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Prepare clients for an untimely end to Roth conversion do-overs

November 9, 2017

The new tax proposal from Congress had a November surprise. The proposal includes a repeal of the Roth IRA recharacterization, which is the ability to undo a Roth conversion. I normally don't like to advise planning based on proposed law, but...

Retirement planning challenges under tax reform

October 13, 2017

During retirement, clients may be counting on certain deductions to reduce their taxable income, but under the latest tax proposal some of the biggest deductions are on the chopping block. Advisers will have to address what might happen, before...

Retirement benefits for military families

September 14, 2017

Veterans Day is coming in November, and there are retirement benefits for current military members who could use financial help. Financial advisers should pass this information on to clients and friends who might benefit from one of these retirement...

Gotham's retirement loan disasters

August 28, 2009

Two recent cases involving New York City employees illustrate how retirement plan loan provisions are more complex than they first appear, and how violating any of them can lead to serious tax consequences. One case involved Vincent Marquez,...

Distribution holiday has its complications

February 1, 2009

No required minimum distributions for 2009. That will certainly reduce the tax bite for millions of retirees and their beneficiaries — at least, for this year. The tax relief sounds easy, but as with any new tax law, along with the tax savings...

Charitable-IRA rollovers are back

October 19, 2008

The bailout bill, known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, contains many little-known provisions, including the retroactive extension of the IRA charitable rollover. If you have clients 701/2 or older who are individual retirement...

October Roth IRA opportunities

September 22, 2008

For financial advisers who want to help clients take advantage of a down market, mark Oct. 15 on your calendar.  That is the last date for re-characterizing, or undoing, a Roth IRA conversion from the previous year. An example illustrates why...

Safeguarding IRAs in difficult times

August 25, 2008

Worries about bank failures and the stability of other financial institutions are all over the news lately. Clients with individual retirement accounts at a bank might be concerned about them. But retirement accounts are federally insured up...

A tax break for the military

July 28, 2008

The new Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 contains several retirement plan provisions for military service personnel that financial advisers must know about. The act made permanent an exception to the 10% early-distribution...

When clients are knowledgeable

June 23, 2008

Do you know as much about retirement distribution planning as your clients and prospects? You'd better hope so. If not, you will lose those clients; maybe not now, but very soon. Consumers are getting smarter. In recent seminars I've conducted,...

Tax stimulus may cause IRA headache

May 26, 2008

Some taxpayers who requested a direct deposit of their tax refund into an individual retirement account may be in for unpleasant surprises. What they might not know is that by requesting the direct deposit option, any tax rebate — including...

Don't make early-withdrawal mistakes

October 22, 2007

Early withdrawals from retirement accounts should be discouraged. Withdrawals reverse the retirement savings process, and early distributions are the most expensive type, as they are subject to both income tax and the 10% early withdrawal penalty....

Roth IRA strategies for a rocky market

September 24, 2007

While recent stock market declines may worry some investors, those with stocks and funds in their individual retirement accounts can take advantage of current market volatility by making key moves. If your clients’ IRAs have taken a hit and...

ERISA regulation trumps prenuptial agreement

April 23, 2007

If you have clients with sizable pension plans who are getting married for the first, second or third time — or more — the question of who gets the pension plan after death must be agreed upon now, and the agreement must hold up when the time...

Planning Roth conversions during tax reform uncertainty

June 23, 2017

What will 2017 or even 2018 tax rules look like? Going into summertime it's starting to look like any major tax reform may not be effective until 2018. One thing is for sure, though: Roth conversions will be affected, both the conversions already...

Changes in estate planning

January 4, 2009

The New Year brings major changes in many estate plans. Not only has there been the biggest year-to-year increase in the federal estate tax exemption (from $2 million to $3.5 million), but the change comes at a time when the values of many estates...

It is time for IRA conversions

November 16, 2008

This month and next, help your clients by advising them to use a 2008 Roth IRA conversion to take advantage of the stock market decline. That will be the case for clients who meet these two criteria: They have traditional individual retirement...

Stretch IRA saved by IRS ruling

April 28, 2008

Financial advisers should be aware of a new IRS ruling that recently saved the day for an IRA beneficiary and may help your clients. The decision involved a "stretch individual retirement account," which allows a designated IRA beneficiary —...

New rules permit plan balance shift

March 31, 2008

Providing guidance on the provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 that now allows a plan participant to convert a plan balance directly to a Roth IRA, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a set of new rules (Notice 2008-30). In some...

Don't overdo annual contributions

March 3, 2008

Some clients love IRAs so much that they create problems by contributing more than they should. Now that we're entering the peak season for IRA investing, let's review the contribution basics. The maximum amount that can be contributed to a...

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