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Posts Tagged ‘IRA’

A Year End Checklist To control your Finances

A year-end checklist always gives you a number of ways to take control of your finances—and possibly save on your taxes. Here are a few to consider—just make sure you do them by December 31, 2012, as discussed by Charles Schwab & Co.                          1                      Prepare for new tax reporting changes. Review legislation related to cost basis reporting that could affect your taxes.                         2                      Convert to a Roth IRA. Compared to a Traditional IRA, a Roth IRA can give you control over your income taxes when you start taking withdrawals from your retirement account(s).                         3                      Turn losses into…

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Voluntary Philanthropy – Look to Your IRA

[Qualified Charitable Deductions] can be used to satisfy the RMD requirement for the IRA owner. This means that the IRA owner who doesn’t need his or her RMD for income can direct the distribution to the charity of his or her choice. If you would rather be a “voluntary philanthropist” versus an “involuntary philanthropist,” then you need to take action regarding the Qualified Charitable Deduction (QCD). In short, it’s a very powerful tool for both charity and reducing the tax liabilities associated with IRAs. However, on December 31, 2011, will we see it disappear? Jim Blankenship at Forbes has recently…

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As the amount of money stashed in 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts has grown, more and more families are finding themselves locked in battles over who has rights to the assets.

Even with the many concerns over retirement accounts in America, it’s undeniable – IRAs and 401(k)s represent a lot of personal wealth for everyday Americans. That means retirement accounts are assets uniquely worthy of particular attention, to include when it comes to their role in your estate planning. Indeed, amongst households with at least $100,000 to invest, 60% of the household’s assets are in an IRA or 401(k). So, how ought retirement accounts factor into your estate planning. Who will inherit them? The answer is not a simple as you may think. Truth be told, the problem with retirement accounts…

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Who will make your financial decisions when you no longer can?

One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of estate planning is preparing for the possibility of your own incapacity – whether through illness or accident, and whether temporary or permanent. In the event that you are unable to make financial decisions – such as filing your taxes, selling property, or making investment decisions – have you given someone the legal authority to act on your behalf? You may have heard of a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), which is a legal document giving another person (the attorney-in-fact) the legal right to do certain things (powers) for another. A…

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Many investors believe you can’t withdraw retirement savings before age 59 ½ without paying a 10 percent penalty.

There are a number of good reasons that you might be eying your IRA as it sits there with years to go before you turn age 59-1/2. You could see it as potential, as rescue capital, or if you’re in a really good place you could see it as the start of an early retirement. Of course, there are a few good reasons for leaving it alone – heavy tax hits and penalties – and for that Forbes has recently offered some uncommon advice for withdrawing from your IRA early and penalty free. The general wisdom is to leave your…

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What Should You Do About Pre-Retirement Planning?

This phase occurs during the final years of the accumulation phase and should begin when you reach 50 years old or are 15 years away from retiring, whichever happens first. Now is the time to get your plan in place, making sure your finances are lined up correctly for retirement day so nothing will be left to chance. If you work for a company with a benefits specialist, arrange an appointment to become informed about the various ways you can convert your employer retirement savings into a stream of income or an IRA. Give yourself time to learn the ropes…

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There are quite a few different retirement options out there and many specifically designed for small businesses

If you are a small business owner, you may be seeing a slight uptick in your business – and your confidence. In fact, many small business owners are starting to think about hiring a few more people, and perhaps even offering a few employee benefits again … such as a retirement savings plan. Stuart Robertson of Forbes recently wrote a brief, concise overview of the top three retirement plans available for small businesses (those with 25 or fewer employees). Before you start researching options, Forbes suggests you ask yourself these five questions: Can I afford a match for my employees?…

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Advice to baby boomers on spending their $8.4 trillion inheritance.

According to recent research from The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 70% of baby-boomer households will receive inheritances worth a total of $8.4 Trillion. With an average of $300,000 for most inheriting households, and an average of $1.5 million for the wealthiest inheritors, the better part of a generation is expected to see a nice bump in their assets. The question, then, is what to do about it. Ashlea Ebeling of Forbes recently approached the topic with a number of considerations, from warnings to ideas. Consider Keeping it Separate. The first thing to take stock of is how…

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A traditional IRA is tax-deferred until withdrawal

If you’ve been a diligent saver and keeping an eye on your 401(k) for all these years, it’s important to remember that the tax-man also has been looking on with interest and waiting for his cut. It’s simply too easy to forget, but a traditional IRA is tax-deferred until withdrawal, so that balance is deceiving. What is more, it means that the tax you will owe has yet to be decided. A recent MarketWatch article points out the strong possibility of higher tax rates for 401(k) savers once they reach retirement. The value of delaying a tax hit into retirement,…

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“The measure of life is not its duration, but its donation” – Peter Marshall.

It is not uncommon for a large portion of your wealth to be concentrated in tax-deferred retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s. From an estate planning standpoint, planning for these qualified accounts brings its own sets of issues and concerns. Because of their tax-deferred nature, the tax consequences can be significant, and mistakes quite costly. The special nature of these funds also impacts charitable giving decisions. If you want to make sizable gifts during your lifetime, you may turn to your qualified retirement account(s) for these gifts. In so doing, however, you could meet head-on with negative tax consequences….

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