'Qualified Plans' Articles

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Qualified Plans are those government arranged 'tax-advantaged' plans to get people to save for retirement and then withdraw from them during retirement. QPs are IRAs, Roth Plans, Pensions, 401(k)s, etc. Most contributions are tax-deductible (except for Roth plans) and taxed as income on distribution (not Roth). These articles deal with contributing and taking distributions from these plans and more. Check them out.

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Implications of Whom You Designate for Your IRA Beneficiary
Your IRA may well turn out to be your legacy to someone. Generally, qualified plans and IRAs go to their designated beneficiaries immediately at your death so they avoid probate. But you should keep your beneficiaries updated and understand how they’ll receive your legacy...read more


Use Nonworking Spouse IRA Contributions to Save Faster for Retirement
A nonworking spouse can make contributions to either a deductible (traditional) IRA or a Roth IRA based on her working spouse’s (husband’s) income.  This can help soon-to-be retirees save faster...read more

You Can Rollover Your IRA into a Qualified Annuity
You can rollover your qualified plan into a qualified annuity. This eliminates any taxation on transferring your qualified plan money into a non-qualified annuity.  Here’s the scoop…read more

Take a Tax-based Profit on Your Retirement Contribution if Your Income Drops Significantly

Government-regulated retirement plans offer you a tax-advantage – a way to put more into your retirement savings when you contribute. That’s because those contributions are tax-deductible; and then, for added benefit, their earnings grow tax-deferred. Your eventual withdrawals are taxed as ordinary income at hopefully a lower tax bracket...read more


Maximize Your 2014 Retirement Plan Contributions If You’re Still Working
Perhaps you only have a few years left until you retire. Your income is high and you’re trying to save more for retirement. Now is the time to maximize your retirement plan contributions. Here’s why…read more

Divide Your IRA into Separate Accounts – One for Each Beneficiary
If you’re considering assigning multiple beneficiaries to your IRA account, watch out how the IRA beneficiary distribution rules operate. Here’s an approach to make sure your beneficiaries get what you want to give them after you pass away...read more

Florida Says ‘Inherited’ IRAs Don’t Get Protection from Creditors
Shane Flait (2013)

The federal government created qualified plans – such as Pensions, 401(k), and IRA retirement plans –as an incentive for workers to save for their retirement. As a further incentive, federal law[1] offers protection of these plans’ funds from creditor claims under bankruptcy. But beware, plan beneficiaries aren’t so protected from their creditors...read more

Watchout For Qualified Plan Penalties If You’re Laid off or Retiring After 55
Recessionary times can prompt an early retirement. What about your retirement funds in your qualified plans if you need access to them before turning age 59˝? Will you be penalized for taking them?..read more


Disclaim Your Spouse’s IRA In Favor of His Or Her Secondary Beneficiary
If your husband has a large IRA and you’re well off, consider disclaiming part or all of his IRA at his death. Doing so can leave more for your children. This is an estate tax avoidance strategy to be aware of...read more

Do Those 401(k) Fees Matter To Overall Investment Performance?
The Investment Company Institute, a mutual-fund trade organization, found that 62 percent of 401(k) plans are “small plans,” with less than $1 million in assets. They found that businesses with up to 100 employees paid about 2 percent in plan assets in annual fees, whereas businesses with 100 to 1,000 employees paid about 0.9 percent...read more

What Are Your Retirement Plan Options When Leaving Your Company
What options do you have with your company plan when you leave? A 401(k) is a typical company retirement plan, so I’ll use it to illustrate the options you have with it...read more


Don’t Transfer Your Company Stock to an IRA
If you’ve acquired company stock within your company plan fund (like a 401(k)), transferring that stock to an IRA will cost you a lot more taxes later when you take a distribution from your IRA. There’s a better way to save taxes on that stock. Here’s how…read more

Future Tax Increases for Retirees Makes a Roth IRA Better Than a Traditional IRA
Whether a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA is the way to go depends on the tax bracket for your distributions compared to the bracket for your contributions. A comparatively higher distribution tax bracket leaves more in your pocket with a Roth, but a lower distribution tax brackets leaves more in you pocket with a traditional IRA. Let’s see how it works...read more

How Much Can You Increase Your IRA over the Next 5 or 10 years – Just from Contributions Alone?

As boomers approach the end of their working years, many are considering delaying retirement to beef-up their IRAs and other savings. But what’s a reasonable guess at how much more they can accumulate?  Here are some estimates for your IRA…read more

Is An In-Service Rollover To An IRA Best For You?
If you’re not retiring, but don’t like the performance or fees of your 401(k) plan, do an ‘in-service rollover’ of it into your IRA.  Here are the pros and cons for doing so...read more

Make Your IRA Withdrawal without Selling Your Depressed Stocks or Real Estate

When you’ve reached age 70˝, you must begin withdrawing from your retirement account. These accounts include the traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403(b) plans. Generally you sell whatever you want to take out,  withdraw it from the account, and pay the income tax on what you’ve withdrawn. But, you may want to hold your position in them for their expected future gains. In that case, you don’t have to sell the investment to fulfill the required distribution rules. There are ways to do it. ..read more


Keep Contributing To Your Own IRA Beyond Age 70 ˝ With A Roth
If you’re still working and making a good income when you reach age 70˝, the more power to you.  And if you are, you may still want to take advantage of contributing to your retirement account. You can still contribute, but not to your traditional IRA. Here’s the scoop…read more


Broaden Your Investment Options with a Self-Directed IRA Plan
Banks and mutual fund companies that oversee IRA accounts restrict your choices of IRA investments. If you’re tired of having to invest in these traditional IRA-type investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.), you can setup your own self-directed IRA plan that allows you to broaden your investment choices. This plan can include a traditional or Roth IRA to a SEP or SIMPLE IRA or even a solo (k) plan...read more


Catch-up on Savings with a Solo 401(k) If You’re a One Person Business
If you have a profitable one-person business, then consider setting up a Solo 401(k) for more pre-tax contributions to your savings. I.e. more than either a SEP or SIMPLE can offer you. Here’s how the numbers work in 2012…read more


Know the 5 Year Rule To Avoid Tax On Your Roth IRA Distributions
Converting from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA gives you an investment account that grows tax free, allows tax free withdrawals and hasn’t any minimum distribution requirements after you turn 70 ˝. But you have to abide by the 5 year rule; otherwise you may trigger tax consequences on your withdrawals. Retirees who find themselves making large Roth withdrawals should take note...read more


Different Qualified Plans Have Different Minimum Required Distributions Rules
Qualified plans were created to help workers save for their retirement. Most plans allow tax-deferred growth of tax-deductible contribution made during your working career. And most plans require an annual minimum required distribution (RMD) after age 70˝. All RMDs are taxed as ordinary income. But what rules apply for different qualified plan distributions?..read more

Take an ‘In Kind’ IRA Distribution of Depressed Equities for Future Tax Benefits

Once you’ve reached age 70˝, you must begin making minimum required distributions (MRDs) from your IRAs each year.  But if you don’t need the cash to live on and you expect your IRA stock to increase in the future, consider taking an ‘in kind’ distribution for improved tax benefits...read more

You Can Unconvert Your IRA-to-Roth Conversion to Offset Investment Loss
The taxation that accompanies converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA can be substantial.  Presumably, you determined that you’ll eventually gain more benefits from making the conversion to a Roth than keeping that money in your traditional IRA. However, if those converted funds ‘go south’ in value as the market falls, you can ‘unconvert’ your Roth to recover the conversion tax you paid. Here’s how it works…read more

Keep All Your Beneficiaries Updated on All Your Accounts
Efficiently getting your property to the beneficiary of your choice takes a little know-how and awareness. Generally speaking, pensions, qualified plans and life insurance go to their designated beneficiaries immediately at your death; they don’t have to be probated. But you’ve got to be on the ball about who’s designated as a beneficiary and where...read more

How to Minimize Income Tax on IRA-to-Roth Conversions

The prime benefit of a Roth IRA is that its earnings within and withdrawals from are tax free. This benefit remains true for your Roth beneficiary although he’ll have to make minimum required distributions – which you don’t. And if that beneficiary is young, his Roth IRA growth can supersede his withdrawals for a long time. But converting your IRA to a Roth forces you to pay income tax; a large conversion can drive up the tax rates on it. Here’s how to keep that conversion tax low...read more


How to Convert an Inherited Company 401(k) Plan to a Roth IRA
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) permits you to convert your company retirement plan assets, including a 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans, directly to a Roth IRA. Of course, you must pay the income tax on the conversion of a deductible company plan to the Roth IRA. You can do this if you’re the owner, the owner’s spousal beneficiary or the owner’s non-spousal beneficiary...read more


Take Company Stock Out Before Moving Your 401(k) Plan Money to an IRA
It’s common to rollover your company plan – such as your 401(k) - funds into an IRA or into another company’s plan if you decide to continue working. But whatever you do - don’t rollover any of your company’s stock you bought within your company’s qualified plan. Take advantage of serious tax savings on them by taking them as a distribution while rolling the remainder of your company plan into an IRA...read more


Roll Your 401(k) into an IRA Only After Knowing the Advantages of Each
You may consider rolling over your company’s 401(k) plan into an IRA when you retire. Before you do, consider the advantages of each as outlined below in this article...read more

Should Retirees Consider Real Estate Investing With Their IRA Money
Yes, you can buy real estate with your IRA money. And retirees often have a lot of IRA money and are wondering how they can use it for real estate investing. This article overviews the advantages and disadvantages of real estate with IRAs...read more

Use a Roth IRA If You Must Buy Real Estate Within Your IRA
You can buy real-estate within your IRA, but it’s best to have enough IRA money to buy without a mortgage.  Some retirees can do this. This article explains why they should use a Roth IRA rather than a traditional (i.e. deductible contribution) IRA to do this...read more

Use IRA Distributions to Buy Rental Real Estate or Your Condo
Many new or about-to-be retirees have a lot of money tied up in their traditional IRA. Withdrawing that money immediately makes it taxable income. That can hurt. But, if they buy and maintain real estate for its rental income with those IRA distributions they can shelter those taxable distributions while creating retirement income or a condo to live in... read more

Retirees Should Consider Investing More in Real estate (non ira article)
If you’re starting your retirement, consider your portfolio allocation strategy – i.e. how to split your money among different asset categories. You’ll want investment income to cover living expenses but you’ll also need long term investments to maintain your portfolio’s value against inflation damage.  Here’s why real estate investments can deliver both of these...read more

Get More Income and Tax Breaks from Your Other Home (non ira article)
If you’re looking for more income, why not let your other home help you out? You may have been using it just for yourself, but now you need more income. If you turn it into an investment property you’ll not only bring in some income but increase your tax breaks for holding it...read more


Use High Income Investments in Your IRAs for Retirement Income
The tax-deferred and tax-free nature of IRAs makes high income investments attractive for retirees especially if they’re looking for income to live on. Here’s why...read more

Let Your IRA Fund Your Young Beneficiary’s Retirement
Leaving some of all of your IRA to your young child or grandchild can enormously help fund his own retirement. Unfortunately today, young people are already burdened with high taxation, perhaps poor job prospects, and many living costs that make it difficult to fund their retirement. But the tax-deferred or tax-free growth over many years of their inherited IRA from you may solve much of their retirement concerns. Here’s how...read more

IRA Catch-Up Savings and Tax-Free Income for Nonworking spouses of ‘soon-to-be’ Retirees
Usually, you need to have a working income from which you can make your IRA contributions. The exception to this rule is for a nonworking spouse. She can make contributions to either a deductible (traditional) IRA or a Roth IRA based on her working spouse’s (husband’s) income.  This exception gives ‘soon-to-be’ retirees an opportunity to contribute more into their retirement savings and created nontaxable income during their retirement income...read more


How and When Can You Deduct a Loss on Your IRA Investments
A lot of people have suffered sizeable investment losses in their individual retirement accounts (IRAs). They wonder if they can deduct these losses. Well they can. But they better be desperate for the money. Here’s how it works...read more

How Will a Retiree’s IRA Value Change While Taking Out the Minimum Each Year?
If you have a traditional (i.e. deductible) individual retirement account (IRA), you may wonder how much you’ll have in it when you die – for legacy purposes? You must make minimum required distributions (MRDs), but if you restrict your withdrawals to these minimums, I can give you an idea. I’ll assume that you make it to 70 years of age, you’re the owner of your IRA, and you’ll withdraw your yearly MRD starting at age 70...read more


How to Determine Which IRA You Should Contribute To
As you approach retirement, you may still be contributing to an IRA plan. Both your income and whether or not you (or your spouse) have a qualified plan associated with work will determine which of the three IRA types - the traditional (deductible) IRA, the non-deductible IRA, and the Roth IRA - you should contribute to. However, when circumstances occur that give you a choice of contributing to two or more IRAs, here’s how to decide what to do...read more


How Much Is Your IRA or Qualified Plan Deduction Worth To You?
Government-regulated retirement plans – such as your IRA or your company plan at work – offer you tax-deductible contributions as an incentive to use them to save for your retirement. But how much is that tax-deductible contribution really worth to you?...read more


You Can Save Faster with Tax-deductible Qualified Plans in 3 Ways
If you’re trying to beef-up your retirement savings in just a few years, use tax-deductible qualified plans (including IRAs) to do so. I outline why they can give you the most benefit for your contribution efforts.. read more


How Do Government-regulated Retirement Plans Benefits Differ from Regular Savings Benefits?
Government-regulated retirement savings plans such as IRAs and 401(k)s are often called ‘qualified plans’ for short. The have a specific taxation scheme that’s not based on the investments you put into these ‘plans’. The taxation of your regular savings or investments depends on the nature (or type) of the investment itself...read more.


Overview of Government-Regulated Retirement Savings Plans
Over the years, the government has allowed a variety of tax-advantaged savings plans to come into existence so you can save for your retirement. This article overviews the types of plans you can choose from as an employee or as a business owner...read more


What Are the Benefits to Contributing to an IRA or 401(k) Type Plans?
Taxes undermine our ability to grow our wealth and secure our retirement. To help people save for retirement, the government has authorized tax advantages to those who contribute to regulated retirement savings plans. This article explains the benefits of contributing to them...read more


Make a Tax-based Profit on Your IRA Contribution If You’re Retiring Soon
Government-regulated retirement plans, like IRAs and 401(k)s, offer you a tax-advantage. Your contributions are tax-deductible whose earnings then grow tax-deferred. Withdrawals are taxed as income. With no investment gain – or loss – you can make a tax-based profit by contributing at high income tax rates, and then withdraw at a low income tax rates. This article shows you why...read more


When is a Roth IRA Better than A Traditional IRA?
Both a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA are government qualified retirement savings plans. But the Roth IRA tax properties of one can be a better deal for some people than those of the other. This article lists their tax properties and who may benefit most from a Roth...read more


Tax Efficient Strategies for Converting to a Roth IRA
As of 2010, anyone – no matter how high his income – can convert all or any part of a qualified plan to a Roth IRA. But converting from a qualified plan – like a traditional IRA – requires paying income taxes on the amount that you convert into your Roth IRA. ..read more

An Overview and Choice of Ira for You: Traditional, Non-Deductible or Roth
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) were created to help you save for your retirement. They’re qualified/IRA regulated tax shelters. Let’s take a look at them and their characteristics. The come in 3 versions...read more

How to calculate your Minimum Required Distribution if you’re an IRA owner
An IRA owner is the person who contributed to his IRA. You must take a minimum required distribution (MRD) from your traditional IRA or non-deductible each year.  These MRD rules also apply to owners of simplified employee pension (SEP) accounts as well as Simple IRAs, since they're both considered IRAs for this purpose....read more

3 Strategies for Using Your IRA to Invest in Real Estate
With real estate prices depressed and a lot of wealth sitting in qualified plans, you may wonder how you can use that wealth to invest in real estate. In this article I offer considerations and strategies for using your IRA to position yourself in real estate for your future benefit....read more

IRAs and Qualified Plans Offer Limited Asset Protection
You can lose your assets to creditors (whom you’ve borrowed from), to claims under divorce or paternity suits, to trumped-up claims against your deep pockets, or to government for taxes owed...read more

A Self-directed IRA: the Pros and Cons
Government rules allow use of your IRA for more types of investments than the conventional trustees - like banks and mutual fund companies - allow. But you must steer clear of violation self-dealing rules for those nonconventional IRA investments...read more

IRAs, Roths, and 401(k)s with Taxed and Untaxed Minimum Required Distributions (MRDs)
IRA and Roth IRAs are two examples of government-regulated retirement savings plans – called qualified plans. Both are generally personal plans you set up at banking-type institutions that you can contribute to and withdraw from yourself. Other examples of qualified plans associated with work are 401(k), 403(b) and their Roth versions- like Roth 401(k)...read more


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