At age 70-½, the IRS blows out candles celebrating your half birthday … and the taxes you’ll pay from Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) on your IRAs.
When working with a financial advisor on your retirement planning (San Antonio), these taxes should be considered.
Although RMDs are generally unavoidable, below are 6 ideas to help navigate the inevitable RMD date:
1. Don’t double up.
You have a choice in your RMD year to delay your withdrawal until the following year. Rarely does this make sense. When you delay your withdrawal, you have twice as much to pull out of your IRA in year two. Not only does this create extra income tax, but it could also affect your Social Security and Medicare.
2. Don’t expect the bank to help.
If your money is held at a bank or by another financial custodian, don’t expect them to make the withdrawal for you. The institution is only obligated to notify you; not execute the actual RMD.
3. Don’t forget.
If you forget to take your RMD, you will pay a 50 percent tax penalty. Ouch! Put it on your calendar early and don’t forget to talk with your financial advisor about the upcoming change.
4. Know the calculation method.
The IRS takes a snapshot of your IRA balance the year before you turn 70-½ and every year after that. This is the value used for the calculation. Then, in your first RMD year, divide the prior year-end balance by 27.4. This will be your first-year RMD.
Keep in mind a few key points:
- The IRS changes this number periodically
- The number will be different for each age
- The number will be different under alternative beneficiary scenarios
5. Give to charity.
You can give your RMD directly to charity. If you don’t give it directly, you will have to pay income tax on the RMD and then only possibly get a charitable income tax deduction. Charitable deductions are itemized deductions, so if you are like most Americans (68.5 percent, according to the Tax Foundation) who use the standard deduction, then you won’t even get to offset the withdrawal against a deduction. By sending the RMD check directly to your favorite non-profit, you can be assured that you will have no income tax due.
6. Convert before 70-½.
You have a few years prior to age 70-½ to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth. If you strategize, you can reduce the amount required to come out each year.
The RMD game is relatively straightforward once you get started. It’s the initial withdrawal that requires a little planning.
Traditional IRA account owners should consider the tax ramifications, age and income restrictions in regards to executing a conversion from a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. (You may want to read our 5 suggested considerations when making the conversion here.) The converted amount is generally subject to income taxation.
Talking with a financial advisor who knows your specific situation, retirement goals and spending habits can further advise you on what to do. This holistic financial planning approach may save you time, money and stress in the future. Connect with an advisor early, as the better you plan, the better your outcome will likely be.
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