Michael Zaidlin's Blog

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Madrone Retirement Advisors, LLC

What to know before rolling a 401(k) to an IRA.

Many factors should be considered before rolling a 401(k) account to an IRA.  One of the key factors to consider is that distributions from a 401(k) may be taken penalty-free if the employee separates from service in the year in or after he or she turns 55 – and the plan provides for it. On the other hand,  once a 401(k) account has been rolled into an IRA, any distributions from that IRA before age 59 ½ - except in certain circumstances - will be assessed a 10% early withdrawal penalty, in addition to state penalties.

Holding real property in an IRA - the pros and cons.

Whether an IRA holds real property or financial securities, there are similar rules that apply, such as lack of a stepped-up basis at death and lack of long-term capital gains tax treatment.  However,  there are numerous other drawbacks that apply to the holding of real estate:

The non-deductible IRA.

IRS “pro rata” rule greatly reduces the benefit of contributing to a non-deductible IRA: Many people believe that if they are unable to make a Roth contribution due to income phase-outs, they can simply make a non-deductible IRA contribution and later convert that contribution to a Roth.  But it’s not that simple.

Roth IRAs and the Five-Year Rule

The five-year rule is an important consideration when deciding when to open your first Roth IRA.

Before you inherit an IRA.

For those inheriting a traditional IRA in the near future, funding the conversion cost with a gift may be an optimal strategy.