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Roth IRAs: 8 Essential Rules and Strategies to Know

Roth IRAs can be an excellent retirement savings vehicle for many people. They offer the ability to save for retirement with after-tax dollars, accumulate tax-free earnings, and withdraw money tax-free down the road. In simple terms, you trade a potential tax break today for tax-free withdrawals later. 

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities – An Overview

Planning for the future, as we age, can be a daunting challenge. Few look forward to the day when living in the traditional single-family home or even a condominium becomes impractical due to care needs. The good news is that there are more and more attractive retirement living options with various types of attributes. For many, moving to a retirement community may be a net positive in quality of life because of all the benefits and amenities that make day to day living easier, freeing time for more enjoyable pursuits.

Helping clients plan for this transition has become an important area of our practice and deserving of more communication and discussion. This introductory article focuses on one type of retirement community, called Continuing Care Retirement Communities (“CCRCs”). CCRCs offer a continuum of living and care options and may be thought of as a relatively comprehensive solution.

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Company Stock in a 401k?  Consider Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA)

When leaving a job for whatever reason, one of the biggest decisions you will face is what to do with your 401(k).  If your plan includes shares of your company's stock, NUA is something to consider during this process.

The Basics of NUA:

  • Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) can provide a significant tax break for those holding low-basis employer stock in their retirement plan.
  • There are strict rules that must be followed to take advantage of the NUA option.
  • NUA can provide an additional level of planning flexibility.

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Using an IRA QCD: Consider Giving Your IRA RMD to Charity

This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated to reflect 2019 tax law changes.

If you have reached 70.5 in age and have an IRA, you may benefit from donating all or a portion of your IRA required minimum distribution (RMD) to charity. By making a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), you may avoid tax on your RMD to the extent of the QCD.

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Score One for the Investor!

The Fiduciary Rule, a new Department of Labor (DOL) regulation, became effective on June 9, 2017. This rule obligates financial advisors to place retirement plan clients' interests ahead of their own. The fate of this new consumer protection had been unclear due to hostility from various sources. Even so, the DOL determined that it lacked legal grounds to delay the effective date of the rule.

RSWA Supports a Fiduciary Standard

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8 Common Mistakes That Can Diminish Retirement Lifestyle

Preparing for retirement is an interesting process. It involves making countless decisions for the future without entirely knowing what that future will entail:

What will the stock market be doing the year you finally decide to retire? Will you still have the same goals you do now? Or will you have unexpectedly developed an unbridled passion for deep-sea diving? Only time will tell.

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12 Must-Read Retirement Planning Articles Before The Next Bear Market

Most Americans planning for retirement seem to have a love-hate relationship with the stock market—especially those who had planned to officially retire 8 years ago.

Cyclical in nature, the market typically experiences a "major crash" every 10 to 15 years. As even the world's best economists can not predict their exact timing, having proper strategies in place is vital. While the typical advice to ride things out will always apply, there are many things you can do to ensure your retirement plans will not be deflated.

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The 4% Rule for Retirement Withdrawal Rates

One of the most difficult decisions individual investors make is when to retire.  It is not a simple answer, and there are many factors at play.  Some of the biggest questions for investors are “Do I have enough assets to retire?” or similar “Will I run out of money?”

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Ramping up the Savings Rate

Last week the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the Personal Savings Rate rose to 5.6%.  The rate is the percentage of funds left over after spending divided by total income for the month.

The savings rate was climbing the last few years after reaching a low of 1.9% in 2005.  In the past, the savings rate in the U.S. has been much higher as displayed in the graph.

The graph showed the savings rate climbed to a high of 17% in 1975 and headed downward till 2005.  But what is the right amount to save?  It depends on your goals, which are unique to your personal situation.  But the most common savings goal is retirement.

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Congress Torpedoes Key Social Security Planning Strategy

The recent Congressional bipartisan budget deal was a breath of fresh political air.  Washington functioned! The agreement did have a planning casualty however. Congress decided to end a social security claiming strategy called “file and suspend.” This strategy has been useful to couples who could afford to defer some of their social security benefits.

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