Avoid These 6 Mistakes In Stretch IRA Planning
As talk of the possibility of tax reform continues in Washington, there's an increased focus on the rules for "stretch IRAs." This retirement planning technique, which enables you to preserve assets in an inherited IRA for an extended period, could be targeted in a larger tax reform package. For the time being, however, stretch IRA planning remains a viable option for many people.
But to use a stretch IRA successfully, you'll need to follow a number of important rules and avoid common mistakes made by those who inherit IRA assets.
If you own an IRA, you must take required minimum distributions (RMDs) annually beginning in the year after you reach age 70½. Otherwise, you'll be hit with a stiff IRS penalty. Those distributions are taxed at your rate for ordinary income—which could be as high as 39.6%—and are based on a calculation that considers the account balance at the end of the previous year and your life expectancy (or your joint life expectancies with your spouse).
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