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3 last-chance retirement moves for 2018

November 12, 2018

Most clients are aware that their required minimum distributions, or RMDs, generally must be withdrawn by year-end. But here are three more retirement tax moves advisers should remind clients about before the year closes. Complete rollovers...

Using an IRA to fund an HSA

October 9, 2018

Funds from individual retirement accounts generally cannot be rolled over to a health savings account, but there is a one-time exception for a qualified HSA funding distribution, or QHFD. An individual is allowed to transfer funds from an IRA...

Last chance to undo a Roth conversion

September 7, 2018

The new tax law ended Roth recharacterizations, effective for conversions done in 2018 and later years. However, there is still a window of opportunity to reverse 2017 Roth conversions. But that window is closing quickly: The last day to recharacterize...

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,...

Think twice before deducting IRA losses

March 1, 2009

It's tax time, and more advisers are being asked by clients whether losses incurred in individual retirement accounts are deductible. The simple answer, of course, is that there is never a deduction for losses within an IRA. Just as the owner...

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...

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...

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...

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...

The plan participant who was ‘active’ but not eligible

March 26, 2007

This is the time of the year that most individual retirement account contributions are being made, but they may or may not be deductible. If you are active in a company plan, and your income exceeds certain amounts, then you cannot deduct your...

Protecting plan assets for non-spouse beneficiaries

January 29, 2007

Buried deep in the 900-plus pages of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 are several individual retirement account and plan gems that create new retirement planning opportunities for your clients. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for financial...

Are Roth conversions after 70½ advisable? 5 factors to consider

August 9, 2018

The biggest benefit of a Roth conversion of an individual retirement account is the tax-free compounding over time. Those who are over age 70½ obviously have less time to make the upfront tax cost of a Roth conversion worth the benefit, given...

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...

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...

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