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Related to IRAS: Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
Individual Retirement Account (IRA) rollover
Individual Retirement Account
Generally speaking, this is not advisable. If you name your estate as the beneficiary of your IRA, then the assets held inside your IRA must be distributed according to your last will and testament and the proceeds of your IRA will go through probate. Most IRA owners like to keep assets inside their IRA for the longest time period allowed by law, thereby maximizing the dollars that can be accumulated on a tax-deferred basis while also delaying the payment of income taxes for as long as possible. IRAs are subject to annual required minimum distribution requirements once the IRA owner reaches age 70 1/2 . These requirements are based upon either the individual life expectancy of the IRA owner or the joint life expectancy of the IRA owner and his beneficiary. Because your estate has no life expectancy, there is no way to stretch out the period during which your IRA assets can remain inside your IRA and grow tax-deferred even if this is what your IRA beneficiaries want. Thus, if you die prior to age 70 1/2 , naming your estate as your beneficiary, the assets held in your IRA will have to be liquidated and proceeds disbursed over a five-year period to the beneficiaries you named in your will. If your IRA was a traditional IRA, your beneficiaries will have to include every IRA disbursement in their taxable income for the year during which the disbursement was received. If your IRA was a Roth IRA, your beneficiaries won't owe any income tax on your IRA disbursements, but they will still be forced to withdraw your IRA assets by the end of the five-year period, whereas they could have kept your IRA assets inside of your IRA for many more years if you had named specific beneficiaries for your IRA. If you die after age 70 1/2 , naming your estate as your beneficiary, your IRA beneficiaries will have to take annual minimum distributions from your IRA that are based on what the federal government's actuaries have determined would have been your remaining life expectancy if you were still alive, reduced by one for each year thereafter. From a financial planning viewpoint, the biggest disadvantage of naming your estate as the beneficiary of your IRA is the basic inability to stretch out the distributions from your IRA to maximize the buildup of value and delay the payment of income taxes, as described above.Stephanie G. Bigwood, CFP, ChFC, CSA, Assistant Vice President, Lombard Securities, Incorporated, Baltimore, MD
Individual retirement account (IRA).
Individual retirement accounts are one of two types of individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) that provide tax advantages as you save for retirement. The other is an individual retirement annuity.
Both have the same annual contribution limits, catch-up provisions if you're 50 or older, and withdrawal requirements. In addition, both are available in three varieties: traditional deductible, traditional nondeductible, and Roth.
The primary difference between the two is in the investments you make with your contributions.
You open an individual retirement account with a financial services firm, such as a bank, brokerage firm, or investment company, as custodian. The accounts are self-directed, which means you can choose among the investments available through your custodian.
In common practice, however, perhaps because more people have individual retirement accounts, the acronym IRA tends to be used to refer to an account rather than annuity or arrangement.
individual retirement account (IRA)
A retirement savings program entitling the individual to deduct contributions from gross income for purposes of calculating income taxes.The contributions are said to be from before-tax dollars.
Generally speaking, first-time home buyers can withdraw up to $10,000 from their IRA or Roth-IRA accounts,penalty free,in order to pay qualified home purchase expenses such as a down payment. Spouses can withdraw up to $20,000.There's a lifetime limit,though.Once you use up your distribution “free passes,”you can't put the money back in your account and then use it again in the future. (For more information, see Tax Topic 428,“Roth IRA Distributions,” and Publication 590,“Individual Retirement Accounts,”available at the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov.)