDs at 78. My question involves collecting my sister’s RMD. Does the 10-year withdrawal go into effect now or do I use the table under my age, which is...

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AM I ENTITLED TO ERISA CREDITOR PROTECTION?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With the recent economic downturn, you may be more concerned than ever about keeping retirement plan funds safe from creditors. If you participate in a plan covered by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you can...

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IRAS, LIFE INSURANCE & PIZZA

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Many years ago, my wife and I went to lunch at a pizza joint in a strip mall. The friendly gray-haired host in sensible shoes (whom I pegged for mid-to-late 60’s), tucked two menus under her arm, grabbed a couple sets of silverware...

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BENEFICIARY FORM BASICS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst An argument could be made that the easiest financial document to complete is the IRA beneficiary form. Yet somehow this basic information consistently gets overlooked, mishandled, lost or fouled up. It’s not rocket science. Don’t...

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WHAT’S A TOP HAT PLAN?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Think of a top hat, and you’ll likely conjure up images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt or the temporarily-deceased Mr. Peanut or Rich Uncle Moneybags from Monopoly. But a “top hat plan” is also the informal name of a type of section 457(b)...

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8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR INHERITED IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A significant percentage of IRA assets will ultimately go to nonspouse beneficiaries. When these beneficiaries inherit the funds, special rules kick in. Inherited IRAs are not like other IRA accounts. Here is what...

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SECURE ACT: “WE DON’T KNOW YET”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Gradually, the IRS is clarifying sections of the SECURE Act that require further guidance. In Notice 2020-68, released September 2, the IRS addressed a number of items in a Q&A format. For example, “Is a financial institution...

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IRS ISSUES GUIDANCE ON CERTAIN SECURE ACT CHANGES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In Notice 2020-68, issued September 2, 2020, the IRS gave limited guidance on certain retirement provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (the “SECURE Act”). The SECURE Act was signed into law on...

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PENALTY-FREE IRA DISTRIBUTIONS FOR FIRST-HOME PURCHASE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe even because of it, real estate markets in many areas of the country are busy right now. If you are considering jumping in, and if this is your first home purchase, coming up...

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PERILS OF THE 60-DAY ROLLOVER

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As sure as the sun will rise, someone will take a distribution from his IRA tomorrow. And as sure as the moon will set, someone will fail to roll over his IRA distribution within 60 days. And as sure as the wind will blow, so too...

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RELIEF BEYOND AUGUST 31 FOR RMD REPAYMENTS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Some of you may have received an RMD (required minimum distribution) from an IRA or employer plan earlier this year that you don’t want to keep. Since the CARES Act waived RMDs for 2020, “RMDs” received in 2020 are technically not RMDs...

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TAPPING AN ESA FOR VIRTUAL SCHOOL EXPENSES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The upcoming school year for many students is going to look like nothing we have ever seen before. For many, computers and related technology will become an indispensable part of academic life. This means that...

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ROTH CONVERSIONS AND 2020 RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: In December of 2018 I did my first partial Roth IRA conversion into a new Roth IRA. I’m older than 59 ½. In December of 2019 I did my second partial Roth IRA conversion into the same Roth IRA opened in...

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“DOLLAR COST AVERAGE” YOUR ROTH CONVERSION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Dollar cost averaging is a tried-and-true investment strategy that has existed for decades. Using this technique, an investor divides up their entire amount to be invested and makes smaller periodic purchases over a desired time....

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