This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers what we call some of the "nuts and bolts" of IRA planning. We received questions on required minimum distributions (RMDs) and inherited IRAs - two of our most popular topics, and also two of the topics where we see the most mistakes and disaster stories. Away we go with another Thursday mailbag! As always, we stress the importance of working with a competent, educated financial advisor to keep your retirement nest egg safe and secure. Find one in your area at this link.
I forgot to take a required distribution or all of my required distribution or the company did not process my required distribution on time. What do I do now?
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I just inherited an IRA or Roth IRA from my spouse. What do I do now?
Under the tax code you have three options, but your IRA custodian may limit these options. You will need to check with the custodian to see what your options are.
- You can leave the IRA where it is and remain a beneficiary. This is generally not recommended. When you start taking distributions they will be accelerated and your beneficiaries may not be able to stretch distributions over their lives when they inherit from you. However, it could be beneficial for a younger spouse who will need funds from the IRA to live on before attaining age 59 ½. Distributions from the inherited IRA will not be subject to the 10% early distribution penalty. Required distributions will begin in the year the account owner, not you, would have attained age 70 ½ or in the year after death if the owner was already 70 ½.
- You can leave the IRA where it is and have it retitled in your own name and social security number. Some IRA custodians may not allow you to do this but it is a simple way for you to get the IRA in your own name. The account is treated as if it had always been yours and distributions to you will begin when you turn 70 ½ or in the year after death of the account owner if you are already 70 ½.
- You can move the funds to an IRA in your own name. This can be either a new account or an IRA that you already had in your name. If you are under the age of 59 ½, any funds you take out of an account you own will be subject to the 10% early distribution penalty. The account is treated as if it had always been yours and distributions to you will begin when you turn 70 ½ or in the year after death of the account owner if you are already 70 ½.
- By Joe Cicchinelli and Jared Trexler