An inherited Roth IRA is truly a "gift that keeps on giving." It is an exceptional estate planning tool. When deciding whether or not to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, most people (or their advisors) "run the numbers." The cost and benefits of a Roth conversion is compared to the status quo - maintaining the traditional IRA. Assumptions are made about investment returns, future income tax rates, life expectancy, etc.
When the Roth IRA conversion law was enacted in 1997, taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes over $100,000 could not convert. No more. On January 1, 2010, every IRA owner will qualify for a Roth IRA conversion - there will be no income limitation.
Entrust Group launched a new service for IRA owners. Now you can access your IRA with the swipe of a debit card. Want that new pair of shoes - go ahead - use your IRA money. Want to go on vacation - use your IRA.
You don't have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA in 2009.
In view of the precipitous decline in the stock market, there are some tax strategies for owners of traditional or Roth IRAs to consider.
On October 3, President Bush signed into law the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, more commonly known as the "Bailout Bill." The financial bailout provisions have had the headlines for days as everyone tries to sort out what on earth the legislation actually does. But the bill also includes a raft of other tax changes (most added by special interests) that affect individuals, corporations, and businesses. Here are some examples:
The "Bailout" which is what the public calls The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424) passed the House and was signed by President Bush on October 3, 2008. Lot and lots of little "additions" appeared - plus lots of "pork."
More to the point - do you have more than one IRA at Vanguard? About a year ago, in July 2007, Vanguard Group sent 170,000 customers a form letter titled "Change in beneficiary policy will help you simplify your planning." What it really meant, as reported by Ashlea Ebeling writing for Forbes, is: "Warning! Unless you act, we're about to change who gets your Individual Retirement Accounts when you die."