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Qualified Retirement Plans, 401K, IRAs, etc…

Early retirements are becoming more frequent, often due to health concerns and layoffs. This often results in shorter periods to fund for your retirement.  It is important to know how to get the most from your retirement plan.

2015-2016 Retirement Planning Key Numbers

Why Roth Accounts Are Better” 20141219 WSJ
An alternative title for the article would indicate that  be some advantages of a Roth that may apply to your situation.

The IRA Rollover: 10 Tips for Making Sound Decisions” 2014 October FINRA

Beware Leaving a Roth for Heirs” 20140907 WSJ
This article discusses some pros and cons as well as potential future tax changes that should be considered when considering a Roth Conversion.

Final regulations [TD 9673]
Final Regulations relating to the use of Longevity Annuity Contracts in tax-qualified plans under the Internal Revenue Code sections: 401(a), 403(b), 408 and 457(b).

Recent tax rules permit longevity annuities (LAs) to be held in 401(k), IRA, 403(b) and other employer-sponsored individual account plans.

2014 Key Retirement Planning Numbers

2013 IRA & Retirement Plan Limits

“Pitfalls of Inherited IRAs” 20111210WSJ
This is an informative discussion of some issues that need to be considered when opening an IRA and for beneficiaries.

“Harnessing the Anything-Goes IRA” 20111126WSJ
Although self-directed IRAs sound attractive, beware of the restrictive rules that apply to them.  Another concern is that these accounts have “become targets for fraud.”

“Workers Come Out Winners Even After 401(k) Lawsuits Are Losers” 20111025WSJ
The increasing number of law suits relating to investment choices, costs, etc. are providing an incentive for employers to improve the plans they offer.

“Why Leave Money on the Table-Make the Most of Your Employer’s 401(k) Match” FINRA
Make sure you take the full amount of free money that is available.

IRS announces the 2012 retirement related dollar limitations and phase outs.
The limitations should be used in your 2011 year-end planning.

“Getting the Most From a Lame 401(k) Retirement Plan” 20111008WSJ
A useful discussion of issues a participant in a 401(k) plan should consider.

“Deadline Approaching for Unduing a 2010 Roth Conversion

“Should You Reverse That Roth Conversion?” 20110907SM
With the stock market down, reversing a 2010 Roth conversion should be reviewed.  A reversal of a 2010 conversion must be done before October 17, 2011.

“5 401(k) Mistakes to Avoid” 20110726USN
This a discussion of some common mistakes employees make regarding their 401(k) plans.  Another mistake is not naming a beneficiary and/or updating the beneficiary designation after divorce, separation death and other life events.

Borrowing from Your 401(k)

“401(k) Law Suppresses Saving for Retirement” 20110707WSJ
Review the amount you are contributing to your employers’ 401(k) plan to see if it can be increased.

“Can I contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA if I’m covered by a retirement plan at work?” 20110323IRS
IRS reponds to a frequently asked questions.

“401(k) Advice-For a Hefty Fee” 20100129WSJ
This article raise the questions about the cost and benefit of some of the sources of advice availble.

“Reversing Course with Roth IRAs” 20101220WSJ
Most articles about Roth conversions emphasise the ability to reverse the conversion.  With the passage of the recent legislation most people think they know what the tax rates will be in 2011 and 2012.  That eliminate one uncertainty.  There is a look back period to reverse the conversion if the short term market performance is negative.  As with most financial decisions you have to determine if it fits your circumstances and your view of the future.

“Time to Quit Your Old 401(k) s?” 20100802WSJ
There are many things to consider when changing employment. One decision is if you should leave retirement funds with your old employer’s plan or move them to the new employer’s plan or an IRA. This article discusses some of the things to consider when making this decision.

IRS Retirement Planner- Plan comparison table

Roth 2010 Conversions 20090828

“Roth Conversion: Good or Bad?” 20090814MSA

Pension benefits are protected in a bankruptcy 20090530WSJ

“The Hidden Dangers in IRAs” 20100515WSJ

“The Grudge Match Over Your 401(k)” 20100417WSJ

“Five Reasons Tax Shelters Are More Important Than Ever” 20100302WSJ

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