Four Questions on the Roth Five-Year Rule
This week, Craig Siminski, of CMS Retirement Income Planning, shares an article providing an overview of two versions of the Roth five-year rule and how they apply to various situations:
The Roth “five-year rule” typically refers to when you can take tax-free distributions of earnings from your Roth IRA, Roth 401(k), or other work-based Roth account. The rule states that you must wait five years after making your first contribution, and the distribution must take place after age 59½, when you become disabled, or when your beneficiaries inherit the assets after your death.
Roth IRAs (but not workplace plans) also permit up to a $10,000 tax-free withdrawal of earnings after five years for a first-time home purchase.
While this seems straightforward, several nuances may affect your distribution’s tax status. Here are four questions that examine some of them:
1. When does the clock start ticking?
“Five-year rule” is a bit misleading; in some cases, the waiting period may be shorter. The countdown begins on January 1 of the tax year for which you make your first contribution. For example, if you open a Roth IRA on December 31, 2020, the clock starts on January 1, 2020, and ends on January 1, 2025 — four years and one day after making your first contribution.
Even if you wait until April 15, 2021, to make your contribution for tax year 2020…
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Craig Siminski is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with more than 22 years of experience. His goal is to provide families, business owners, and their employees with assistance in building their financial freedom.
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