Category Archives: Individual Retirement Accounts

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Savers tax credit shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle of Pension Protection Act’s many provisions

With much of the attention focused on the major provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), there is a tax benefit available to low to moderate-income taxpayers that shouldn’t be overlooked.  It’s the Saver’s Credit slated to expire after 2006 which the PPA made permanent., and it provides an added bonus to the increasing number of employees that … Continue Reading

“America’s Silver Tsunami” begins with “First” Boomer applying for Social Security benefits

That’s what Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue is calling the expected avalanche of applications from the post-World War II generation. The "first" Baby Boomer, a retired school teacher from New Jersey, born one second after midnight on January 1, 1946 ,applied for Social Security benefits Monday, signaling the start of an expected avalanche of applications … Continue Reading

The new billion dollar advisors? It’s the CPAs

CPA firms – we’re aware – provide more than just traditional accounting and auditing services. And that includes providing investment and financial planning. So just how successful are they. In terms of money under management, pretty darn successful. You may be surprised to know that there are 11 firms that are have over $1 billion in … Continue Reading

The new meaning of “asset protection”

Asset protection now isn’t just about walling off assets from legal assaults. It’s now about walling off sensitive data from technological assaults. I’ve written about this issue several times before.   Identity theft made simple. Just leave employee retirement plan data on a laptop. The big data security question: Have we met the enemy and is … Continue Reading

Not my generation that nobody seems to want

I’m not talking about my generation, but rather Gen X; and the nobody who doesn’t want them are financial advisers. According to a study commissioned by Edward D. Jones & Co., as reported by Investment News, advisers prefer older and wealthier clients. This despite the fact that younger workers are ahead of other generations when … Continue Reading

The big data security question: Have we met the enemy and is it us?

I’ve written about retirement plan data security – or lack thereof – in the past, but always in the context of employee data on laptops that had been stolen. But as I read about a recent study cited by, Pogo’s famous words came to mind, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Are … Continue Reading

Franchises and IRAs

Rush Nigot on his Rush on Business Blog provides valuable information for franchisees. But how do you finance it? There are a small number of trust companies that can help facilitate that process if you use self-directed IRA assets to invest in private equity, e.g., a franchise. It’s not just publicly traded securities that IRAs can invest in. There’s … Continue Reading

Solving the “annuity puzzle”

I recently wrote about retirees moving to Tibet, a metaphor for retirees moving from the “land of accumulation” to the “land of accumulation” and the new financial culture with which they will have to master. The “tour guides”, the financial industry, will have to solve the “annuity puzzle”, the investment industry term for the disconnect between … Continue Reading

Cash may be king, but some kings are more protected than others

In volatile markets, investment managers go to cash. That’s happening right now because of the prime mortgage meltdown. But not all money market funds are the same. Just as there are enhanced index funds, there are also enhanced money market funds.  "Enhanced" meaning the fund manager seeks higher returns by taking slightly more risk. And … Continue Reading

Is a vulture fund coming to your retirement plan soon?

They’re called "vulture funds". They’re financial organizations that specialize in buying securities in distressed environments, such as high-yield bonds in or near default, or equities that are in or near bankruptcy. Take for example, Argentina whose external public debt was  bought up in substantial measure by vulture funds at   very low prices. Or in this … Continue Reading

Hey! Just whose IRA is this anyway?

I had to read this article twice. It says that Vanguard is requiring customers to have the same beneficiary for all their IRAs. Retirement Think pointed me to it on Financial It seems that Vanguard has sent out letters to 170,000 of their IRA clients who had different beneficiaries on their multiple IRA accounts that they had … Continue Reading

Retiring to Tibet

Baby boomers apparently are thinking about retiring to exotic locations. I saw an article about this in one of our trade publications in which an investment advisor was quoted as saying that retiring to Cancun was no different than retiring to Arizona. Well, not exactly. Hurricane Dean aside, what about cultural, political, and legal differences … Continue Reading

IRAs are becoming increasingly important, but rules can be confusing

I’ve written that IRA is not a kid anymore. From its humble beginning in 1974 as part of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of (ERISA), the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) along with cousins Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE, has grown up. It’s now an increasingly important investment vehicle for retirement savings and tax planning. And it … Continue Reading

New non-spouse beneficiary IRA rollover not a “gimme”

Individual retirement accounts, as I’ve written about before, are an increasingly valuable planning tool. One of the tax benefits that comes out of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 is the ability of a non-spouse beneficiary to rollover a lump sum distribution from the deceased participant’s retirement plan account tax free to an “inherited IRA”. … Continue Reading

“Ten-shun, ten-shun, please. Have your pencils and scorecards ready for the correct lineup.”

Diehard Cubs fans will know who this is. It’s Pat Pieper, the legendary Cubs’ field announcer, who for 59 years started each game with the announcement above. But that was back in the day when you could look at the number on the back of the uniform and know who that was and what position … Continue Reading

No goody bag now goes untaxed

That’s a picture of the Golden Globe award given each year by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The "no goody bag now going untaxed" is the announcement today by the Internal Revenue Service that it reached an agreement with the HFPA  resolving outstanding tax responsibilities with respect to Golden Globe Awards presenter gift baskets. … Continue Reading