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Know Your IRA

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Exceptions to the 10% Early Distribution Penalty for IRAs

IRAs are supposed to be for saving for retirement but in challenging economic times like these many individuals may be forced to take distributions before retirement age. Be careful! If you tap your IRA before reaching age 59 ½, the bad news is that you run the risk of being hit with the 10% early distribution penalty. The good news is that there are some exceptions to this penalty. You IRA distribution will still most likely be fully taxable, but you can spare yourself the additional 10% penalty if one of these exceptions apply to you.

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Calculating the Pro-Rata Rule in 5 Easy Steps

What is the pro-rata rule? The pro-rata rule is the formula used to determine how much of a distribution is taxable when the account owner holds both after-tax and pre-tax dollars in their IRA(s). For the purposes of the pro-rata rule, the IRS looks at all your SEP, SIMPLE, and Traditional IRAs as if they were one. Even if you have been making after-tax contributions to a separate account for years, and there have been no earnings, you cannot isolate your after-tax amounts and must take your other IRAs into consideration.

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Rolling Over an RMD

Like most people’s lives, the retirement world is upside down. This is made evident by a single statement: “Required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be rolled over.”

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Calculating NUA in 5 Easy Steps

NUA is short for “Net Unrealized Appreciation” of employer securities. It’s the difference between the cost basis and the market value of employer securities held inside a qualified plan such as a 401(k).

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