The IRA Specialist

November 13, 2018

To Convert or NOT To Convert in 5 Easy Steps

What is a Roth IRA conversion? A Roth IRA conversion is the process of moving IRA or employer plan ... Read More
November 6, 2018

Using IRAs to Help Children in 5 Easy Steps

Can children have IRAs? There is no minimum age for having an IRA. Due to the power of compound interest, saving tax-free in an IRA from childhood ... Read More
October 15, 2018

Leaving A Legacy

3 Differences Between Life Insurance and Roth IRAs Read More
October 8, 2018

Avoiding the 10% Penalty in 5 Easy Steps

What is the 10% penalty? A 10% early distribution penalty applies to taxable distributions made before age 59 ½. Distributions made after age 59 ½ are not ... Read More
October 2, 2018

Calculating Your RMD in 5 Easy Steps

What is an RMD (required minimum distribution)? An RMD is the minimum amount that must be withdrawn from a retirement account each year. Read More
September 17, 2018

Planning For Multiple Beneficiaries in 5 Easy Steps

When do multiple beneficiaries exist? Multiple beneficiaries exist when an individual names more than one beneficiary for their IRA. Read More
September 10, 2018

Contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA) in 5 Easy Steps

What is an HSA? An HSA is a tax-advantaged medical savings account that can be used tax-free for qualified health expenses. HSAs are designed to be used in conjunction ... Read More
September 4, 2018

Fixing Missed 60-Day Rollover Deadlines with Self-Certification in 5 Easy Steps

If I miss the 60-day deadline for completing an IRA rollover, is there any way to save the rollover amount from tax? Failing to complete a 60-day rollover on time can cause the rollover amount to be taxed as income and perhaps subject ...Read More
August 20, 2018

The Spousal IRA Beneficiary Decision Tree

When you’re grieving the loss of a spouse, questions about how their financial assets will be passed on to you may be the last thing on your mind. But if your husband or wife was the owner of an IRA, there are important decisions you will need to make about your inheritance. Read More
August 13, 2018

The Power of NUA in Numbers

A tax-savings illustration comparing a direct rollover and in-kind distribution of highly appreciated employer stock. Read More
August 6, 2018

Roth IRA vs. 529 plans

Roth IRAs are NOT included as an asset on the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) form. Most other assets, including the amount in 529 plans, are included when calculating your EFC (expected financial contribution). Read More
July 16, 2018

4 Requirements of a See-Through Trust

To qualify as what the IRS refers to as a "see-through" trust for IRA distribution purposes, the trust must meet the following four requirements outlined in Regulation Section 1.401(a)(9)-4, A-5 Read More
July 9, 2018

Determining Tax on Roth IRA Distributions in 5 Easy Steps

What are the ordering rules? Roth IRA distributions can consist of contributions, converted funds and earnings – or any combination of the three. To determine what your distribution is, you must use "ordering rules" which dictate the order in which these categories of Roth IRA money must be withdrawn. All Roth IRAs are considered one Roth IRA for ... Read More
July 2, 2018

Protecting an IRA from Prohibited Transactions in 5 Easy Steps

What is a prohibited transaction? A prohibited transaction occurs when an IRA owner uses IRA assets in a self-serving or self-dealing manner that improperly benefits the IRA owner. Read More
June 18, 2018

Beneficiary Form Checklist

Follow-ups should be added to the To Do list at the end of this checklist. Read More
June 11, 2018

Planning for Health Savings Account (HSA) Distributions in 5 Easy Steps

A Health Savings Account is a tax-advantaged medical savings account that helps people pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. What are the withdrawal rules for HSAs? Are there special considerations that must be taken into account? Read More
June 4, 2018

Avoiding 72(t) Mistakes in 5 Easy Steps

What are 72(t) payments? 72(t) payments are a series of substantially equal periodic payments made from an IRA that can be used to avoid the 10% penalty for early distributions. Payments must last the greater of 5 years or until the IRA owner reaches age 59½. When using a 72(t) schedule, a number of changes are prohibited. If these changes occur, the 10% penalty (and interest) is applied retroactively to all distributions made prior to age 59½. Read More
May 21, 2018

Examining Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contracts in 5 Easy Steps

What is a QLAC (Qualifying Longevity Annuity Contract)? A QLAC is a type of fixed income annuity that has special attributes and is held in a retirement account. Read More
May 14, 2018

The Roth Conversion Conversation

When you convert funds to a Roth IRA, your pre-tax funds will be included in your income in the year of the conversion. This will increase your income for the year of the conversion, which may impact deductions, credits, exemptions, phase-outs AMT (alternative minimum tax), the taxation of your Social Security benefits and more. Read More
May 7, 2018

Bring Home the Bacon Now

This illustrates the power of compounding. Putting more "bacon" in your bank than in your belly will provide a start to your retirement savings. Read More