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IRA BLOG

CLARIFYING THE ROLLOVER/TRANSFERS RULES WHEN AN RMD IS DUE

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport In the June 16, 2021 Slott Report, we discussed how an in-service distribution made in the year of separation from service can inadvertently create an excess IRA contribution if that distribution is...

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RMDS, THE STILL-WORKING EXCEPTION, AND THE BEST-LAID PLANS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A required minimum distribution (RMD) from a 401(k) (or other employer plan) must be taken prior to rolling remaining plan dollars to an IRA. An RMD cannot be rolled over, so it must be withdrawn before any rollover is completed....

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IRS RECTIFIES MISTAKEN INTERPRETATION OF 10-YEAR PAYOUT RULE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst On April 14, we reported that the IRS was apparently interpreting the SECURE Act's 10-year payout rule in a surprising way – to require annual required minimum distributions (RMDs). Now, the IRS has made it clear (without actually saying...

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10-YEAR RULE: BENEFICIARY PLANNING “LOOPHOLE” CLOSED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With the passage of the SECURE Act, once common IRA beneficiary planning strategies have been upended. For example, no longer can just anyone stretch payments on an inherited IRA. You must qualify as an “eligible designated...

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ROTH CONVERSIONS & 401(K) RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi! I attended the February 2021 IRA seminar and had a question re: Roth conversions.  The seminar discussed rolling over assets held in a company plan into a Roth IRA. I’m dealing with a client that wants to roll over a lump...

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SECURE ACT REGULATIONS EXPECTED “SOON”

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It has been well over a year since the SECURE Act became a reality, transforming the rules for inherited IRAs and doing away with the stretch IRA for most beneficiaries. While the SECURE Act statute gave us...

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HOW THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE IS MISUNDERSTOOD

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One of the cardinal sins you can commit with an IRA rollover is to run afoul of the IRS “once-per-year” rollover rule. Violating that rule triggers a taxable distribution and the 10% early distribution penalty if you are under age 59 ½....

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EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTIONS – GAMING THE SYSTEM?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst An IRA owner can contribute only so much to a Traditional and/or Roth IRA annually. The IRA owner must also have earned income. The contribution limit for 2021 is $6,000, with a catch-up provision of another $1,000 for those age 50...

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SPECIAL RULES FOR SPOUSE IRA BENEFICIARIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The SECURE Act may have upended the rules for inherited IRAs, but the rules for spouse beneficiaries remain as advantageous as ever. In fact, naming a spouse as an IRA beneficiary is a better option than ever...

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HOW DO RMDS WORK IN DB PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Rules governing defined benefit (DB) plans are typically more complicated than defined contribution (DC) plan rules. But required minimum distributions (RMDs) are one area where the DB plan requirements are easier to understand. If you’re...

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NO IRA CONTRIBUTIONS AFTER DEATH

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we inch toward the extended 2020 tax deadline of May 17, many filers are still laboring over their returns. Some are completing the final return for a loved one lost in what was a brutal year. As is human nature, most taxpayers...

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE SON OF SECURE?

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On May 5, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021. According to lawmakers, the proposal is designed to pick up where the SECURE Act of 2019 left off and...

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THE ROTH CONVERSION CONVERSATION: A MUST-HAVE!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When visiting the doctor, does he or she ask foundational questions to help determine your medical condition? Of course. “How are you feeling?” “Are you a smoker?” “What hurts?” Does the doctor take some basic measurements –...

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2020 IRA CONTRIBUTION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 17

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Good news for retirement savers! There is more time to make your 2020 IRA contribution. On March 17, 2020, the IRS extended the 2020 federal income tax-filing deadline to May 17, 2021. The extension also extends...

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THE IRS MAY BE COMING AFTER YOUR SOLO 401(K) PLAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you sponsor a solo 401(k) plan, beware! The IRS recently announced that it is targeting several employer plan areas for stepped-up auditing. One of those areas is solo 401(k) plans. The fact that solo plans made the list is a signal...

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ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AND IRA DEDUCTIBILITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst This question (or a derivation of it) has been popular as of late: “I only participated in my 401(k) for a couple of months in 2020 before I was laid off. Does that still make me a ‘covered’ employee, and can I contribute to my...

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MAKING A 2020 ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has delayed the deadline for filing federal income taxes until May 17, 2021. This also extends the deadline for making a 2020 Roth IRA contribution. A Roth IRA offers the promise of tax-free withdrawals in...

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IRA RUMORS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With all the recent changes to IRAs under the SECURE Act [i.e., required minimum distribution (RMD) age raised to 72, new rules for beneficiaries, etc.], combined with the CARES Act waiver of RMDs last year, it comes as no surprise...

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WHO MUST TAKE THE YEAR-OF-DEATH RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Required minimum distributions (RMDs) were waived for 2020 but they are back now for 2021. This includes the RMD for the year of death of the IRA owner. The rules for this RMD can be tricky. One question that comes...

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5 QUESTIONS WITH GEORGE NICHOLS OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE

George Nichols III is the 10th President and Chief Executive Officer in The American College of Financial Services’ storied history. He continues to take motivation from founder Solomon Huebner’s pioneering vision in 1927, while empowering The College to usher in the...

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EIGHT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DC AND DB PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Fewer and fewer workers are participating in defined benefit pension (DB) plans these days. The high cost of maintaining those plans has led many employers to terminate existing plans and dissuaded many others from setting up new plans in...

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HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR 2021 RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The CARES Act waived required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020, but they are back for 2021. The return of RMDs for this year has raised questions about how these distributions should be calculated. Here is...

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CAN I STILL OPEN UP A NEW SOLO 401(K) FOR 2020?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We’ve been getting a number of questions lately about whether it’s too late to set up a new solo 401(k) plan for 2020. The answer is “sort of.” Business owners with no employees (other than a spouse) can contribute to a solo 401(k) plan....

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HOUSE RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Casinos have house rules. These rules dictate what patrons can and cannot do. They are often written down, posted, and there is no debating the validity of said guidelines. House rules govern...

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DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS RETIREMENT SAVINGS TAX BREAK

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport For those just starting out, saving for retirement can be challenging. For young workers, paying the rent and buying the week’s groceries may take priority and there is only so...

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RETIREMENT ACCOUNT ALPHABET SOUP

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst For an area as highly regulated as IRAs and company plans, it’s not surprising that there’s a ton of abbreviated terms to keep track of. Here’s 18 common ones that you should know: CARES Act. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic...

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ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTIONS AND YOUR TAX RETURN

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Have you contributed to a Roth IRA for 2020? If you have not, you still have some time. The deadline for making a prior year contribution is the tax-filing deadline, not including any extensions you might have. For...

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WHEN A “REVERSE ROLLOVER” MAKES SENSE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst When we think of rollovers, we normally think of moving funds from a 401(k) (or other company plan) to an IRA. But it sometimes makes sense to consider a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k). Unfortunately, although 401(k) plans...

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THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT PLANNING TO CONFISCATE YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Whenever there is a new administration there is a lot of uncertainty about what the change will mean for retirement accounts. In 2021, this change is happening in the middle of a pandemic that has upended the lives...

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RMDS AND ROLLOVERS – A DANGEROUS BLEND

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst It is early 2021 and two ingredients mix again: retirement money in motion, and required minimum distributions (RMDs). This may not appear to be a dangerous concoction, but when improperly combined, the results can be a bitter...

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3 TIPS TO AVOID TAX PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SEP

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) is a popular choice for many small employers. Although these plans are in fact designed to be less complex than other types of retirement plans, there are many ways to go wrong...

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FOUR UNEXPLAINED TAX CODE MYSTERIES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Internal Revenue Code is over 4,000 pages of often unintelligible tax jargon. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the law contains more than its share of baffling and inconsistent provisions. Here are four examples pertaining to...

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“COMPENSATION” FOR IRA ELIGIBILITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Here we go again…barreling headlong into another tax season. This year will be like no other. With all the crazy that was 2020, many tax filers will discover some new and interesting items on their tax returns. For example – did...

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ROLLING OVER A 2020 DISTRIBUTION IN 2021

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The rules for rolling over IRA distributions can be complicated at any time of the year. They are especially challenging at the end of the calendar year. Surprisingly, sometimes IRA owners have doubts as to whether...

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AFTER CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DISTRIBUTIONS – NOW WHAT?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) are no more. Millions of Americans took advantage of the opportunity to make penalty-free withdrawals from their IRAs and 401(k) plans in 2020. But unless Congress resurrects them, CRDs are no...

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RECHARACTERIZING AN IRA CONTRIBUTION – STILL IN THE TOOLBOX!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we enter tax season and consider last year’s transactions, it bears repeating: Roth IRA contributions can be recharacterized, Roth conversions cannot. A Roth IRA contribution can be recharacterized (changed) to a Traditional IRA...

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THE “LOOK BACK” – CONSIDERING A TAX YEAR IN ITS ENTIRETY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst We are just a few days into the new year, and many people are anxious to get their full IRA contributions in for 2021. However, a common question is, “It’s only the first week of the year and I haven’t received a paycheck yet. Can...

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2021 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A new year brings a fresh start, and after 2020, we need that more than ever. You probably have a few resolutions for 2021. When making your list of goals for the new year, don’t overlook your IRA. Here are a few...

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ROTH IRAS AND THE 10-YEAR RULE: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Can a retired person not working contribute to a Roth IRA? Answer: There are no age limits for Roth IRA contributions. This allows older people to contribute. However, the rules do require earned income....

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst From The Slott Report, December 30, 2019: “2020 promises to be an exciting year in the IRA and savings plan worlds, as the full ramifications of the new SECURE Act begin to take shape. Beyond that, the IRS will likely finalize the new...

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BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Ah, the end of the year. Snow is drifting, music plays quietly in the background. Ma in her kerchief, Papa in his cap, just settling down for a long winter’s nap… Nope. No time for that. ‘Tis the season of BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Did you...

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HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM THE SLOTT REPORT

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education We at the Slott Report would like to wish all our readers a happy and safe holiday season. 2020 has been a year like no other. Thank you for taking your valuable time to read the Slott Report during this...

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE SECURE ACT!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One year ago from yesterday (December 20, 2019), President Trump signed into law the SECURE Act. At that time, virtually no one had heard of the coronavirus and certainly very few (if any) could have foreseen the global pandemic that’s...

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AFTER-TAX ROTH CONVERSION: TRICK QUESTION?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Bob is 40 years old. He is a single tax filer, participates in a 401(k) at work, and makes a healthy annual salary of $160,000. Bob has consistently contributed $5,000 each year to his Traditional IRA for 5 years ($25,000 total)....

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2020 YEAR-END RETIREMENT ACCOUNT TO-DO LIST

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The end of 2020 is almost here. With the end of the year come certain retirement account deadlines. Here are 5 items you should have on your 2020 year-end retirement plan to-do list: 1. Do a 2020 conversion If you...

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BE CAREFUL ABOUT USING YOUR IRA FOR A SHORT-TERM LOAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Thinking of using your IRA as a “short-term loan” to raise some extra cash for the holidays?  What could go wrong? Well, actually, two major things could go wrong. And either could lead to serious tax headaches. Let’s say Chloe started...

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DUBIOUS MULTI-LAYERED CRD TAX STRATEGY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Recently we became aware of a multi-layered tax strategy that we think is a bridge too far when it comes to Coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs). In fact, it may even be outright tax fraud. As most readers are aware, the CARES...

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10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE CONVERTING IN 2020

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The clock is ticking if you are considering converting your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2020. More IRA owners are making this move this year as historically low tax rates and COVID-related income losses have...

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CAUTION: FOUR TAX BREAK DEADLINES RAPIDLY APPROACHING

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Thanksgiving is behind us, and the end of the year will be here soon. (Many of us are truly thankful for that!)  This is a good time to remind you of certain tax breaks that will expire before we turn over the calendar to 2021. Many of...

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BACK TO THE RIGHT SIDE UP

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst We have collectively crawled into the hollow of a 2020 tree and found ourselves in the Upside Down. (That is a “Stranger Things” reference, for the uninitiated.) The SECURE Act turned beneficiary options upside down. The CARES Act...

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IRS ADDS NEW REASON FOR SELF-CERTIFICATION OF LATE ROLLOVERS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has recently added a new reason for self-certification of late rollovers to its list. Revenue Procedure 2020-46 modifies the list of reasons to include an IRA or company plan distribution made to a state...

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WHAT LIMITS APPLY IF I PARTICIPATE IN TWO COMPANY PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We continue to get questions about the limits that apply for folks who participate in multiple company savings plans at the same time or who switch jobs in the middle of the year. What’s confusing is that there are two limits – the...

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MILITARY BENEFITS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With Veterans Day being just last week, an overview of two military retirement benefits felt like an all-important and appropriate topic of discussion. One benefit pertains to a penalty exception for accessing retirement dollars...

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6 WAYS THAT ROTH IRAS AND ROTH 401(K)S ARE DIFFERENT

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Both Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRAs offer the ability to make after-tax contributions now in exchange for tax-free earnings down the road if the rules are followed. However, there are some important differences between...

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IRS ISSUES NEW RMD TABLES . . . FOR 2022!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Good news! You can look forward to somewhat smaller required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA and company retirement savings plan beginning in 2022. That’s because, on November 6, the IRS released new life expectancy tables that...

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RMDS UNDER THE CARES ACT: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Great work you all do. Been a reader of Ed for a long time. How would this scenario work? New client of mine's husband passed away in 2019 and he had not taken his RMD. The plan was to transfer the account to my firm and...

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10% PENALTY EXCEPTIONS – IRA ONLY!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a person under the age of 59 ½ takes a withdrawal from their IRA or company plan - like a 401(k) – there is a 10% penalty. However, this penalty can be avoided if the withdrawal qualifies for an exception. Some exceptions...

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CRDS ARE STILL AVAILABLE

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The year 2020 has been a challenging one. With coronavirus cases rising in most of the country and economic relief stalled in Congress, many individuals may be looking to find funds to pay urgent bills. One...

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MORE ON AFTER-TAX PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The October 19, 2020 Slott Report article, "Don't Overlook After-Tax Contributions!," explained how after-tax contributions in company plans work and discussed the dollar limits on them. This article will explain how distributions of...

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IRA TRICK-OR-TREAT!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Trick-or-treating in the time of a pandemic is a challenge. Social distancing while handing out candy requires some creativity. The Slott Report has elected to place a big bowl of random treats in front of our house for the kids to...

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IRA ROLLOVERS AND DEDUCTIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, If an individual has a solo 401(k), is this considered a "retirement plan at work" that would limit the deductibility of IRA contributions? Thanks! Susan Answer: Hi Susan, Being an active...

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IRA ROLLOVERS AND DEDUCTIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, If an individual has a solo 401(k), is this considered a "retirement plan at work" that would limit the deductibility of IRA contributions? Thanks! Susan Answer: Hi Susan, Being an active...

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DON’T OVERLOOK AFTER-TAX PLAN CONTRIBUTIONS!

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With the popularity of Roth 401(k) contributions, after-tax employee contributions have gotten short shrift. But, if your plan offers them, after-tax contributions are worth considering because they can significantly boost your retirement...

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