Qualified retirement plans, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, have many rules, and some of them can be quite complicated. Take the following quiz to see how well you understand some of the finer points. Continue reading “How Well Do You Understand Retirement Plan Rules?”
The Roth “five-year rule” typically refers to when you can take tax-free distributions of earnings from your Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), or other work-based Roth account. The rule states that you must wait five years after making your first contribution, and the distribution must take place after age 591⁄2, when you become disabled, or when your beneficiaries inherit the assets after your death. Roth IRAs (but not workplace plans) also permit up to a $10,000 tax-free withdrawal of earnings after five years for a first-time home purchase.
While this seems straightforward, several nuances may affect your distribution’s tax status. Here are four questions that examine some of them. Continue reading “Four Questions on the Roth Five-Year Rule”
When you change jobs, you need to decide what to do with the money in your 401(k) plan. Should you leave it where it is or take it with you? Should you roll the money over into an IRA or into your new employer’s retirement plan? Continue reading “What to Do with Your 401(k) Plan When You Change Jobs”
New Spending Package Includes Sweeping Retirement Plan Changes
The $1.4 trillion spending package enacted on December 20, 2019, included the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which had overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives in the spring of 2019, but then subsequently stalled in the Senate. The SECURE Act represents the most sweeping set of changes to retirement legislation in more than a decade. Continue reading “The SECURE Act will affect all of our retirement plans.”
Selecting beneficiaries for retirement benefits is different from choosing beneficiaries for other assets such as life insurance. With retirement benefits, you need to know the impact of income tax and estate tax laws in order to select the right beneficiaries. Although taxes shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in naming your beneficiaries, ignoring the impact of taxes could lead you to make an incorrect choice.
In addition, if you’re married, beneficiary designations may affect the size of minimum required distributions to you from your IRAs and retirement plans while you’re alive. Continue reading “Choosing a Beneficiary for your IRA or 401(k)”