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

IRA BLOG

THE UNPLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE ACCURACY-RELATED PENALTY

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport If a retirement account transaction becomes a taxable distribution, you probably know you will owe taxes and possibly the 10% early distribution penalty (if under age 59 ½) on the distribution. But...

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RMDS & ROTH CONVERSIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Question: My husband is the sole beneficiary of a Traditional IRA owned by his cousin, who recently  passed away. From my research, I believe my husband fits the exception criteria of "eligible...

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INHERITED IRA Q&AS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Each week the Ed Slott team answers questions from financial advisors across the country. Sometimes we see a pattern in repeating questions, sometimes the questions are relatively basic, and...

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FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PLAN ROLLOVER AND YOUR RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Many Americans are still working long beyond what has traditionally been retirement age. This may be a choice or a necessity. If this is your situation, you may be keeping...

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DIRECT TRANSFERS, DIRECT ROLLOVERS, AND 60-DAY ROLLOVERS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When moving retirement money from IRA to IRA, or from a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k) to an IRA, there are essentially three methods to relocate those dollars. Two of them are similar, and the third opens all kinds of...

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REPAYING A CRD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Back in 2020 when COVID first became our new reality, Congress enacted the CARES Act. The CARES Act allowed qualified individuals who were affected by COVID to take penalty-free distributions from their retirement...

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SIDESTEPPING THE NEW IRS PRIVATE LETTER RULING FEES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Like most everything else these days, the price for receiving an IRS private letter ruling (PLR) has recently gone up. A person will request a PLR to receive the IRS’s blessing that a specific tax transaction won’t violate the tax code or...

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CONDUIT IRA – IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Conduit IRAs, sometimes called “rollover IRAs,” typically contained only money rolled over from a company plan - and subsequent earnings on those dollars. But a 2001 tax law (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of...

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4 QCD RULES THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By 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. If you are thinking this might be a good strategy for you, here are 4 QCD rules that...

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SENATE COMMITTEES TAKE UP RETIREMENT SAVINGS PROPOSALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Proposals to boost IRA and workplace plan savings are advancing, but they are not law yet. Several actions must occur before the proposals become law. On March 29, the House passed the “Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022.” Now, two...

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INHERITED IRAS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Dear Sirs: I inherited a regular IRA upon my mother's death in 2015. I am now 75 years old and have been taking required distributions since then. She was taking distributions herself when she died. My...

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SHOULD I ACCEPT A LUMP SUM BUYOUT OFFER?

By Ian Berger, JD Director of Retirement Education Should I Accept a Lump Sum Buyout Offer? With economic uncertainty increasing, more companies with defined benefit (DB) pension plans will likely attempt to improve their bottom line by offering lump sum buyouts. A...

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DEATH OF A SPOUSE, DEATH OF DAD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Over the past couple of months I have been tasked with the unfortunate responsibility of helping my mother sort through her financial affairs after the death of her spouse. My dad passed in March, and it has been a steady stream of...

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TOO OLD TO CONVERT? THINK AGAIN

By Sarah Brenner Director of Retirement Education You may have heard how converting to a Roth IRA is a great move for younger people. This is no surprise. A younger person who converts has two big factors working in her favor. She may pay taxes on a smaller IRA...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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:...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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$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...

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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?...

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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...

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“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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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%...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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